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Author Topic: Vista / Windows Server 2008 (all versions) network problems  (Read 4721 times)

Carol Haynes

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Vista / Windows Server 2008 (all versions) network problems
« on: August 08, 2008, 04:50:17 PM »
I have occasionally had strange issues where the wireless netowrk complains that it is local only and you can't connect to the internet. Generally deleting the connection and setting up netowrking has solved the issue.

Today, however, an elderly client called me with the same problem and I couldn't find any way to fix it.

I have just been searching MS KB and was shocked by the following article:

The network connectivity status incorrectly appears as "Local only" on a Windows Server 2008-based or Windows Vista-based computer that has more than one network adapter

It seems appalling to me that MS could still have this problem well over a year (and Service Pack release). This must affect millions of laptops that are in this exact situation as almost every laptop these days has multiple adapters, and many desktop computers too!

Note the fact that there is no resolution suggested as of May 2008 !!!

One thing I find slightly curious is how do you generate sufficient http traffic if you aren't connected to the internet?

I haven't tried it yet but presumably disabling the wired LAN adapter should rectify the situation.

Anyone else met this problem and found a solution? There seem to be hundreds of similar problems posted all over the net and I haven't yet found anyone with a convincing solution that works.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Vista / Windows Server 2008 (all versions) network problems
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2008, 05:19:49 PM »
I thought my computer was behaving better - when I checked device manager I found I had already disabled BluTooth LAN and Wired LAN - so I only had one adapter.

As soon as I reenabled Wired LAN I got the 'Local Only' problem again. So it looks like a simple solution is to disable any network interfaces you don't need to use all the time and just enable them when you need them (and then disable WLAN).

40hz

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Re: Vista / Windows Server 2008 (all versions) network problems
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2008, 05:36:32 PM »
From what I can gather the problem revolves around the Network Location Awareness service.

see: http://www.blackvipe...cation_Awareness.htm

The only dependencies NLA has are:

a) Network List Service
http://www.blackvipe...ork_List_Service.htm

This can be disabled. You won't see your network connections in the tray, but the actual connectivity shouldn't be affected. Problems might come in with the next item however which needs it.

b) SL UI Notification service (depends on Network List Service)
http://www.blackvipe...fication_Service.htm

Used for Microsoft Software Licensing activations. May or may not be safe to disable. Tech sites are waffling on the topic. I suspect Microsoft has some squirrel hidden in there that they don't want to tell us about, hence the silence until they can come up with a binary to fix it. Most likely interacts with their Genuine Advantage and product activation stuff. See caveat in above link for considerations regarding safe boot and control panel issues.

I would try setting all three services to manual and see if that clears the problem. If not, you could try disabling them starting with SLUI.

Luck :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Vista / Windows Server 2008 (all versions) network problems
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2008, 05:51:30 PM »
Manual doesn't seem to solve the problem but disabling unrequired interfaces appears to.

A script that could be double clicked to disable/enable interfaces would be useful - then you could choose the interface you want to use at any given time without going to the device manager. Any volunteers? AutoHot key gurus?

40hz

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Re: Vista / Windows Server 2008 (all versions) network problems
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2008, 07:43:10 PM »
You can do it with Microsoft's DevCon utility on XP or a 2K3 server. I don't know if it would work for Vista. The page is somewhat outdated, but says there is a 64-bit binary, which seems to indicate the binaries are more up to date then the info page would have us believe.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311272

Might be worth a try if you're feeling bold.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Vista / Windows Server 2008 (all versions) network problems
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2008, 08:32:15 PM »
There seem to be mixed comments as to whether DEVCON works on Vista (and it looks damn complicated to use even if it does!). MS suggests on one page it works with Win2k, XP and Vista but then loads of people say it doesn't so I am none the wiser.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Vista / Windows Server 2008 (all versions) network problems
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2008, 06:39:52 AM »
Talked my client through disabling unused network interfaces on the phone and now hiw wireless connects properly.

What a total cock-up from MS - how on earth haven't they issued a fix for this in over 12 months?

The strange thing is that it is even a problem when two network adaptors are active but one of them is unplugged. You'd think Vista could detect the unplugged status and ignore that device for network detection purposes?