Windows Vista and "Local Only" Access

I'm sure most of you have already heard how crappy Vista's wireless utility has been. Hopefully somebody has some solution.

Okay... here goes...

I'm an IT Tech for a housing department for a state university. One section of the apartments was not built for a hard wire connection so a wireless "solution" was implemented. We have a wireless bridge that streches across the buildings into several Cisco 1231 APs.

Here is where the fun begins.

Any student that uses Windows XP, OS X, or any OS other than Vista can receive DHCP no problem. When a student uses a Vista based OS (Basic to Ultimate) I will temporarily get DHCP and then is lost within a few minutes or at a reboot and the connections drops to "Local Only" Access. Keep in mind later on that they will get an IP address yet still have a "Local Only" connection.

At first I went through and did the basic ipconfig and netsh commands to disable autotuning and disabling IPV6. No Luck. I went through and disabled security features in the Firewall. I went into the APs and updated the software to the Latest IOS version and changed the ecryption from WEP (26 Hex) to WPA-Personal TKIP. No luck.

I then manaully set the IP Address, Subnetmask, and DNS Servers to what corresponded to the network. I connected and never went into "Local Only" at all. I reset it to obtain IP automatically and all I got was "Local Only" Access.

This has been going on for about a month....

Today, I was investigating seeing if I could ping anything within the Local Network. Not suprised, I was not able to ping the local gateway in "Local Only". I tried to ping another vista laptop on the same network connected through a hardwire connection and it all timed out.

Here's the interesting part. I then took the hardwire Vista Laptop and Pinged the local only wireless laptop... I got responses (less than 1ms) onto the wired laptop.

Since that happend I am so baffeled I called Microsoft and filed a "complaint" and that they would investigate this. I'm not having Microsoft charge me $245for their flaw in the OS and have some tech say "yeah you got a problem" and end the conversation there.

I've run all "hot fixes" changed registry keys, change battery performance levels and no luck.

The only thing that works is a static IP address but these are students that take their laptops to class and wouldn't be able to connect to the University's wireless and wouldn't know how to re-insert a static IP address.

Anybody got any insight?

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wgmann03 hath wroth:

Sorta. The Vista DHCP client was apparently (my guess) rescribbled and looks broken in many areas. Have you tried the following Vista tweaks? I've run into all of them at some point, but not necessarily on a wireless network.

As I understand it, the DHCP server "local mode" is suppose to be used to assign a temporary "token IP address" in order to contact a RADIUS server for authentication. Got a RADIUS server running? My guess(tm) is that something is convincing the Vista client that it needs to authenticate with a RADIUS server. Probably another Vista DHCP bug, but without a capture log from a sniffer, I can't be sure.

"Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address from certain routers or from certain non-Microsoft DHCP servers" (Translation: Broadcast flag handling is broken).

"The default gateway setting is lost when you wake a Windows Vista-based computer from sleep" (Translation: IP stack parameters are being tweaked when going in/out of sleep mode)

"Windows Vista cannot connect to any off-link addresses when the default gateway is configured to be the same as the client IP address" (Translation: A commonly used method of preserving IP addresses is broken).

"When a DHCP server is unavailable on a Windows Vista-based computer, Windows Vista uses an APIPA IP address much sooner than Windows XP does under the same circumstances"

"You cannot use a remote access server to apply DHCP options to a Windows Vista-based computer" (Translation: Can't reliably get DHCP leases through a VPN).

There are a mess of other DHCP related "issues" (bugs) in the knowledge pile at:

but the above are the one's I've collected from dealing the customer issues. I've also had Vista specific problems dealing with multiple DHCP servers, DHCP relay problems, and some weirdness renewing leases when the DHCP server is set to unusually short times (e.g. 30 minutes).

You also might find it interesting to play with a DHCP test utility. Windoze:


I use this more to troubleshoot DHCP server and relay problems, but it might be interesting to see what the client is getting.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

I have been in a hotel with a wireless connection using Vista Ultimate going on two days now. It connects to the network and gets a DHCP IP happily and connects out to the Internet. :)

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