This article describes the Windows Fast Logon Optimization feature.
By default in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP, the Fast Logon Optimization feature is set for domain and workgroup members. Policy settings apply asynchronously when the computer starts and when the user signs in. As a result, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP do not wait for the network to be fully initialized at startup and sign-in. Existing users are logged on by using cached credentials. This results in shorter logon times. Group Policy is applied in the background after the network becomes available. Be aware that, because this is a background refresh, extensions such as Software Installation and Folder Redirection take two logons to apply changes. Additionally, changes that are made to the user object, such as adding a roaming profile path, root directory, or user object logon script, may take two logons to be detected.
If you turn off this feature, Windows waits for the network to be fully initialized before users are logged on. This results in the synchronous application of policies when the computer starts and when the user logs on. This application of policies resembles a background refresh process and can reduce the time that is required for the Logon dialog box to display and the time that is required for the shell to be available to the user. An administrator can change the default by using the Group Policy MMC snap-in.
Fast Logon Optimization is always off during logon when a user first logs on to a computer.
You should be aware that, under the previous conditions, computer startup can still be asynchronous. However, because logon is synchronous under these conditions, logon does not exhibit optimization.
When your folder redirection policy is not completely applied at first logon, you can find the following warning in the event log:
Folder redirection and software installation policies
Be aware that when logon optimization is turned on, a user may have to log on to a computer two times before folder redirection policies and software installation policies are applied. This is because applying these kinds of policies requires the synchronous policy application. During a policy refresh (which is asynchronous), the system sets a flag that indicates that applying folder redirection or a software installation policy is required. The flag forces synchronous application of the policy at the user's next logon.
BE aware that Windows clients support Fast Logon Optimization in any domain environment. To turn off Fast Logon Optimization, you can use the following policy setting:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon\ Always wait for the network at computer startup and logonWhen this policy is enabled, a Windows XP client behaves in the same manner as a Windows 2000 client at both system startup and at user logon.
Note This also applies to systems that are running Windows 7 or Windows 8. However, in those systems, the event ID changes to 510:
For more information about the effect of Fast Logon Optimization and Fast Startup on Group Policy settings, go to the following Microsoft website:
Understand the Effect of Fast Logon Optimization and Fast Startup on Group Policy
For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
969006 The Home Folder may be mapping incorrectly when logging on to a Windows XP-based computer
304970 Scripts may not run before Windows Explorer starts even though the "Run Logon Scripts Synchronously" setting is enabled
831998 Mapped network drive shows no drive letter or will not allow you to create new long-named files or folders