The short and curlies of vista networking

Mel Flynn mel.flynn+fbsd.questions at
Thu Jun 18 19:36:01 UTC 2009

On Thursday 18 June 2009 09:56:29 Chuck Swiger 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.

Ah, forgot to mention. This isn't bridge specific. It didn't work with the 
same issues, when I was using a separate network for the wireless interface. I 
was actually hoping that using a bridge would fix it, as it cleaned up my 
firewall and NAT rules. It also persisted through a change from ath to ral 
Also the IP isn't in use. My own laptop is one other wireless machine and I've 
kept it out of DHCP range. The Kubuntu laptop was powered off at the time, 
servers are also out of DHCP range and the work stations are assigned properly 
on different IPs. There's also no evidence of a hacked WEP connection in 
pftop, now that we've temporarily switched back to it. Static IP works, even 
the one that DHCP would have it assigned. The DHCPOFFER is just never seen by 
the vista client and I cannot at present determine where. It leaves the bridge 
interface just fine, but if it gets lost in wlan, dropped by vista firewall or 
silently ignored by vista because it doesn't adhere to vista's expectation is 
unknown. I'd appreciate it if someone would have tcpdump/wlantools etc rules 
available to track this and mention what to look for.
We've got some time set aside this weekend to do any sniffing/diagnostics and 
will post back results if any.

> 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....

Hehe, no. The objective here is to figure out how to get it working using 
tools and diagnostics on the gateway machine and go as far as applying 
hotfixes and service packs for Vista. But it should work without registry 
hacks or continuous maintenance.

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