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Bill Wood

Feb 27, 2007, 11:48:10 AM2/27/07
For all of you "techies" out there, before I even go through the fixes, do
NOT waste your time with the Alternate IP configuration options on the
wireless adapter. THEY FLAT DON'T WORK AT ALL in Vista.

If you have a wireless access point, and you KNOW it works on other
computers, but you get a "local only" message from Vista, the built-in DHCP
router in your Wireless Access Point probably is NOT compatible with Vista...
Here is one solution that may work for SOME routers (but it does NOT work for
all of them!)

If this does not work, and you still get the "local only" message, but you
KNOW the access point works with XP wireless, etc., then MANUALLY SET the IP
address info. Unfortunately, if you have to manually set the IP info, you
will have to delete those settings with other wireless access points. And
let me say one more time, DO NOT waste your time with the Alternate IP
configuration, it doesn't work! (affects mostly wireless on
laptops) (Vista and XP together in a
wireless environment)

If your Gateway is on a different subnet (usually locations with large
numbers of wireless spots such as businesses, universities, etc.) then you
may have connection problems that FORCE you to manually configure your IP
settings on the adapter. This is a FIX for XP SP2 that doesn't look like it
made it into Vista, so, if you are experiencing this problem, LIKE ME, then
you have no choice but to manually configure the IP settings.

If you are having periodic connection problems (and you know they didn't
exist before), Vista has changed the Automitic IP Address discovery timing to
be almost instantaneous. So if you have an older wireless access point, or
one that has long broadcast / "handshake" times, then you may have trouble
because of this "improvement." (MS Does not provide a
solution, only info. Like the other options, you will likely have to
MANUALLY set up your IP info in the adapter, or purchase a new wireless
access point.) (problems if you have the SAME
Gateway address as the one assigned to the computer you are trying to connect
to the Wireless spot).


To see your adapter info, use a command prompt window (Start > Run > type in
CMD) and then type:

ipconfig /all

Find your network adapter and write down the Gateway, DNS, IP Address, and
other settings.

Also, go to the EVENT VIEWER and see if there are any messages related to
you trying to connect to your wireless adapter at the times you tried to


Regardless of the problem, if you KNOW the wireless spot works, and you had
little or no trouble on XP, try MANUALLY setting up the IP info for that
wireless access point.


I'm VERY disappointed at how many problems there are with the Vista wireless
networking. Especially when SO MANY of the early Vista users are exactly the
same customer base that USES WIRELESS!

Barb Bowman

Feb 27, 2007, 12:12:14 PM2/27/07
what router and firmware version are you using?


Barb Bowman
MS Windows-MVP
Expert Zone & Vista Community Columnist


Feb 27, 2007, 12:13:43 PM2/27/07
Thank you, Bill.

As you know, many (if not all) of us are experiencing problems getting
wireless networking to function properly with the new Vista operating
system. Hopefully one of your suggestions will provide us with a roadmap to
a solution.

Much appreciated,


Bill Wood

Feb 27, 2007, 1:11:20 PM2/27/07
Thanks Barb for your interest. However my specific issue is not as much with
the access point as it is with an XP SP2 "fix" that doesn't look like it made
it into Vista.

My Gateway is on a totally different subnet. I'm also in a working
environment, in a large corporation, with about 30 access points. NONE of
them are broadcasting SSID's (no problem there), and they are all using WEP
128. The Wireless access points are high-end Cisco's... Like I said though,
based on the messages I'm getting, and some of the testing I've done, it is
specifically related to not being able to determine the Gateway when it is on
a different subnet.

This is a FIX for XP SP2 that doesn't look like it made it into Vista.

Barb Bowman

Feb 27, 2007, 1:20:45 PM2/27/07
never saw a reference to corp/enterprise or EAP etc. in your post,
so I assumed this was a standalone residential network. do you have
a MS contact for your company you can escalate through?

On Tue, 27 Feb 2007 10:11:20 -0800, Bill Wood

Bill Wood

Feb 27, 2007, 1:45:00 PM2/27/07
I'm an IT contractor at a client site who has chosen not to adopt Vista
because of VPN problems. I seriously doubt they are going to escalate a
wireless issue for me, especially since I have a manual workaround.

And when I'm home, my wireless network is fine. I don't have any trouble at
all with it. Probably my biggest aggravation is that the Alternate IP config
doesn't work, AT ALL... It wouldn't bother me having to use manual IP
settings if I didn't have to do it EVERY TIME I change from business to hotel
to home, or other places. What a royal PAIN!

I guess my frustration stems from the fact that I would have expected that
the networking piece would have been more "bulletproof" in Vista...


Feb 27, 2007, 4:57:52 PM2/27/07
I had this problem suddenly occur when using my home router - it had
worked fine for several days, and than today I received this
'unidentified network - local only' notification. The only solution
that worked for me was to uninstall & reinstall my network adapter. I
would hope there is a more elegant solution.

