SOLVED Windows couldn't connect to Group Policy Client Service


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I realise there have been other threads with this title but I suspect I am not seeing quite the same problem.

The computer was working fine at 09:00 UK time on 21-Apr-16 and has significant problems as of 06:45 this morning (25-Apr-16), having been been switched off in between these times.

In terms of questions directed to CaptainRon by trouble on another thread.
- My Windows 10 is version 1511, OS Build 10586.218.
- I can go into settings, but when I select "update & security", the window flashes open and then closes immediately without showing any data

When I switch on my PC, the Monitor screen in the bottom right hand corner has a continually rotating circle in one corner. I can click on this and go on to the normal password screen. I am then able to log in. At this point I get the message "Windows couldn't connect to Group Policy Client Service".

As of first thing this morning, I had normal access to Windows Live Mail, Open Office and Firefox, and very slow access to Google Chrome, this having taken at least 40 minutes to start up.

Having made one of the set up changes suggested in the other thread, re switching off hardware acceleration within Google Chrome, I no longer have access to Windows Live Mail, and I am not convinced that Chrome is working at all. Of course the change in the Windows Live situation may be a coincidence or perhaps I have done something else that has not helped.

Other symptoms are as follows:
- I do not have access to Command Prompt (Admin)
- The PC is taking several minutes to shut down rather than a few seconds.
I am the only user of this PC and thought I had Administrator access

Any suggestions would be most welcome, as I have no idea what is going on.

EDIT: I cannot access the Task Manager
EDIT2: Re Windows Live Mail, am getting two separate messages in different windows
(1) "The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion"
(2) Windows Live Mail could not be started. It may not be installed correctly. Make sure the disk is not full or that you are not out of memory"

Thank you, Martin
 
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Regedit32

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Hi Martin,

I've not come across someone not being able to access the Command Prompt (Admin) before:
  • I am assuming you tried the following variations to get this:
    • right-clicking Start | then clicking Command Prompt (Admin), or
    • Pressing Winkey + X | then pressing A, or
    • In the search box typing Command Prompt | then pressing together Ctrl + Alt + Shift
If none of these methods work, are you able to open a non elevated Command Prompt?

If you can open a non elevated command prompt then try accessing the Elevated one by doing the following:
  • Type or copy & paste the following command into your Non elevated command prompt window:

    runas /user:mymachine\administrator cmd

  • Press Enter key to execute the above command
  • You'll now be prompted to enter the Administrator password: type that in | then press Enter key
    Note: You will not see any characters at all as you type the password in (this is normal)

  • If successful after a few seconds an elevated Command Prompt will open in a new console windows like so:
    mymachine administrator.png
  • If you do manage to get this elevated command prompt to open then you can try one of several methods that have helped people resolve this particular issue you are attempting to resolve. This involves resetting the winsock. This may or may not resolve your issue, but is certainly worth trying. To reset the winsock from the elevated command prompt type or copy & paste the following command:

    netsh winsock reset

  • Now press Enter key to execute the command. At this point you ought to see a message appear in the console confirming the command was successful.
  • Next type exit then press enter to close the console
  • Then in the non elevated command prompt also open, type exit and press enter to close that console.
  • Close other programs open, then Restart computer
Report back how you go with the alternate method to open an Elevated Command prompt, and also let us know whether resetting the winsock helped or not.

On a side note: Your posting of your issue was incredibly detailed and informative. It really helps a lot when people take the time to explain thoroughly their issue, and mention their OS details, symptoms, what they have tried all ready to resolve their issue, etcetera. Thanks for doing that. I am sure if the above does not help that others will in due course respond as they awake and view your posting.

Regards,

Regedit32
 
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Dear Regedit32

Thank you for your reply.

With some help, I have managed to restore the PC to its situation as per the last but one update on 17-Apr-16.

It would not surprise me if the situation I described in my earlier post recurs but for the moment the PC is fine and my blood pressure is slowly coming down.

I will be back in touch if this all happens again.

Thank you again.

Regards, Martin

P.S. Prior to this restore, it was definitely the case that the one account I have on the PC, which is an administrator account, had had all its administrator-related abilities removed.
 

Regedit32

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Hi Martin,

Great news! Hopefully your operating system will remain stable for some time, but yes it is always possible something might pop up.

Thank you for updating your thread. It is always helpful for others viewing the thread with similar troubles to see what precisely someone did to resolve their own issue.

Happy Computing.

