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How did the laptop picked up network connectivity?

Posted on 2009-04-07
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I have a basic network with a Win2003 Exchange Serve for domain controller. Well, typically when a visitor shows-up I need to configure the DNS gateway for it to get internet access. I had a visitor come in today, plugged his laptop and before I could sit down and configure the DNS it gain network connectivity and was browsing the internet freely. Normally visitors got XP machines, this is a brand new Vista laptop& ideally we dont what that to happen. Is there something that Vista has that enables the laptop to gain connectivity like that? If Vista has that enhancement, how can I stop it from gaining access so freely?
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Question by:JLMEJIA
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10 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:mikey1h
mikey1h earned 300 total points
ID: 24092372
I Assume you are using DHCP on the network?   if so, check the settings, as the DNS settings may be configured in there.  If this is the case, it would automaticaly pass the settings on to the client computers when they request a DHCP assigned IP Address.  If you wish to disable this, just remove all DNS entries from that setting in your DHCP Server
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Author Comment

by:JLMEJIA
ID: 24092552
Ok... I suppose then that my regular PCs that get their IP assigned automatically will loose connectivity unless I assign an IP manually. is this the case? and, is this something that Vista takes advantage of or how is it that the XP machines require me to configure the gateway IP...
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by:mikey1h
ID: 24092644
you wouldn't have to assign the IP statically, leave that setting obtain automatically, but the second set of boxes allows you to specify a DNS server....     if the DHCP server does not have config information any longer to prevent unauthorized laptops, you will have to put in the DNS server addresses there manually
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samiam41 earned 1200 total points
ID: 24092667
mikey1h is right.  Your network has a DHCP server that has a range of IP's that it hands out to computers when they connect to your network (either XP, Vista or Windows 7).  

Here are two good articles to read to understand what is going on.  The first link is for a DHCP server in a workgroup and the second is for AD (active directory).
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323416
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300429

The reason you want to have a DHCP server configured and running is really a security feature.  In the domain, there can only be one DHCP server and you want it to be under your control.  If you didn't have a DHCP server, someone else could get into your network and make their laptop a DHCP server which could open up a whole host of issues.  The best way to find out if you are using a DHCP server is to open up a command prompt from a workstation on your network and type in:  ipconfig /all

That should produce a bunch of information.  What you are looking for is a line that says DHCP Server address.  If there is an IP there, then you are using a DHCP server.

To prevent unauthorized access to your network, there are a few good suggestions.
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by:samiam41
samiam41 earned 1200 total points
ID: 24092693
You could always unplug the network connections in the wiring closet to ports that shouldn't be hot (in hallways, storage rooms, etc...)  This would prevent someone from walking in and plugging their laptop into the wall and getting immediate network access.

Here is a great article that I reference from time to time regarding how to secure your DHCP server.

If you are using static IP's for all of the pc's and configure the DNS, WINS, subnet mask and default gateway manually (ouch), then you will still want to enable a DHCP server but not configure it.  That way no rogue DHCP server can be authorized on your network since you have one running but it won't hand any out.

How many desktops/laptops/servers do you have?
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by:samiam41
ID: 24092695
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Expert Comment

by:tankergoblin
ID: 24093700
are u using  DHCP server
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Author Comment

by:JLMEJIA
ID: 24328640
sorry for stalling for a few weeks there...

No I'm no using the DHCP server... well I'm nor sure that (i didn't setup this network) we're not using it. the PCs have no DHCP info but the exchange server has a 30 address pool open. some leases are infinite some have time limit.
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by:mikey1h
ID: 24537763
Not understanding why I was an assisted solution when the posting that was accepted starts the post with Mikey1h is right
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Author Comment

by:JLMEJIA
ID: 24538066
None of the solutions posted fixed my problem. I guess I couldn't make my self clear enough then it became an irrelevant issue so I gave up. I awarded the points based on the amount of info provided by that answer posted.
I'm not sure how to change the points awarded...
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