John Scott

Mar 3, 2007, 9:07:13 PM3/3/07
I finally gave up on trying to get wireless to work in my laptop. I had two
issues with Vista network. First my Wireless network Verizon did not have
Vista drivers for my PC Card. Then their was the issue at home connecting to
my router! I finally gave up and reinstalled XP. I had the same problem with
my desktop machine with wireless connection. So I went back to Cat5 and so
far so good. My only thought to Microsoft is have you never heard the saying"
if it is'nt broke don't fix it" Well I think you should look that up!


Mar 21, 2007, 1:51:25 PM3/21/07
i too am having problems.

several of the people with me have the exact same computer running windows
xp and no problem.

i have a dell latitude d610 with intel 2200bg pro wireless card.

the diagnostics, etc. do not fix things.

i have a clear connection to the wireless network here at the hotel but have
been cutoff from the internet. it keeps saying i need a different firewall
setting but even when i disable the firewall setting, it tells me there is a
dns issue.

this is a _serious_ problem and i am UTTERLY perplexed why things that
worked in xp are changed like this?

if this isn't fixed very soon, i'm going back to windows xp. and i'm also
about to start giving in to my students repeated arguments that we should
switch to macs.


Mar 21, 2007, 2:10:33 PM3/21/07
Bill, could you explain how to do this: "try MANUALLY setting up the IP info
for that
wireless access point." I'm having internet connection problems too, and
have found much of the info way to technical for me, so please write
instructions for someone as dumb as I am :)


Aug 27, 2007, 9:24:00 PM8/27/07

Best possible solution to this problem, would be consider of doing the

1. Make sure your Router's Settings is 100% Correct.
2. Try on a different Laptop or PC thats running on Vista, if that Wirless
Network + Internet Work, then its defintely your Wirless Adapters Problem,
becasue you know for a face that theirs nothing wrong with the ROUTER.
3. Consider purchasing a new adapter, doesnt have to be Wirless N, cheap
Wirless G will the do trick, if its suits you the best. ( Remember to buy it
from Retail Shop such as Dick Smith, as they can be refunded )

Please Do note: Never purchase Dlink products, as they are hopeless, Linksys
what i regard as the forfront of the Networking world.

Almost all the solutions Forums on The net DONT WORK for this Vista Wireless
Mines got fixed, after i discovered it was my adapter problem.

Hope it helps !!!!

Robert L [MVP - Networking]

Aug 28, 2007, 12:46:53 AM8/28/07
Thank you for the solutions.

Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on
How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on

Sep 18, 2007, 10:52:01 AM9/18/07
Hello Bill thanks for your post.
Can I add that it's not just Wireless networks. My Vista machine can not
connect to dlink router wired networks either.
I bought a Sony Vaio UX Palmtop running Vista but I find although it works
with my wireless network at home I can not use it to connect to wireless
hotspots when I travel.

Vista is a disgrace - there is no other word for it. I now have to figure
out how to get the little UX back to Windows XP despite it having a zillion
onboard devices that i will need to find drivers for. Absolute nightmare.

Microsoft - you deserve to be shot in the head and then left to rot in hell.
This forum is just a mass of posts about local only connections and no one
with any answers and idiot MSVPs just saying please find a new driver or
please reinstall Vista.


Oct 21, 2007, 1:33:00 PM10/21/07

This system is very dissapointing. I am glad I have time to return my laptop
to the store. I am now going to go buy a Dell Laptop from the Dell store and
specifically purchase it with XP.

Although XP is harder to get now, it is worth finding.


Oct 27, 2007, 7:36:00 AM10/27/07
Thanx a million Bill, you're a genius! I have been having sleepness nights
about this problem.

Best Wishes and Regards

at wits Frustrated at wits end

Feb 16, 2008, 11:02:01 PM2/16/08
I've worked through several reinstallations of Vista on this one, configured
the registry key so as to not broadcast DHCP, I've manually configured my IP
to be an IP on my network, and none of it works. I've set the network for
wireless to be private.

I show the adapter as being connected, excellent signal strength, I have no
3rd party firewall software installed. When I ping my gateway with a manual
IP assigned it replies with the local IP I picked saying "Destination host
unreachable" - certainly to me seems like it's a problem within Vista
someplace. I have had numerous XP wireless machine connected to this without
a problem.

I'm even running Vista SP1

Robert L. (MS-MVP)

Feb 17, 2008, 11:52:11 AM2/17/08
If you receive "Destination host unreachable" it could the TCP/IP issue. Do
you have 169.254.x.x IP. Post back the result of ipconfig may help.


Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on
How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on

"Frustrated at wits end" <Frustrated at wits>
wrote in message

Frustrated at wits end

Feb 18, 2008, 12:24:07 PM2/18/08
Yes my adapter is getting the 169. address automatically assigned. I may
have forgotten to mention in my initial post as well that I disabled IPv6 on
the adapter. I get the destination unreachable when I assign the TCP/IP
address properties manually myself to match that of another wired machine on
the network(but with obviously a unique IP).

