As Gartner advices to upgrade to Windows 8.1 when you’ve deployed Windows 8 throughout your organization, it’s useful to look at the way Windows 8.1 impacts your current networking infrastructure, your deployment methods and your management philosophies.
Although, I’ve already covered a big Group Policy change earlier in this series. (Part 10: Group Policy Caching), I haven’t mentioned another big change in the way Group Policy is processed in Windows 8.1 in regards to previous Windows versions: Delayed Group Policy Logon Scripts.
Fellow-MVP Darren Mar-Elia wrote an extensive article on What’s New for Group Policy in Windows 8.1 on Petri.co.il. In it, Darren reiterates the Group Policy Caching feature, but also touches on a Windows 8.1 feature I hadn’t seen yet. Yesterday, Darren also posted on his blog about the Group Policy Logon Scripts Delays. It’s the first post I’ve seen him write with exclamation marks in the title, so I paid attention…
Allow me to quote Darren:
If you are using Group Policy-based logon scripts today to map drives or printers, set up registry or environment variables, etc., when you migrate your client machines to Windows 8.1, those logon scripts won’t run until FIVE MINUTES after logon has started.
For the reason why Microsoft made this change, Darren writes:
Ultimately logon scripts can be the biggest culprit of slow user logons in many environments, so what Microsoft attempted to do here is reduce that contention by delaying the running of logon scripts.
Luckily, fixing it is also very straightforward.
You can change the default through a Group Policy setting labeled Configure Logon Script Delay, located in Computer Configuration, Policies, Administrative Templates, System, Group Policy.
By default, Logon Script Delay is Not Configured, resulting in the default Logon Script Delay time of five minutes. You can configure this Group Policy setting as Disabled , which will result in logon scripts running immediately after logon on devices with computer accounts targeted by the Group Policy Object (GPO).
You can also configure it as Enabled and you can specify a value, indicating the minutes to wait before processing logon scripts after logon. Enter 0 to disable Logon Script Delay.
There is a reason why most organizations adopt the Group Policy Preferences to map drives and perform other environmental setup steps; Logon scripts are the way of the dodo.
If you haven’t made the transition to Group Policy Preferences, then your migration to Windows 8.1 would be a good time. If you can’t, disable Logon Script Delay for devices running Windows 8.1 and up.
Warning!!!–Group Policy Logon Scripts Delays in Windows 8.1
What’s New for Group Policy in Windows 8.1
Logon script delayed by 5 minutes (300 seconds)
Best Practice: How to schedule a delayed start logon script with Group Policy
Creating logon scripts
Troubleshooting Logon Script Problems
Windows 8.1 / Server 2012 R2 Gruppenrichtlinien: Anmeldeskripte (Logon Scripts) werden nicht oder nur stark verzögert angewendet.
Run logon scripts synchronously
Logon scripts are the way of the dodo?
GPOs are not definitive or conclusive in anyway shape or form. Logon scripts do what Microsoft have failed to do for so long and continue to fail to grasp. With that, Active Directory has become so bloated and scattered in trying to implement all the various logon/logoff functions that using ones own Windows PowerShell scripting can save the business many hours in lost profits by keeping all the easily configurable functions of the business in one file or folder.