Solved

NIC won't release IP config after cable is unplugged.

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have 3 users all with Dell Precision M4400 laptops on Win XP SP3 using Intel 82567LM NIC's and all with the same issue. If I unplug the network cable from the laptop and run ipconfig at a command prompt it still shows the adapter with it's address instead of showing "media disconnected" as it should. The system tray icon for the connection does show the cable unplugged message. If I try an ipconfig/release and renew it generates an 169.254 address on the adapter even though it's unplugged.

I discovered this problem because the users were complaining that when they unplugged from the network they would lose access to everything even though the wireless connection is working. Even though the wired connection was unplugged and the wireless connection was active with a valid address, the computer was still trying to route traffic over the wired connection because it still shows an IP address.

The only way I can get the wireless connection to work correctly is to disable the wired connection. I can't seem to figure why windows won't see the media disconnected state even though it shows the "network cable unplugged" in the system tray. I've updated the Intel 82567LM drivers, updated the BIOS and even uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers to no avail.

The network adapters both wired and wireless are configured for DHCP.

Any help is appreciated.
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Question by:icecreman
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by:hydrokid
ID: 33512113
1) ipconfig /release would only help when you are connected to the network.. it will drop the IP address from the DHCP server.

2) when you are wired then wireless, all your traffic will route via wired because it has a lower metric as this is the preferred route. you can do a route print to check your routing and therefore if wired is unplugged, there should be a period of down time then traffic will start using the wireless route.

3) I guess the network driver is the issue in this case, do a roll back or get the latest driver to see if it's working..
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by:icecreman
ID: 33512192
hydrokid,

1) I only tried ipconfig /release because according to the command prompt Windows still think it's connected.

2) I agree with you on this but even after rebooting the computer with the cable unplugged Windows generates an Auto-assigned IP on the LAN connection. Wireless never gets a chance to take over because Windows never sees that the media is disconnected. I should clarify that by saying that it sees the disconnected in the system tray (Network Cable Unplugged popup message) but in ipconfig it still shows the connection as active with an address.

3) The drivers I started with when troubleshooting this issue were original. I updated to Dell's latest drivers then Intel's latest drivers but neither made a difference.

Thanks for your input.
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by:jat0369
ID: 33512459
Dell has this "helpful" powersaver feature that will disable some hardware in order to save battery life when running on battery power.

I suggest you make sure you're not running on battery power, reboot the machine, and try again.
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Author Comment

by:icecreman
ID: 33512912
jat0369,

Thanks for the reply. I'm aware of Dell's "helpful" powersaver, I always disable it. This problem happens when it's plugged into power and on battery. The computer shows the cable unplugged (as it should) in the system tray but ipconfig still thinks the cable is plugged in. I thought it may be an issue with the TCP/IP protocol but all three computers of the exact same model have this issue. We are a Dell house and none of our other laptops have this problem.
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by:glitch177k
ID: 33515326
Do you have a dock? Our dell laptops experience similar issues when docked/undocked as the laptop has a default behavior that changes with each status. When ours are docked, wireless doesn't function properly without manually altering the status of the wireless connection while docked and same goes for when it is not connected to the dock where we experience weird wired connection behavior.
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by:icecreman
ID: 33515401
No dock. This isn't really a wireless problem. The real problem is that ipconfig doesn't know when the cable is unplugged. The system tray sees it but ipconfig acts as if the network cable is still plugged in. With the network cable unplugged ipconfig should say "media disconnected" for the LAN connection but it still shows the address information. Even rebooting the computer with the cable unplugged doesn't help. The computer just auto assigns itself an IP address.  I mention wireless because it's affected due to the routing table.
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by:hydrokid
ID: 33517571
If you have quickset installed from dell. you should remove it in the add/remove programs.
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by:icecreman
ID: 33520167
No Quickset. Dell uses DCP (Dell Control Point) now which is worse but I have that removed on all of our laptops.
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by:jat0369
ID: 33521145
Just out of curiosity, can you ipconfig /all and show us what you're seeing?
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by:icecreman
ID: 33521454
Here is a pic of the ipconfig/all screen.  Thanks.
ipconfig.jpg
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by:hydrokid
ID: 33551569
I'm using the same drivers but this is behaving properly.
I suggest you go to device manage and uninstall the driver Intel 82567 and rescan hardware.
The LAN drive will automatically install again.

There are some diagnostics test on the intel driver tabs, you can run those test to see if it releases the APIPA IP.
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Author Comment

by:icecreman
ID: 33557311
Thanks, I did uninstall and rescan the hardware but no change. I'll try the diagnostics next.
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Accepted Solution

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icecreman earned 0 total points
ID: 33558358
Solved. I reset the the TCP/IP protocol using..

netsh winsock reset

and

netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt

at the command prompt and then rebooted. All is well now. I'm guessing 3rd party software modified something that needed to be reset.

Thanks to all for your suggestions.
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