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Vista Confusing Wireless Routers

Steve Riley explains about how the auto-performance-tuning feature in Windows Vista’s networking stack can cause problems connecting to some wireless networks. This was more of a problem in beta/RC versions of Vista, where Vista’s attempts to gauge the abilities of the network would cause the network to think there was an error, or worse, an attack, and cause problems for the user. This isn’t a serious problem in the final shipping version of Vista, but you should be aware of it, in case it happens to you.

I spend a decent amount of time on a corporate wifi network. The network, which has its own proprietary login system, attempts to detect file sharing and virus activity (mostly file sharing, but they claim its a security concern) by watching the number of simultaneous requests and banning you from the network if it is determined as unusually high.

The system is too sensitive, and when I started going there a few months back, I would get banned all the time. Eventually, I realized that (a) I had to disable any P2P software, and (b) I couldn’t open the Opera browser. Apparently, if I open Opera when connected to the network, the fact that so many tabs are launching at once (40-80 tabs, typically) alerts the network that there might be a problem, and gets me banned.

After daily trips to the support desk, and having to teach them how to use Vista, I began to understand how the removed my ban from the system, and decided to just do it myself. See, they type in three commands at the command line, and I get back on the network.

Of course, clicking Start, typing C-O-Enter, typing three seperate commands, waiting for each to run, finish, run the next one, and exit the command prompt, and hope it worked (and if not, repeat again and again) was tedious and annoying, so I knew I had to automate it. Here’s what I did:

  • Open Notepad
  • Type out the commands, one per line. In this case:

    ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /renew

  • Save the file as iprenew.bat
  • Merely running the file won’t work, because the command prompt won’t run those commands unless you have the elevated priveleges of an administrator. So…
  • Create a shortcut to the batch file.
  • Right-click on the shortcut, click Properties, and go to the Shortcut tab.
  • Click Advanced
  • Check the box next to “Run as administrator”
  • OK, OK

Ugh. So much to go through just to not get banned from a network for opening too many browser tabs, or correcting the five times a day the network just stops working, I have to go through a bunch of hoops the average user would never think of (or be capable of) doing. Worse, Windows Search never actually noticed the shortcut, so I had to copy it to my Start Menu to be able to run it from there.

Now, my steps are down to (1) Click Start (2) Type “r” (3) Press Enter (4) Click Accept. Easier, but boy was it hard getting there.
(via Joe Stagner)

Maybe this is why babies are wearing “Windows Sucks” t-shirts!
(via Digg)

March 19th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows, Vista | 3 comments
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  1. Doesn’t running “Diagnose and repair” release and renew the adapter too? The way you describe was the way to do it in XP, but Vista should do that for you now…

    Comment by Robert McLaws | 3/19/2007

  2. Yeah, you’d think so, but that isn’t enough. Vista offers me the option to request a new IP, or reset the networking adapter, and neither informs the network to unban me. Only the specific method used has worked, so far.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 3/20/2007

  3. […] hardware bookmarks were updated to include the Linksys router help topics and Nathan Weinberg’s Vista Confusing Wireless Routers , as discussed in Proxy Settings When Using a Router on Windows Vista. Office 2007 and MoreThe […]

    Pingback by Connected to Vista Bookmarks : What's New in Vista Bookmarks? | 3/21/2007

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