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unable to renew IP address; ipconfig /release will not release

Posted on 2004-08-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have been trying to release and renew IP's using the ipconfig /release and ipconfig /renew but cannot do so. Why can't I do so?

Question by:drmayo5
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Author Comment

ID: 11861443
I am having trouble releasing the 169.?.?.? IP address. It is my uderstanding that the 169. IP address is a generic ip generated by the OS.

Why I am I having troubles obtaining an IP address? Does any one have any suggestions? It is not a modem problem, the ISP can communicate with the modem but the local computer cannot.

Please help, thanks.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 11861971
Check to make sure that your RAS settings under Control Panel --> Network Connections has the Internet Protocal TCP/IP enabled under the Networking tab.

Did this ever work and did it stop working?

Good Luck,

Expert Comment

by:Drew Lake
ID: 11864489
Just a few questions:
1. Is this the first time you are experiencing this issue?
2. Are you connecting to a switch/hub or directly to the cable modem?
3. If you run 'ipconfig /all' are you pulling a subnet mask, default gateway, or DNS?
4. Have you tried to reinstall your network card drivers?
5. If you launch Device manager do you see any flagged hardware?
6. What is the status of your Network Card in Device manager?

I hope these questions help.
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Expert Comment

ID: 11865598
169.254.x.x is not a valid address.

Here is what you can try out:

You are most likely on or gateway.

Try assigning your machine a static IP or

You can use subnet mask as:

And gateway as: or

Validate your connection by using ping
DOS> ping
DOS> ping

Once you get access to your modem, then configure it using it's Administration panel.
Generally at:   or

Remember, use one combination at a time.
First try: 192.168.x.x

If it doesn't work then go for 172.16.x.x


Expert Comment

ID: 11877166
Assuming DialUp:
Ignore everything we say and answer some of the intellegent questions above.  "ISP can see it and I can't" threw us off into thinking you're on broadband.  Call your ISP and ask them to help you with the information you need to feed the "Install New Dialup Connection" Wizard.

Assuming we are right about broadband:
There are thousands of valid internal addresses that could be in use.  
Try those two and then but if the ISP can see it, they should have already tols you what to use.  Call them and ask for your internal Network address, and ask if the modem/router is set to answer DHCP requests.  Your computer certainly seems set to use a DHCP server.

169.254.x.x is not a bad address.  It's Window's new way of saying "I can't see a DHCP Server to get a good address, but I'll work fine if all the other PC's on this network will be like M¢ and pick an unused address in this range"

Chances are good the router/modem is NOT in this network range, so for MOST folks, this means the modem/router/DHCP Server was unavailable. If it continues after a few renews like you say, it needs rebooted or power cycled.  
HOWEVER,  If the error message you're getting has something to do with "no valid device for this function" then you need to right-click your NIC and click "Repair" or remove your Nic from device manager and reload good drivers for it.

However,  IFF and only IFF you have all the PC's and printers and everything on your network set to work in this range or ( or default to this range AND never have a DHCP touch the network ), then this address will work for you.  I do not recommend it, since it's easier to turn off DHCP and give everything a unique address in 192.168.0.x but it's possible.

Hope that helps


Expert Comment

ID: 11877269
<<<If it continues after a few renews like you say, it needs rebooted or power cycled.  
I meant, the modem/router/DHCP server needs reboot or power off/on, not usually the computer.


Author Comment

ID: 11877465
My above question was meant to be really broad. I work for an ISP in a call center, and sometimes when I am troubleshooting over the phone, the customer does not come with a ip address after renew. or the cursor simply hangs in the air and does not register any thing.

so that i'm sure answers why i code not be very specific because i was not referring to one particular instance, but many diff situations blended into one broad question

if that makes sense???

Accepted Solution

K_2K earned 2000 total points
ID: 11877818
yupper,  makes greatsense,  and different answers also can work with the same problem description especially when the MMI changes. could be power-cycle modem or NIC (cold-boot PC) or simply renew as you already know.  On some older version of Windows it's reload NIC drivers.

169.x.x.x is only slightly better, as it tells you they have a later version of Windows AND the NIC is up and working. We're kinda limited to power-cycle modem, or if the PC is acting as gateway, look there.

"Hangs" should be a sure bet the NIC drivers need reloaded or the NIC itself just got fried in a storm and must be replaced, but don't forget to have them turn the cable around from the PC to the hub or modem.  Yes, you know that has nothing to do with anything, but you can't get some customers to unplug and plug it back in for "no reason", but most will turn it around for you.  That reseats the connections faster than you can convince them "oxidization" is not an excuse for "techie don't know what to try next" and this really can fix a few different things.

Any power-cycle modem above may instead be a need to check DHCP settings, or disable DHCP if the user has a Windows NT/2000/2003 Server (not client) or Linux or anything with DHCP services running on it.

That should barely scratch the surface.

Expert Comment

ID: 11877873
btw: " ... my uderstanding that the 169. IP address is a generic ..." is spot on and almost enough to get you through the part of the CompTia A+ course that references why that address can work in a non-DHCP environment. ( I still do not yet recommend it. )
Look to IPv6 to more heavily exploit those capabilities in efforts to make more appliances play when plugged without pesky setups.  I predict this will both increase these problems at first, and decrease them over time.

Expert Comment

by:Drew Lake
ID: 11880599
Great explanation K_2K!  I can't believe you beat me to the question...oh well.

Author Comment

ID: 11887725
yep, i learned on the field today that with 98 a simple uninstall and re-install did the trick!

Expert Comment

ID: 11899017
Sorry, RIHD, I'll try to let you field the barrage of "how to i get app X through XP SP4's new firewall?"  questions soon to flood us.


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