GP Pref Drive Maps not working at logon

Had an annoying issue on Windows 8.1 clients where I’d configured several of the GPPref Drive Maps preferences but these were not working when users logged on. They would however work if I ran a gpupdate /target:user after the desktop had appeared.

I looked in the Application event log and found the following:

Log Name:      Application
Source:        Group Policy Drive Maps
Event ID:      4101
Task Category: (2)
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Classic
User:          SYSTEM
The user 'S:' preference item in the ' ' Group Policy Object was successfully removed.

which was interesting, the GPO name wasn’t being referenced properly, and why was it being removed anyway? The prefs were all set to “replace”. So then I turned on GP Pref logging, and had a look in the user.log file:

2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Starting class  - S:.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Adding child elements to RSOP.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Beginning drive mapping.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Set user security context.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] User does not have a split token.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Drive doesn't exist (full token).
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Set system security context.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Properties handled.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Handle Children.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] EVENT : The user 'S:' preference item in the ' ' Group Policy Object was successfully removed.
2014-06-02 11:18:15.315 [pid=0xb40,tid=0xe20] Completed class  - S:.

Which didn’t really help.
Then I read this, which mentions the policy setting:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon\Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon

I’d come across that setting before but discounted it because the description text says:

If a user with a roaming profile, home directory, or user object logon script logs on to a computer, computers always wait for the network to be initialized before logging the user on. If a user has never logged on to this computer before, computers always wait for the network to be initialized.

And as I am utilising all three of roaming profiles, home directories and user object logon scripts I had no reason to think that the policy setting would make any difference. But I thought I’d try enabling it anyway, and it seems to have done the job. Drives now do map correctly at logon.

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