Regards,

Regedit32
 
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I have a similar situation as Martin's, but I'm completely lost. I cannot access Task Master, cannot change ANYTHING within the Control Panel (also receiving the "unable to access the Group Policy ..." message upon start up).
I followed your steps above to the Command Prompt window and got this
CMD screen.jpg


Then while that window was still open, I get this error message - command Prompt.lnk image.
Command Prompt.jpg


I'm completely lost and in need of help!!

Thanks - Janelda
 

Regedit32

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Hi Janelda,

I see you can at least get to a non elevated command prompt.

This is good as I need you do two queries of your Windows Registry via the non elevated command prompt which will help me gather the information I need to help you resolve this Group Policy error you are receiving.

From your command prompt please type or copy & paste the following command:

Code:
reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost"
Next press your Enter key to execute the command.

This will display two long lists of information:
  • a list of the contents of the SvcHost key including its values and their data values
  • a list of subkeys belonging to the SvcHost key.

Sample images (please note the highlighted bits in each image):

query1.png


The top half of display is the contents of the SvcHost key.

Note the two highlighted bits.
Please confirm can you see on your own reg query the presence of:
  1. netsvcs
  2. gpsvc

query2.png


The bottom half displays the subkeys belonging to the SvcHost key.

Note the highlighted subkey.
Please confirm can you see this subkey on your result.


The next command to enter at your command prompt is:

Code:
reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\gpsvc" /v ImagePath
Press Enter key to execute the above command.

This will display data value information for the Value ImagePath, which belongs to the gpsvc key.

Sample image:

query3.png


Note the highlighted bit.
Please confirm your data value is the same (i.e. that you see svchost.exe -k netsvcs).



Finally, while you are currently experiencing difficulties, can you confirm whether you can still manage to log onto your Desktop, or at the very least log in to Safe Mode?


The queries I got you to do will help me see whether something has in fact corrupted your Group Policy registry entries. This can occur due to a corrupt windows update, or because of a corruption to the windows system drivers, or because of malware, or because of poor registry editing by the user.

I will await your responses and we can go from there to help resolve your issue.

Regards,

Regedit32
 
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Yes, I can still manage to log onto my Desktop; these issues happen at odd times. Mainly, I was trying to find out the reason for the "Unable to connect to the Group Policy Client", when I experienced the Cmmandprompt.lnk error message.

As you see below, yes, I show the same highlighted areas.

upload_2016-6-12_10-14-53.png


upload_2016-6-12_10-16-5.png


This PC was my work PC, that was wiped and then reloaded with Office. the only administrator should be me. I'm computer literate enough to be dangerous.
 

Regedit32

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Hi Janelda,

Thanks for doing that for me.

Everything that is supposed to be present on your Windows Registry is present.

The question now of course is whether the values are correct.

To check this accurately you will need to open the Windows Registry editor like so:
  • Press you Winkey + R together to open the Run dialog
  • In the Run dialog type regedit then click OK
  • A UAC confirmation dialog will pop up. Click Yes
  • In the left pane of the Windows Registry editor that opens expand the keys to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
— SOFTWARE
— Microsoft
— Windows NT
— CurrentVersion
SvcHost​

  • Left-click once on SvcHost key in the left pane
  • Now in the right pane you need to double-left-click on netsvcs listed under the Name column

    This will open a small window displaying a list of services it accesses like so:

    netsvcs.png


    Note: Everything listed above ought to be in your list too! In particular the gpsvc must be present!

    According to your previous posts this ought to be in the list - most likely in the same location as mine.

    If it is not present, then simply left-click next to lanmanserver then press Enter key then type gpsvc

    Likewise, if any other items in the above list are not present on your list enter those in also.

    When done, click OK, then press F5 to refresh Registry.


  • Next you need to return to the left pane of Windows Registry Editor and left-click once on the sub-key netsvcs which is listed beneath the SvcHost key you previously clicked on.
  • You will now be able to review its contents in the right pane of Windows Registry Editor.

    The following is what you ought to see present there:

    netsvcs sub-key.png


    Note: All of these entries need to be present. Nothing else should be there at all!

    In the event one of these entries is missing you will need to add them in yourself manually.

    Three of the entries are similar and the first entry is slightly different as you can see in the image by its Data value.

