Symptoms

Consider the following scenario:

  • You have an environment that uses Group Policy Preferences items that use files, folders or shortcuts.

  • The items are accessed from Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 through a domain-based Distributed File System (DFS) share.


In this scenario, it takes longer than expected to apply a Group Policy setting. You may also see delays when you examine the logging in the Gpsvc.log file. These delays do not occur when the file server behind the DFS namespace is used by a particular client.

Additionally, the following behavior may occur:

  • When you view the network traces of the slow transactions, you notice that a NetrDfsGetInfo or dfs_GetInfo DFS API request takes longer than expected to finish.

  • You view the processing of the request at the DFS server. Most of the time, this should be the local domain controller. You find that there is a delay in communicating with the primary domain controller (PDC) of the domain. There are two basic reasons why a delay occurs:

    • Reason 1: When the DFS volume has many links and the PDC is attached over a low-bandwidth WAN link, it can take a long time to retrieve the data that the local domain controller requests by using the LDAP protocol.

      The combined load of all domain controllers in a large domain against the PDC might become so large, the connection to the PDC fails, and the DFS API does not respond with a valid path. When this occurs, the Group Policy Preferences item is not applied after the delay. For more information, see the "More Information" section.

    • Reason 2: When the domain controller cannot reach the PDC, it spends significant time retrying a connection to it.


Cause

This problem occurs when the real location of a path in a DFS volume is being determined. The Group Policy Preferences client-side extension contacts the DFS service through a NetDfsGetInfo call. It does this because the domain controller makes sure that the NetDfsGetInfo call has the most current information on the DFS volume and queries the PDC for it. The NetDfsGetInfo call does not have prerequisites, but is considered a management API.

Resolution

To resolve this issue in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, install update 2967917. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

2967917 July 2014 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 To resolve this issue in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, install the hotfix that is described in the "Hotfix information" section in this article.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft Support. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, go to the following Microsoft website:

http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=supportNote The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, you must have Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installed.

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any previously released hotfix.

The English (United States) version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 file information and notesImportant Windows 7 hotfixes and Windows Server 2008 R2 hotfixes are included in the same packages. However, hotfixes on the Hotfix Request page are listed under both operating systems. To request the hotfix package that applies to one or both operating systems, select the hotfix that is listed under "Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2" on the page. Always refer to the "Applies To" section in articles to determine the actual operating system that each hotfix applies to.

  • The files that apply to a specific product, SR_Level (RTM, SPn), and service branch (LDR, GDR) can be identified by examining the file version numbers as shown in the following table.

    Version

    Product

    SR_Level

    Service branch

    6.1.760
    1.
    22xxx

    Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

    SP1

    LDR

  • GDR service branches contain only those fixes that are widely released to address widespread, extremely important issues. LDR service branches contain hotfixes in addition to widely released fixes.

  • The MANIFEST files (.manifest) and the MUM files (.mum) that are installed for each environment are listed separately in the "Additional file information for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2" section. MUM and MANIFEST files, and the associated security catalog (.cat) files, are extremely important to maintain the state of the updated components. The security catalog files, for which the attributes are not listed, are signed with a Microsoft digital signature.

For all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Gpprefcl.dll

6.1.7601.22612

590,848

27-Feb-2014

02:07

x86

For all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Gpprefcl.dll

6.1.7601.22612

792,064

27-Feb-2014

02:43

x64

Gpprefcl.dll

6.1.7601.22612

590,848

27-Feb-2014

02:07

x86

Gpprefcl.dll

6.1.7601.22612

590,848

27-Feb-2014

02:07

x86

For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Gpprefcl.dll

6.1.7601.22612

1,523,712

27-Feb-2014

01:53

IA-64

Gpprefcl.dll

6.1.7601.22612

590,848

27-Feb-2014

02:07

x86

Additional file information

Additional file information for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Additional files for all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7

File name

Package_1_for_kb2937429~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

1,835

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_2_for_kb2937429~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

1,816

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_for_kb2937429_sp1~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

1,933

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_bcce2fe3198139359e8a4a42e898f527_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_163f63a1c5cbc041.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

711

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-g..ppolicy-policymaker_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_39d8244dc05d93aa.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

53,968

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

02:40

Platform

Not Applicable

Additional files for all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

Amd64_a245b7205aa26bbf52f882302896d976_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_1f824953814a98be.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

715

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Amd64_b7dc18f73758c23a752f19f243c8c8e1_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_4f16460d78abe2a2.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

715

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Amd64_b9a961cdb4d709ed10c6ecc3d5724199_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_43198a486e6a59be.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

1,070

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Amd64_bcce2fe3198139359e8a4a42e898f527_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_725dff257e293177.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

713

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-g..ppolicy-policymaker_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_95f6bfd178bb04e0.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

53,972

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

03:12

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_1_for_kb2937429~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

2,049

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_2_for_kb2937429~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

1,843

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_3_for_kb2937429~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

2,045

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_4_for_kb2937429~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

2,055

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_for_kb2937429_sp1~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

3,123

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Wow64_microsoft-windows-g..ppolicy-policymaker_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_a04b6a23ad1bc6db.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

34,836

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

02:21

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-g..ppolicy-policymaker_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_39d8244dc05d93aa.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

53,968

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

02:40

Platform

Not Applicable

Additional files for all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

Ia64_17c5d0a34b61335274c953a6d205dbda_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_5daeda736a142d99.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

1,068

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Ia64_microsoft-windows-g..ppolicy-policymaker_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_39d9c843c05b9ca6.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

53,970

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

02:24

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_1_for_kb2937429~31bf3856ad364e35~ia64~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

2,069

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Package_for_kb2937429_sp1~31bf3856ad364e35~ia64~~6.1.1.0.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

1,464

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

06:04

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-g..ppolicy-policymaker_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.22612_none_39d8244dc05d93aa.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

53,968

Date (UTC)

27-Feb-2014

Time (UTC)

02:40

Platform

Not Applicable


Workaround

To work around this problem, disable RootScalability mode. The DFS server then uses the PDC to synchronize. However, it will use incremental synchronization to the PDC, and this is typically much faster. To do this, run the following command:

dfsutil /root:\\domain\dfsroot /RootScalability /EnableFor more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

305027 Summary of "piling on" scenarios in Active Directory domains

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

With this hotfix installed, Group Policy Preferences does not rely on NetDfs API any longer than is required for the DFS service to contact the PDC. Group Policy Preferences uses a different method that builds on the DFS Get Referral SMB command. Learn more about how DFS works on the Microsoft TechNet website.

If you experience this combination of GPP and DFS Service behavior, we recommend that you apply this update on all computers where users who have GPP items typically log on. This generally applies to all workstations and Remote Desktop servers.

The problem is that the user profile links are missing after the update is already addressed by an update for DFS Service:

2916267 The DFS Namespace reparse point for folder targets are missing in Windows Server 2008 R2
Note This update does not resolve the performance problem behind the PDC dependency.

A similar problem that occurs roaming profiles are used on file servers that are accessed through a DFS namespace, as described in the following  Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

2915094 Profile loading takes a long time due to full DFS namespace sync with PDC

References

Learn about the terminology that Microsoft uses to describe software updates.

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