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XP Media Center laptop wont get dhcp or dns from one server

Posted on 2007-03-19
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have one XP Media Center 2002 SP2 machine in my network that is giving me problems. We have two offices that the user travels between, and whenever the use is in office B, the machine will not obtain an IP address from, or get DNS service from the domain controller in that office.  If I manually set the IP address and set the DNS server as the domain controller in office A (the two offices are connected via a PIX 501 VPN), it works fine. The user also brings the laptop home and uses it on his home network. All of the other computers in the office B are operating normally, but they all run XP Pro or Win2k Pro.

The other thing that I am concerned about is the fact that this machine is the only one in my network that uses AOL. I have the AOL firewall turned off, and have windows firewall configured through group policy for all computers in my domain.

There are also some issues related to the wireless network settings for this computer. The user normally uses the wired NIC to connect to my network, but there is also a WAP in the office. While I was troubleshooting the issue originally, I disabled the wireless adapter, but then reenabled it later. After reenabling it, I could not run ipconfig from the command prompt anymore, whereas before, I could. Whenever I would try to run ipconfig, I would get the following message:

An internal error occurred: the device does not recognize the command.
Please contact Microsoft Product Support Services for further help.
Additional information: Unable to retrieve WINS parameters.

I havent been able to find anything online about this error. I also tried to disable the wireless connection again, but the computer failed to respond.

This specific issue has developed only recently, but there have been issues on and off with this computer over time. Just nothing that I haven't been able to figure out.

Any ideas?
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Question by:brainbolt
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Expert Comment

by:Bill_Fleury
ID: 18751165
This is a really long shot but- you don't have a static reservation for him in office A that's being replicated somehow over to office B's DHCP server do you?

In our organization we use a single DHCP server to serve 3 VLANS, and when a machine has a static reservation on one network, it will fail to acquire an address on the other two as the DHCP server attempts to assign it with the address for the first network, however when assigning the address it loses communication.
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by:brainbolt
ID: 18751217
No static reservation. I've got the two offices different subnets as well, so it should be picking up a completely different network address.

What's happening is that the machine just doesnt acquire a network address from the DHCP server, so it picks up the 169.x.x.x auto-configuration address, and then obviously cant communicate with my network.
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Expert Comment

by:Bill_Fleury
ID: 18751278
I blame the AOL firewall.  I seem to remember running into a similar issue, where the firewall was disabled but still dropping some traffic.  Maybe try enabling it and configuring it to explicitly allow all traffic from that network?
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by:brainbolt
ID: 18751290
Yeah, I really distrust AOL in this situation as well. I'll try that.
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Author Comment

by:brainbolt
ID: 18758362
It doesnt look like the Firewall is the problem. I first allowed my network address ranges and then uninstalled the firewall component of AOL alltogether, but still no DHCP.

According to the user, no new applications were installed between the last time it worked and when it stopped working.

I am starting to wonder if its possible that some of the TCP/IP components have been compromised somehow. I am not a TCP/IP expert, but is it possible that the windows OS component that drives DHCP could have been damaged or corrupted somehow?
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Accepted Solution

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brainbolt earned 0 total points
ID: 18759734
Well, I feel kind of dumb for not recognizing this sooner, but it looks like the problem is with my DHCP server, not the client. It looks like the other clients in the office are working because their address leases last a week, and DHCP must have stopped working after they were all assigned new addresses. I haven't been able to renew addresses from any of the clients in that office that I have been able to test.

Im going to post a new question in a DHCP server zone.
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Expert Comment

by:Bill_Fleury
ID: 18762148
Ahhhh! That's kind of funny :)  It's always the obvious things we miss eh?  Good luck with getting your DHCP server back up and running.
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by:brainbolt
ID: 18765018
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