  • To add these entries simply right-click on an empty spot in the right pane and select:
    • New > DWORD (32-bit) Value
    • A new value will appear in the Name column: New Value #1
    • Double-left-click on New Value #1 then in the window that opens edit the Value name and Data value fields. For example if adding CoInitializeSecurityAllowInteractiveUsers then
      • for Value data field enter CoInitializeSecurityAllowInteractiveUsers
      • for Data value filed enter 1
      • Click OK

  • If adding CoInitializeSecurityAllowLowBox or CoInitializeSecurityParam the Data value field must also be 1
  • If adding CoInitializeSecurityParam the Data value field must be 3020
  • Any other entries present do not belong and ought to be right-clicked on then select Delete
  • When done press F5 to refresh Windows Registry.
  • Close Windows Registry Editor.
  • Close any other open programs.
  • Shutdown computer completely.
  • Reboot computer and all going well your issue will be resolved.
Regards,

Regedit32
 
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Dear Regedit32,
I'm experiencing exactly the same problems as Janelda. I ran the reg queries, and just like Janelda, I found all of the entries exactly as you said they should be. But I run into a problem when I try to proceed to your next step. I can open a Run dialog box and type in a regedit command, but nothing happens when I hit the Enter key, and eventually I get a time out message. Please talk me through the next step.

Thanks,
Mark W
 
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Regedit32

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Hi Mark,

Welcome to the forum.




regedit.exe is a Windows system application but if it is hanging as you indicated you may have corrupt system files, or possibly your User Profile that you log into when you turn your computer on has become corrupted.

The regedit.exe file is located in C:\Windows\SysWow64 folder which cna be reached via File Explorer.

Note: The default folder options does not display file extensions so you may only see regedit without its .exe

Try going to the Syswow64 folder and see whether you can run it from there by double-left-clicking on regedit

Alternatively you can use Regedit32.exe instead which is located in both C:\Windows\System32 and C:\Windows\SysWow64 folders.

You could also right-click on Start and type regedit32 then click OK which ought to run it too.

Assuming you can get one to work you can then follow the instructions I posted for Janelda.

If you cannot get any of these to open let me know. Also, let me know what else is not working for you at the moment to help me detrmine whether you have a User Profile issue or whether you need to run a System File Check of your computer to try and repair a corrupted System file issue.

Regards,

Regedit32
 
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Thank you, Regedit32, for continuing to monitor this forum and for your prompt reply. After posting my plea for help last night, I turned off my computer. This morning, when I turned it back on, I was able to get an Admin command prompt (which I couldn't get yesterday). So, I ran the netsh winsock reset which you had recommended, and I also turned off the fast startup which was recommended in another forum. All seems to be working well now, so I'm hoping I won't have to edit the registry. Thanks for being here and for sharing your knowledge and insights.

Mark W
 
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Hi Janelda,

Thanks for doing that for me.

Everything that is supposed to be present on your Windows Registry is present.

The question now of course is whether the values are correct.

To check this accurately you will need to open the Windows Registry editor like so:
  • Press you Winkey + R together to open the Run dialog
  • In the Run dialog type regedit then click OK
  • A UAC confirmation dialog will pop up. Click Yes
  • In the left pane of the Windows Registry editor that opens expand the keys to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
— SOFTWARE
— Microsoft
— Windows NT
— CurrentVersion
SvcHost​

  • Left-click once on SvcHost key in the left pane
  • Now in the right pane you need to double-left-click on netsvcs listed under the Name column

    This will open a small window displaying a list of services it accesses like so:

    View attachment 3203

    Note: Everything listed above ought to be in your list too! In particular the gpsvc must be present!

    According to your previous posts this ought to be in the list - most likely in the same location as mine.

    If it is not present, then simply left-click next to lanmanserver then press Enter key then type gpsvc

    Likewise, if any other items in the above list are not present on your list enter those in also.

    When done, click OK, then press F5 to refresh Registry.


  • Next you need to return to the left pane of Windows Registry Editor and left-click once on the sub-key netsvcs which is listed beneath the SvcHost key you previously clicked on.
  • You will now be able to review its contents in the right pane of Windows Registry Editor.

    The following is what you ought to see present there:

    View attachment 3204

    Note: All of these entries need to be present. Nothing else should be there at all!

    In the event one of these entries is missing you will need to add them in yourself manually.

    Three of the entries are similar and the first entry is slightly different as you can see in the image by its Data value.

