Suddenly cannot acquire an IP address.

By tes4444 ·
My laptop suddenly cannot acquire an IP address. I've lost connectivity to our wireless router in the past and had to reboot to reconnect, but this is a new problem. I can't acquire an IP address at all. My wireless card sees the router and connects just fine, but gives me the old "limited connectivity" message.

Here's where things get weird. I cannot even get an IP address when I cut the network out of the picture and plug the laptop up directly to the cable modem. I've gone so far as to reinstall all of the hardware and reconfigure all of the connections, both automatically and again manually. No dice.

This baby was working fine when I went to sleep last night and is otherwise running fine still. At every step my desktop connects just fine through the same devices that the laptop. No changes were made to the laptop to cause this. Anyone have any ideas? I'm banging my head against the wall here.

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try this

by chris_atb In reply to Suddenly cannot acquire a ...

id like a little more info on the equip your using, but it sounds like the DHCP server on the router isnt broadcasting, that or the drivers for the WNIC are screwy (if your using the belkin 54g UK edition i can relate, ive gone round to many places to re-install these drivers)

anyway assuming your probably using a belkin router, making its default IP, reset the damned thing and try again, if that doesent work go into device managet and uninstall the WNICs device drivers and reload them, if that doesent work type in these credentials in the TCP/IP properties of the WNIC your using, assuming your using a commercial router the setup is as follows ^^


(last octet (100) can be whatever you like so long as its not being used and the ip scope hasnt been configured to make it less than 2 - 254)


gateway (router/hubs ip) (usually or

DNS servers the same as the routers address, both primary and secondary

well... try that, if that doesent work give me more info on the equipment your using ^^

and im assuming your using wireless, but its all the same for cabled stuff ^^

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Keep It Simple...

by Desktop Veteran In reply to Suddenly cannot acquire a ...

At the risk of sounding contradictory to the previous post, which is not my intention, I would caution you to look for simple things before getting in too deep reconfiguring everything. From what you have said there is no reason for any of the settings on your router to have changed. Given that, the first thought is your automatic update settings. What did Microsoft install last night? And an even better first question is whether or not you have other systems that can connect OK. If you do, than it's obviously an issue with your laptop.

I know I've dealt with this issue before, the details are a little hazy yet (it's too early on Monday morning ;-) ).

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agreed. for example: is dhcp client service running?

by sgt_shultz In reply to Keep It Simple...

it would be weird if it weren't but it is easy and quick to make sure.
right-click My Computer, pick Manage then find services

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Yup, it's running

by tes4444 In reply to agreed. for example: is d ...

I hadn't checked, so I did this and the service was running.

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Problem, umm sidestepped

by tes4444 In reply to Keep It Simple...

I went through today to see if I could find any updates to undo and could not. All the while my desktop has been happily connecting to the internet through the same router.

Finally, I started reductionism and began to eliminate as many of the differences as I could. Desktop was hooked up via wired connection, so I made that the first step.

No luck. But it didn't take long before I discovered something that got the laptop connectivity restored. A few months ago, I gave the desktop a static IP and I'd since forgotten all about doing so. As soon as I assigned the laptop a static IP, things began ticking over just fine. Once I had the wired connection working in Safe Mode, I unplugged it, assigned an IP to the wireless card and it began to work. Rebooted into normal XP running mode and everything still works.

I'm still not sure why it quit working in the first place, but I'm happy enough to have the wifey with a working laptop again. I greatly appreciate the thoughtful replies; they got my thoughts straight and sent me to the problem I needed to fix.

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'nother 2 cents worth. i have seen routers fail like this

by sgt_shultz In reply to Suddenly cannot acquire a ...

can you try another desktop?
can you try safe mode with networking
anything in the event logs on dhcp server and/or desktop?
do things work fine with a static address?

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Static IP works

by tes4444 In reply to 'nother 2 cents worth. i ...

Once I took the idea of the static IP, connectivity was restored. Much thanks.

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Microsoft Updates

by b.mills In reply to Static IP works

Microsoft released some updates that may have affected your machine - especiall the one for "generic host process for win 32" now when this starts up and has an error it shuts down alot of services that are running such as timesrv32 and DHCP i would suggest starting your computer and then goto run type in "services.msc" and fint the one called "dhcp" and see if its running if its not then you will never automatically aquire an IP address

If this is the case then i would suggest going to and search for a hot fix for "generic host process for win32" and apply an update

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Geez you guys rock

by terryhertel In reply to Suddenly cannot acquire a ...

Tried the suggestion of the guy in the other thread to right click on my anti-virus icon and re-allow internet traffic and voila! Apparently
when it detected a virus (which is when this
same kind of problem happened) the thing automatically disallowed internet traffic.BTW before I found out I could reconnect I first allowed updates for my
anti-virus program which downloaded, then
rebooted the laptop and there it was....internet humming happily. Thank you so much!

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similar problem(cannot obtain IP

by andrewllewop In reply to Suddenly cannot acquire a ...

i have a similar problem in obtaining the IP but am using a wireless modem through a usb connection to my computer. I keep getting the same message cannot obtain ip but when i switch the hardrive out with another (the same windows 7 h edition), I connect to the internet just fine. figure more less it has to do with some configuration on the first windows 7

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