Cannot connect to domain controller and cannot apply Group Policy with Gigabit Ethernet devices
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Windows XP-based systems that use Gigabit Ethernet devices may not be able to log on to an Active Directory domain, which aborts the Group Policy download process. When this occurs, a series of events are written to the event log. For example:
Event ID: 1054 Source: Userenv Type: Error
Description: Windows cannot obtain the domain controller name for your computer network. (The specified domain either does not exist or exist or could not be contacted). Group Policy processing aborted.
Event ID: 1000 Source: UserInit Type: Error
Description: Could not execute the following script AdminPassword.bat. The system cannot find the file specified.
The problem occurs because link status fluctuates as the network adapter (also known as the network interface card, or NIC) driver initializes and as the network adapter hardware negotiates a link with the network infrastructure. The Group Policy application stack executes before the negotiation process is completed and can fail because of the absence of a valid link.
You may be able to work around this problem by disabling the "Media Sensing" feature in Windows. For additional information about how to disable Media Sense, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
239924 How to disable Media Sense for TCP/IP in Windows
If you disable Media Sense, and if you cannot join an Active Directory domain or download group policies, make sure that you are running the most current drivers for your network adapter. If you are already running the most current drivers for your network adapter, the only workaround currently available is to switch to a different network adapter.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
Network adapter manufacturers may implement workarounds for this problem in their drivers. Microsoft has confirmed that some of these workarounds can cause network adapters to incorrectly report their link speed. As a result, programs that perform downloads from the network, monitor network performance, or do load balancing and packet scheduling (QoS) may not work as expected.