  • To add these entries simply right-click on an empty spot in the right pane and select:
    • New > DWORD (32-bit) Value
    • A new value will appear in the Name column: New Value #1
    • Double-left-click on New Value #1 then in the window that opens edit the Value name and Data value fields. For example if adding CoInitializeSecurityAllowInteractiveUsers then
      • for Value data field enter CoInitializeSecurityAllowInteractiveUsers
      • for Data value filed enter 1
      • Click OK

  • If adding CoInitializeSecurityAllowLowBox or CoInitializeSecurityParam the Data value field must also be 1
  • If adding CoInitializeSecurityParam the Data value field must be 3020
  • Any other entries present do not belong and ought to be right-clicked on then select Delete
  • When done press F5 to refresh Windows Registry.
  • Close Windows Registry Editor.
  • Close any other open programs.
  • Shutdown computer completely.
  • Reboot computer and all going well your issue will be resolved.
Regards,

Regedit32
Everything you listed above was exactly the same as my computer. I think everything is fine. But if I have issues in the future, I'll be sure to post here!

Thank you so much for your help, patience and assistance!
j
 

Regedit32

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Thank you, Regedit32, for continuing to monitor this forum and for your prompt reply. After posting my plea for help last night, I turned off my computer. This morning, when I turned it back on, I was able to get an Admin command prompt (which I couldn't get yesterday). So, I ran the netsh winsock reset which you had recommended, and I also turned off the fast startup which was recommended in another forum. All seems to be working well now, so I'm hoping I won't have to edit the registry. Thanks for being here and for sharing your knowledge and insights.

Mark W
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the update.

Yes if things are stable there is no need to modify your registry.

If things remain stable over next day or so, it'd be worth making a restore point as this can be used later if things go awry again later because a restore point also maintains an image of your Registry at the time the restore point is created.

Click Search > type: Create a restore point > press Enter key and follow the prompts from there.
 
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Hi Regedit32,
I have a similar problem to Janelda. I have confirmed the details as correct to the stage above where regedit is invoked. I have not been able to open regedit either at the command prompt or via either SysWow64 entries so would appreciate additional instructions. In all cases they time out with "Service does not respond to start or control request in a timely fashion".

Background
elevated command prompt not available but command prompt is.
Task manager and Window update won't open. All time out with "Service does not respond to start or control request in a timely fashion".
IE and other installed programs open but Acronis does not.
Very slow to shut down

System Information
Originally Win 7 then free upgraded to Win10
Last windows update was KB3149135 16Jun16 (Did the problem start here?)

OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Version 10.0.10586 Build 10586
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name Nigel-PC
System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model Vostro 200
System Type x64-based PC
System SKU
Processor Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2160 @ 1.80GHz, 1800 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. 1.0.3, 12-Jul-07
SMBIOS Version 2.5
Embedded Controller Version 255.255
BIOS Mode Legacy
BaseBoard Manufacturer Dell Inc.
BaseBoard Model Not Available
BaseBoard Name Base Board
Platform Role Desktop
Secure Boot State Unsupported
PCR7 Configuration Binding Not Possible
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "10.0.10586.0"
User Name Nigel-PC\Nigel
Time Zone New Zealand Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 3.24 GB
Available Physical Memory 1.42 GB
Total Virtual Memory 6.49 GB
Available Virtual Memory 4.40 GB
Page File Space 3.25 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

Thank you for your interest and the support you provide.
Warm regards
Nigel
 
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Hello, I've got the same issue - pretty much identical to what everyone is describing above. When I log in (as an administrator), it starts with the message about couldn't connect to the Group Policy Client Service. I've verified the registry items asked for by Regedit32. Resetting the winsock seems to solve the problem for a few days, but it comes back.

Other symptoms:
- Cannot open regedit32 (I've tried all of the methods and locations mentioned above). It seems to try, but then 5-10 minutes later I get the message "The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion." The only time I can run it is after restarting repeatedly until I don't get that Group Policy message.
- Cannot run an elevated command prompt until I do the same thing as the previous bullet, i.e. restart repeatedly until I don't get that message.
- Cannot open task manager
- Windows Update opens but is blank and I can't do anything with it.
- Right click on a folder within File Explorer results in an extended delay before the menu comes up - on the order of 5-10 minutes.
- Sometimes the PC takes hours to shutdown.
- When I try to execute runas /user:mymachine\administrator cmd Regedit32 recommends above, my administrator password doesn't work. I've got the right password, but get the message "Unable to run - cmd 1053: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion."

I've previously disabled the Windows 10 fast start option, but this problem came back. In fact that option got somehow reselected. When I try to disable it, I get the same service not responding message.

Very frustrating. Any more ideas?
Thanks.
 
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Ah, thanks for the point-out Nigel. Clearly I'm not very forum-savvy yet.
 

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