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Laptops don't get IP before logon, get "Domain not available"

Posted on 2010-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We have Active Directory Windows 2008. We have about 200 laptop that connect to our wireless Cisco access points.

The problem is when we have a classroom of kids starting laptops, about half of them will give the error "Domain is not available" when they log in. Wait on Network is enabled. It seems the computer does not get an IP before the login prompt, even though wait on network is enabled. Is there a way to force the laptop to get an IP before the login prompt?
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Question by:PennCharter
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Expert Comment

by:collins23
ID: 33673681
sometimes the vendor management software for managing the software does this.

could you trying using the inbuilt wireless zero configuration service of windows to manage your wireless and see.
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Expert Comment

by:jlar310
ID: 33673699
There is a group policy setting that may help. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305293.

If that is not applicable, It might help to know which version of Windows is on the laptops.
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Expert Comment

by:Tordan
ID: 33673731
Make sure that you are using the Windows wireless connection service NOT the third part device driver software.

the way to do this varies with software installed but generally this will work...
1. go to Start Menu -> Control Panels -> Administrative -> Services and make sure that Wireless Zero Configuration service is started.
2. go to the Network Connections control panel rightclick on your wireless card and choose properties and check the 'use windows to manage my wireless' check box.
3. then you have to reconnect to the wireless network.

Now wireless will load with the OS and not wait for you to login.
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Author Comment

by:PennCharter
ID: 33673856
The laptops all are using Windows Zero Connection and not the 3rd Party software.

We used the 3rd party software before and it does not work,
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Author Comment

by:PennCharter
ID: 33673870
jlar310, The article you sent me is the Wait on Network policy, which we already are using.
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Expert Comment

by:Tordan
ID: 33673891
does the laptop itself have a software switch for turning on and off the wireless card? is it off before login?

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Author Comment

by:PennCharter
ID: 33673957
All the laptops radios are enabled. The problem is the laptops are not waiting long enough to get an IP.

When you boot the laptops and have them wait at the login prompt for about 5 minutes, then have them all log in, all laptops login fine.
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Expert Comment

by:Tordan
ID: 33674041
ok, well MAYBE, just a thought, you could make a .bat file that runs    ipconfig /renew   then make a scheduled task that runs at boot that loads the batch file. run it as a local administrator with saved credentials. That will probably force the IP to load faster.
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Accepted Solution

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novaspoonman earned 500 total points
ID: 33674209
Try creating a GPO that forces the WLAN Autoconfig service to be a depedency of the netlogon service:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/193888
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Author Comment

by:PennCharter
ID: 33674662
novaspoonman: I am investigating this method. Should I make the TCP/IP, and DHCP services depend on the Wireless  Zero as well?
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Expert Comment

by:novaspoonman
ID: 33675168
I would consider that if the first doesn't work.
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Author Closing Comment

by:PennCharter
ID: 33768968
This worked great. I made a lot of network dependencies for the netlogon service.
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