Server 2008 Hangs at “Applying Computer Settings”

Update: Microsoft has released a hotfix for this issue, see:

Last week I Windows Server 2008 machine that was taking a very long time to get past the “Applying Computer Settings” screen; Once it finally did get past that screen logging in would take a very long time and things in general were very slow with many applications failing to launch altogether.

In the Application log there were 3 Warning messages from Winlogon that would show up with every boot:

Event ID 6005: The winlogon notification subscriber <GPClient> is taking long time to handle the notification event (Logon).
Event ID 6006: The winlogon notification subscriber <GPClient> took 3599 second(s) to handle the notification event (CreateSession).
Event ID 6005: The winlogon notification subscriber <GPClient> is taking long time to handle the notification event (CreateSession).

Since these warning messages pointed to a potential issue with Group Policy I enabled group policy logging. There were tons of error messages, but none of them proved to be particularly useful. These messages were repeated throughout the log file:

GPSVC(6d0.704) 10:54:06:941 Client_InitialRegisterForNotification: User = machine, changenumber = 0
GPSVC(6d0.704) 10:54:06:941 Client_RegisterForNotification: CheckRegisterForNotification returned error 0x6d9
GPSVC(6d0.704) 10:54:06:941 CGPNotify::RegisterForNotification: Service not RUNNING. waiting
GPSVC(6d0.704) 10:54:06:941 CGPNotify::RegisterForNotification: Trying to recover from error 1753
GPSVC(6d0.704) 10:54:06:941 CGPNotify::RegisterNotificationAsynchronously: Starting async registration
GPSVC(6d0.704) 10:54:06:941 CGPNotify::RegisterNotificationAsynchronously: Created thread 1804
GPSVC(6d0.70c) 10:54:06:941 CGPNotify::RegisterNotificationAsynchronously: Waiting for service to start
GPSVC(6d0.704) 10:54:06:941 CGPNotify::RegisterNotificationAsynchronously: Exiting with status = 0
GPSVC(6d0.704) 10:54:06:941 CGPNotify::RegisterForNotification: Exiting with status = 0
GPSVC(264.2f8) 10:57:09:087 CGPNotify::WaitForServiceChangeAndRegister: Failed to wait for svc change with 258
GPSVC(30c.320) 10:57:09:352 CGPNotify::WaitForServiceChangeAndRegister: Failed to wait for svc change with 258
GPSVC(6d0.70c) 11:04:06:948 CGPNotify::WaitForServiceChangeAndRegister: Failed to wait for svc change with 258

After troubleshooting for quite some time I found that the issue had nothing to do with Group Policy. The problem turned out to be caused by a lock on the Service Control Manager (SCM) database.  To validate that this was the issue I ran “sc querylock” which gave this output:

C:windowssystem32>sc querylock
[SC] QueryServiceLockstatus - Success
        IsLocked : True
        LockOwner : .NT Service Control Manager
        LockDuration : 3751 (seconds since acquired)

This message indicates that there is a deadlock between the Service Control Manager and http.sys. To resolve this issue simply add the following registry key and reboot the system.

In the HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetServicesHTTP create the REG_MULTI_SZ value named DependOnService and set the value to CRYPTSVC

Related Microsoft KB article:

Normal output from “sc querylock”

C:windowssystem32>sc querylock
[SC] QueryServiceLockstatus - Success
        IsLocked : False
        LockOwner :
        LockDuration : 0 (seconds since acquired)

20 thoughts on “Server 2008 Hangs at “Applying Computer Settings”

  1. Thank you. This worked great for me as well. When I run sc querylock, it showed my database was NOT LOCKED, but I went ahead and applied the fix. That resolved it anyway.

  2. hanging at Applying Group Policy, Hanging at Applying Folder Redirection (I dont use it in the domain of 5), called MS and it came down to was corrupt Default user folder! so I Copied from my Win7 laptop to server, she copied the whole folder from laptop and used whole folder, replacing the one on terminal; renamed problem users’ profile to name.old, logged off and on, new profile finally got created and Voila! Now I can just set her profile back up now (mail, Favs email etc) friggen weird

  3. Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing.

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  4. I had found earlier that disconnecting the network cable would allow the computer to boot after a power cycle. The deadlock test then was negative. Applying the registry change corrected the problem for me too. Thanks

    • Not that I am aware of. The documentation from Microsoft says that this fix applies to Windows Vista and Server 2008.

  5. This fix not work for me although the article did help my find the solution. My server definitely had the same symptoms and when I ran the query the result was TRUE for more than 10 minutes. Implementing the reg key and rebooting did not help things.

    After much troubleshooting I remembered that you can boot into safe mode and disable windows services for the next reboot via msconfig. I disabled all the non Microsoft services, rebooted and bam, “applying computer settings” took 10 seconds and was able to log right in like normal. Then I knew that one of the 3rd party windows services (non Microsoft) had to be the culprit. I enabled them one by one and rebooted until I found that it was a new service that was recently created by our developers that was failing to start and holding up the startup process.

    What made this most confusing for me was it happened after installing windows updates and rebooting. This led me to think the updates had something to do with it but it was really a problem with our custom windows service!

  6. Caleb! If you want my babies… you can have them!!!

    Spent 6 hours today with a non-responsive email server sat at “applying group policy” following a windows update. Just applied your fix and she’s up and running now!

    Seriously…. have my first born! You’re a life saver!

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