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Consider the scenario:
A user with a mandatory profile logs into a windows 7 machine, the profile loads correctly and they get their settings applied from the profile. They log off and then log back on again but this time the profile does not load. There is no warning popup or message to indicate that the profile has not loaded. If you check the event log of the windows 7 machine you find reference to "Fast Logon Optimization".
Fast Logon Optimization
Windows servers have Fast Logon Optimization turned on by default. In an attempt to speed up login times it will forgo loading the users profile from the server. More info on Fast Logon Optimization:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305293 - These notes describe the issue using XP as the client, but the fix is the same for Windows 7
Disabling Fast Logon Optimization
To fix this issue, you need to modify the machine's group policy settings on the server (or the local policy settings for a single machine) to disable the Fast Logon Optimization feature:
Open your Group Policy management snap-in on the server and open a group policy object being applied to the machines you are having this issue on.
Navigate to the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon\ Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon policy object and set it to Yes
Run a gpupdate from the command prompt on the Windows 7 machine and reboot it.