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Windows XP SP 3 Wireless Issues (winsock corruption)

Posted on 2010-08-23
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have several Laptops that are frequently (many times a day) docked then undocked.  We find that at some point the IP of the Lan Card is not released when undocked and if you reboot the computer without a LAN connection the card gets a 169.254.x.x address.  Normal a working Laptop once it is undocked the Lan IP on an ipconfig returns to 0.0.0.0 (network cable is unplugged notice) and the Wireless Card with a valid IP. If I do a route print while unplugged from the Lan then the LAN card interface doesn’t display, only the Wireless IP Interface and the Loopback IP.

All computers are Windows XP SP3 with all security and critical Windows updates up to date.

At some point something gets corrupted where when I removed the computer form the dock and do an ipconfig then the Lan IP still shows an IP address (should show 0.0.0.0).  And if I do a route print the Lan IP address shows as an active interface and is the active Default Gateway.

Currently we reset the Winsock by running Netsh commands:
Netsh int ip reset reset.log
Netsh winsock reset category

After running these commands and rebooting the computer everything works properly again for a while but something triggers this to corrupt again.   It seems that the media sensing fails to recognize that the network cable has been removed.  If the Lan IP is not released and the routing table doesn’t update to route through the wireless card then the computer cannot see the network.

Is there any permanent fix for this so when the network cable is released the IP is released and the route table updates?
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Question by:BKRsupport
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Lukasz Chmielewski
ID: 33504624
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Hutchinson
ID: 33504709
What happens if you put the wireless network at the top of the list on priorities?
Does this help it to find the wireless network when the laptops are undocked?

Right click "My Network Places" then choose Properties.
From the Network Connections box, choose Advanced > Advanced Settings
From the Advanced Settings box, choose the Adapters and Bindings tab
You should see a box similar to the print screen:
Select the Wireless Network Connection and highlight it, then click the green up arrow moving it to the top of the list.

network-adaptersandbindings.bmp
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Expert Comment

by:Baaaruuuce
ID: 33504712
Might be a long shoot, but are they also using something along the lines of an aircard?  If so, those settings will need to be modified.
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BKRsupport earned 0 total points
ID: 33510758
I think I found the issue, to help apply group policy settings effectively and help with speeding up booting times we disabled XP Media Sensing feature (HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters DisableDHCPMediaSense=1).  This caused the Laptops to try to assign an IP address to the Lan card even if the wire was disconnected.  By re-enabling the Media Sense (DisableDHCPMediaSense=0) on Laptops we so far have had good results.  We will monitor and update if this is the solution to our issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Hutchinson
ID: 33546363
Glad to hear you found a solution never would have guessed at this being the solution.
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by:BKRsupport
ID: 33557602
Enabling the XP Media Sensing feature seems to have resolved the issue.  We have not had a user with this issue in a week.  
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