I wasn’t the only one having DHCP issues on Vista, so here’s my PSA…

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 4:42 AM

No, not THAT PSA test sicko… a PSA… as in public service announcement. I was having issues with my Vista laptop (Dell Latitude D820), specifically, it couldn’t get IPs from DHCP servers. When I originally got the D820, it had WinXP Pro on it (Vista was still beta… is it still “beta”? :) sure feels like it at times) and I had no networking issues. Then I paved the primary partition and installed Vista Ultimate… so far, so good (WRT networking). Then, a few months back, the stars aligned and I got hit with proof bad things happen in three’s and I had to do a complete reinstall of the OS and programs.

Ever since then, I’ve been unable to get IPs from DHCP servers. Couldn’t figure out why… I had the latest NIC drivers, but neither my wireless card or hardwired NIC would work. This wasn’t so bad at home as I could plugin static IPs, but when traveling, this caused headaches when staying in a hotel or using an airport wifi. What was incredibly frustrating is that I could easily get connections if I spun up a Win2003 virtual machine… so that was proof it wasn’t hardware related.

So after wrapping up a few deadlines last week, I spent some time to get to the bottom of this. I’ll spare you the story, but the magic mustard was getting the absolute latest NIC drivers for my hardware and setting two registry tags for each NIC as the KB article Q928233 seems to have fixed it… at least at home. I’ll have to see how effective the fix is when on the road… first chance to test will be next week.

Next on my “Vista fix list” is getting my Treo 700 connection to Vista fixed so I can update the OS… believe it or not, I’m ~still~ affected by the DST changes. Some things show up 1hr off, some things are full days off! After that, it’s looking into updating my WRT54GL to an aftermarket firmware to get a solid, no-client-needed VPN solution at home. Anyone done this? Scared to upgrade my router’s firmware, watching the update go south, and me being up the proverbial creek without a paddle…

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