The short and curlies of vista networking

Tim Judd tajudd at
Thu Jun 18 18:27:45 UTC 2009

Long ago in 2007, I saw a M$ article that describes that Vista has an
extremely short delay period to get an IP.  If it doesn't get it
within 1 second, it gives up (and maybe tries again).  Common DHCP
servers ping an IP address, wait 1 second for a reply, and if no
reply, assumes the IP is available and leases it to the booting

This one-second delay might be causing Vista to time out.  The article
explained how to lengthen the timeout, but I'm going to direct your
attention to another vector.

Is your DHCP server authoritative?  That means, that no matter if any
other DHCP servers are on the network, the authoritative DHCP will
butt in and force/offer it's lease in preference over any other DHCP
traffic on the network.

The other question is why you have it as a bridge, when sysctl
net.inet.ip.forwarding=1 might all you need.

Another Q is why you might have a DHCP server listen on one IP (let's
say it's the wired interface), but not on the wifi (this wasn't clear
in the OP, but it might be the case).

On 6/18/09, Chuck Swiger <cswiger at> wrote:
> Hi--
> On Jun 18, 2009, at 10:41 AM, Mel Flynn wrote:
>> Does anyone have a how-to or pitfall summary on how to get a vista
>> computer
>> to:
>> - accept DHCP offers from isc-dhcp30-server-3.0.7_4
>> - connect to WPA-PSK using *any* scheme supported by FreeBSD's hostapd
>> - give debugging information that makes sense to someone not
>> speaking "if
>> !not_working throw generic_catch_all_error" lingo
> [ ... ]
>> Related info:
>> Vista, WPA-PSK: "The settings saved on this computer for the network
>> do not
>> match the requirements of the network."
>> /var/log/dhcpd.log:
>> Jun 18 08:56:24 gate dhcpd: DHCPDISCOVER from 00:c0:a8:f1:e8:c3
>> (Tyler-PC) via
>> bridge0
>> Jun 18 08:56:24 gate dhcpd: DHCPOFFER on to
>> 00:c0:a8:f1:e8:c3
>> (Tyler-PC) via bridge0
>> <repeat till vista gives up>
> One common pitfall that affects people doing unusual network
> topologies like bridging between wired and wireless is whether you've
> got proxy-ARP going, which might cause the Vista box to thing the IP
> being offered to it is really in use.  Try pinging one of your IPs in
> the DHCP pool range, and see whether you're getting ARPOP_REPLYs.  If
> so, the MAC address you get ought to lead to the hardware which is
> generating proxy ARP replies.
> Of course, it might just be some Vista oddity-- perhaps it doesn't
> trust your wireless network because it doesn't like the encryption
> strength or some such, but I won't try to advise you on how to
> administer Vista itself....
> Regards,
> --
> -Chuck
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