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A computer loses its DHCP IP address if a DHCP server is not available in Windows 7 or Windows Vista

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Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) client computer that is running on Windows Vista or a later operating system.
  • The DHCP Server service is not available.
  • The client computer is restarted.
In this scenario, the client does not maintain a valid lease. Therefore, you cannot access some network resources.

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In this scenario, the computer loses the IP address that was assigned to it by the DHCP server. This occurs even if the default gateway is available. Instead, an Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) address, such as, is assigned to the client computer. Or, if the adapter was assigned an IP address by using the Alternative Configuration tab for the adapter, the adapter will use that address.

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Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

To resolve this issue, add a registry value to force the client to keep its DHCP IP address, even if a DHCP server is not available. To add this value, follow these steps:
  1. Start Registry Editor. To do this, click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
  2. To activate the setting for all adapters, locate the following registry subkey:
    (Windows Vista only) To activate this setting for a specific adapter, locate the adapter-specific registry key:
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  4. Type DontPingGateway, and then press Enter.
  5. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Exit Registry Editor.
  8. Restart the computer.
This procedure forces the client to keep its DHCP IP address even if a DHCP server is not available. If you use the Alternate Configuration tab to modify the IP address for an adapter, this IP address is assigned to the adapter.

Note In Windows 7, the new registry value is not obeyed if you try to set it for a specific adapter in the following subkey:

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Keywords: kbexpertiseadvanced, kbtshoot, kbprb, KB958336

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Article Info
Article ID : 958336
Revision : 3
Created on : 2/26/2013
Published on : 2/26/2013
Exists online : False
Views : 1102