Alright, so I've noticed a trend that has happened in SEVERAL computers so I'm inclined to think it's an OS thing and not a hardware thing.

When I do a clean installation of Windows 8.1 Pro for our client workstations, by default the Ethernet is set to use DHCP. If I then join the domain, the network properly shows up as "Domain network" each time I boot (and as such, the GPOs are in effect - such as allowing pings through Windows Firewall)

But as soon as I change the connection to a static IP, it stops working. It starts showing up as "Unknown network" and type Public. I even tried using the registry method from this thread.

But regardless, even if I force it to be type 1 (private) or type 2 (domain) it STILL shows up every time I reboot as Public, with a name of "Unknown network". What really irks me is that I can temporarily fix this problem by opening up Device Manager, uninstalling the network connector, then doing "scan for hardware changes." This puts it back on DHCP, and as such it shows as a "Domain network" again. I can change it to the desired static IP, and it will keep that new IP and remain a Domain network... until the computer is rebooted. It then immediately goes back to being a public "unknown network."

Is there some odd incompatibility in Windows 8.1 between static IPs and domain networks? It works perfectly fine on Windows 7, and it seems to work fine in 8.1 if the network is DHCP, but on a static address it completely fails and none of the GPOs are applied upon login which is a very serious issue.

I have all the updates installed via Windows Update (both optional and recommended), in case that makes any difference.