Robert L. (MS-MVP)

Feb 19, 2008, 9:39:17 AM2/19/08
If you have new firmware, driver, and disable IPv6 and use static IP, the
last suggestion I can give to you is remove the IPv6 from the OS completely
(note it is move than disable it). Please post back with the result.

Vista IPCONFIG and Network SettingsHow to disable Auto-tuning on Windows
Vista How to disable TCP/IPv6 How to remove IPv6 and Tunnel completely on
Vista How to disable ICS public connection ...

Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on
How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on

"Frustrated at wits end" <>
wrote in message

Bob F.

Mar 2, 2008, 1:50:53 PM3/2/08
"RevertingToXP" <> wrote in message
>I too have had this problem with Vista, even with a wired network. I have
> tried many many fixes suggested on the web & am about to revert to XP.
> I've
> wasted enough time on this. I've ready a lot of post from a lot of people
> who
> have had this problem & I even know others who have it - it seems really
> prevalent, but still I can't find a solution.
> Not impressed

Please include enough of the previous message(s) so that others trying to
follow this thread know what you are talking about. Also please try to
“edit out” the non relevant portions. It helps everyone. Go to:
Tools > Options > Send > check - “Include message in reply”



Mar 17, 2008, 11:04:01 AM3/17/08

Well I wrote a Post earlier to inform people how I fixed my Internet Issues
with Vista; so Ill make this Post Short and Sweet. I went out and Bought a
Certified for Vista Router; since then I have not had 1 random Drop; nor have
I lost my Home Network; I used to have to reboot to get my Network Connection
Back; and I spent weeks applying hotfixes; taking advice from these Forums;
etc. I finally came to the Conclusion that it made sense to get a New Router
to take advantage of the Vista Options. It was an easy Fix; granted I would
have preferred not to spend the money on a new router; but after a little
over a week of a Constant Internet Connection not to mention the increased
speed it was well worth every $.

Robert L. (MS-MVP)

Mar 17, 2008, 12:57:06 PM3/17/08
Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on
How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on

"Mysty723" <> wrote in message

Mar 19, 2008, 9:23:32 PM3/19/08
On Feb 17, 3:02 pm, Frustrated at wits end <Frustrated at wits

Here's what worked for me. Using Dlink plug in usb wireless on new
Dell machine running windows home premium and a d-link router.
o Disable the broadcast DHCP using the registry edit fix in the ms
knowledge base
o Disable TCP/IP V6
o Manually assign an IP number and DNS to the connection;
o Tell the router to manually assign same IP number to MAC address of
wireless adapter
o Revert from 128 bit WEP to 64bit (I suspect this was not necessary)
o (AND!) flash the latest firmware on the router.

Elapsed time nearly 2 hours... (mostly figuring things to try!)

Sure is amazing one has to do this! Perhaps some of the steps are not
necessary but I am not going to fiddle to find out.


Oct 18, 2008, 7:19:01 AM10/18/08
Buying a new Vista compatible router may well have resolved your problems but
it is incredibly wasteful if we all had to go out and buy a new router simply
because MS had rewritten their networking stack.

The right thing here is for MS to FIX this issue and TBH they should remove
the Vista stack and put the XP (WORKING!) one in in it's place....don't try
to fix (they dont seem to be anyway) something that is just plain broke.

One other thing I know of worth trying is to ensure that your Power
Management on your desktops/laptops ensure the Wireless (and USB if USB
Wirelss) adaptor is set to maximum performance and NEVER allow the machine to
switch it off to conserve power....that will help the dropouts but is not a
complete solution.

Jack (MVP-Networking).

Oct 19, 2008, 8:18:55 PM10/19/08
Most Router manufacturer offer a firmware upgrade to make their Router
compatible with new major OS' when they come out.
If such an upgrade is not offered it usually indicates the device based on
old chipset that can not be upgraded any more.
In such case it is a good idea to get a new Router to begin with.
Decent routers can be found for $20 and up. Attaching inflated societal
verbal value to pieces of silicone and plastic does not serve any purposes
when its involves sums of money that are less than month fee for an Internet
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking)

"GordonK" <> wrote in message


Oct 20, 2008, 5:27:01 PM10/20/08
Sorry but i have to disagree with that Jack...try coming outside the USA and
buy a quality router for $20 (That's £10 here in the UK) - Try something
closer to $140 for a good quality router - like Netgear.

Also with a lot of homes on Cable Modems they can't upgrade Firmware in the
way you suggest.

In my own case using the most predominant ISP in the UK (British telecom)
you have to wait on BT upgrading their HOmehub - or buy a Netgear!

You are fortunate indeed to find yourself living in such a society where
things like this cost so little.

As I said before if my router worked with XP (and Mac's and Itouch and other
UPnP servers) and struggles with ONLY Vista then it is unrealistic to expect
users to upgrade routers (basic communications kit - unspecialised) to meet
the needs of Vista. Vista is expensive enough as it is... > $300 over here....

I am sorry I cannot agree with your post about costs to upgrade- it does not
recognise the commercial situation outside the US.

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