Fix: Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address

Today one of my network machines running Windows Vista couldn’t obtain an IP address through DHCP. DHCP server was running fine and all other machines running Windows XP could obtain an IP address through the DHCP server properly. This meant that there was some problem with the machine itself. I tested it out with another newly installed Windows Vista. Same result! it just kept on searching for an IP address although it was communicating with the DHCP server and the ping was working.
I researched on the internet and found out the this is the problem with the networking design of Windows Vista and Windows XP so some routers with DHCP capabilities will not understand Windows Vista’s design.

So what’s the difference in design between Vista and XP? Technically, the broadcast flag in DHCP discovery packets used to be disabled in Windows XP and the older router didn’t use that flag. In Windows Vista, the broadcast flag is enabled and hence the routers that don’t understand that flag don’t respond to the DHCP request.
This issue can easily be solved by either replacing the DHCP router with a newer one which supports Windows Vista packet design or we can disable the broadcast flag in Windows Vista. Since the latter is an easy solution and doesn’t cost money, we’ll discuss how we can disable the broadcast flag in Windows Vista.

  • Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type regedit and press enter. Registry Editor will open.
  • Go to the following key:
    where {GUID} is the network connection you’re using.
  • In the right hand pane, right click and create a new DWORD (32 bit) Value.
  • Name the Value as DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle, and press enter.
  • Double click DhcpConnEnableBcastFlagToggle and put it’s value as 1.
  • Close the registry editor.
  • Open command prompt and type in ipconfig /renew

This will renew your IP address and hopefully it’ll start working. In my case it worked. If you have any problems, feel free to ask here.





4 responses to “Fix: Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address”

  1. jhe

    good day
    actually i’m one of your fan almost everyday i spend an hour to open your site, your smart virus remover really save my day with such flash disk viruses,then i read this article that make me think that this solution can solve the problem of my sister s PC she’s running with vista and she encountered same problem. but when we tried to open the registry we came out to a broken string which i cant see the next line with {HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParametersInterfac}
    can you please send to me or re post the whole string just to make us solve it?or is the {parameterinterface} is the last folder where i can put DWORD (32 bit) Value and the other string?make me confuse also im afraid to open the registry also thats my first time..
    thank you so much and more power.

  2. Sanix

    jhe, thanks a lot for visiting Technize regularly and also pointing out the problem with the string. I have broken down the string into two lines and now it seems visible. Kindly try again with the same fix and tell me if it solves your problem.

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  4. ben the asian

    hey i had a question as i finish all of that in the cmd promt it say no opperation can be performed on wireless network connection while its media dissconected .. any clue what that means?