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Constant "Acquiring Network Address"


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matt_aj's Avatar
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07-Jan-2007, 02:45 AM #1
Constant "Acquiring Network Address"
I have just bought a brand new Dell Laptop with built in wireless. I can get an IP just fine from my router, but the built in windows wireless service keeps saying "Acquiring Network Address", even though it already has one. I uninstalled the third party wireless software and it still does it. I seem to remember that Microsoft had a patch at one time for XP that was supposed to fix this. I can't find it anywhere though. Anyone know what I'm talking about? I have had this problem before on a couple other machines and even used the patch, but could never get it to fully go away, it would go away for a day or two and then come back. Anyone know a permanent fix for it?
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07-Jan-2007, 11:49 AM #2
If you have all the Windows updates, you have any wireless network patches you should require.

Let's start with the basics. Make/model of the wireless router? If you're getting an IP address, is that with a cable connected to the laptop, or using the wireless adapter? Are you getting Internet access?
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07-Jan-2007, 02:26 PM #3
I am using the wireless to connect. I am using a Netgear WGT624 V3 for my router and my computer is using a Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-card (built-in). I have gotten all of the windows updates and the newest driver for the card from Dell. I don't think it is the router since the last laptop I had had XP on it and I never had that problem.
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07-Jan-2007, 06:46 PM #4
Are you connected? That was one of the questions.
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07-Jan-2007, 06:49 PM #5
John, perhaps it's the case that you helped me on with that dell desktop. The services were off which meant it didn't aquire an IP.
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07-Jan-2007, 07:06 PM #6
True, I was going to post the whole checklist, I guess it's time.

Checklist for networking Windows Machines with TCP/IP
-----------------------------------------------------
- PCs which are not XP must have TCP/IP installed.
- Each PC must have a unique computer name.
- Each PC must have a network share defined.
- ALL NICS must be on the same subnet (e.g. IP 192.168.0.* subnet mask 255.255.255.0).
- XP PCs must have Netbios over TCP/IP enabled (only essential for XP to talk to W9X PCs).
- MS Client and file & printer sharing must be enabled on each machine.
- All NICs must have their node type = anything except p-node (peer to peer, or point-point).
* To check, open a command prompt and type IPCONFIG /ALL.
- XP's ICF firewall is permanently disabled. (Only necessary for pre XP SP2).
- All 3rd party firewalls are disabled, uninstalled and deleted (until connection is working).
- PCs have the same workgroup (helps, but not essential for XP/2K, necessary for 9X/ME).

Allow 15 mins after rebooting a PC for that PC to appear in the workgroup, or
for it to see all other PCs. Or you can search for the PC by its computer name.


Additional things to check if you still have problems:
-----------------------------------------------------
- Check your Services are Started on all PCs: Workstation, DHCP Client, Server, TCP/IP Netbios helper, Computer Browser.
- XP gives access to its shares via the Net Guest Account. (Note, not the same as the local guest account in user accounts which should be off). Net Guest Account is enabled by default in XP, but to check it, open a command prompt and type: NET USER GUEST
Should return a line with 'Account active yes'.


Check XP Security policies:
--------------------------
- Access this computer from the network: add guest
- Deny logon locally: remove guest
- Network access:Sharing and security model... -> Guest only
- Deny access to this computer from the network-> check Guest is not here.
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21-Jan-2007, 04:14 PM #7
Yeah, I'm a network admin... I've covered all those pages. Everything is working just fine... I get an address from DHCP, internet works, everything works as it should... But it still states that it is acquiring a network address even though I already have one. I have even put in a static address and still get it. I've uninstalled the wireless software that came with it and using the zero config service that comes with XP.

Everything works just fine, this is just a nuisance.
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21-Jan-2007, 05:04 PM #8
Oh, it sounds like a different issue. Are you sure it's not another interface that thinks it's acquiring a network address?
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22-Jan-2007, 11:15 AM #9
If I double click on it, and go to the Support Tab, it shows it has an address... That's the confusing part of it. It knows it has one.

Like I said, I have seen this a few times before. I know that Microsoft had a patch out for it, but I can't find it anywhere...
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22-Jan-2007, 11:20 AM #10
Nothing springs to mind.
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30-Mar-2008, 12:29 PM #11
Did you find a fix from Microsoft for this? I have the same problem using a Zoom USB Wireless stick. It get an IP address from the router and can get out to the Internet fine, but the Windows Wireless icon still says Acquiring Network address.
If I select Repair connection it will release/renew the address and then the icon knows it has an address and says connected.
Like you say it isnt a major problem just an annoyance.
cheers
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07-Aug-2008, 01:59 AM #12
Had a similar issue. Microsoft site says it's only in the "XP Starter edition", but it does this on my Professional version as well.

THIS IS ONLY FOR WHEN YOUR CONNECTION WORKS and you get the message "Acquiring Network Address" continuously on the network icon. If you are NOT getting a valid connection, then this is NOT your issue.

What worked for me (your mileage may vary):
- select "Open Network Connections" (right click on network icon, it's on that menu)
- Right Click on the connection you are having issues with and select PROPERTIES
- On the "General" tab (should already be there), there is a list of items with checkboxes, find "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" it's usually (always?) the last one.. CLICK on it (select it)
- Click the "PROPERTIES" button, a new dialog "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties" should appear
- Click the "ADVANCED..." button
- Pick the WINS tab
- In the "NetBIOS Setting" frame, select something OTHER than the "Default" (I chose Enable, a safe bet if you are unsure).
- Click OK to close the dialog. In my instance, the "Acquiring" message disappeared immediately
- click OK to close the next dialog
- Click CLOSE (closes the Connection Properties dialog)

You shouldn't have to reboot, but if it asks, then you had something else pending, probably should do it.

Basically it's because the connection is waiting on some NETBIOS info from the DHCP server (in my case, a Linksys WRT54G router)... and it's not providing it. In most cases (like mine) it doesn't matter, you don't need it.
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07-Aug-2008, 08:27 AM #13
An IPCONFIG /ALL would let us know if NETBIOS over TCP/IP was enabled.
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28-Aug-2008, 08:37 AM #14
Acquiring Network Address
I had the same problem running on XP Pro sp3. Found out that the Network Location Awareness (NLA) service must be on. I turn off everything I don't think I need; but learned that service is required if you don't want to be annoyed by your network connection constantly showing it is acquiring a network address.
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28-Aug-2008, 10:38 AM #15
Check your Services are Started on all PCs:
  • Computer Browser
  • DHCP Client
  • DNS Client
  • Network Connections
  • Network Location Awareness
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
  • Server
  • TCP/IP Netbios helper
  • Workstation

Note: You can check the services in Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services.

All of these services should be started, and their startup type should be automatic (or perhaps manual).
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