Windows 10 Update Could Kill Your Ability To Connect To The Internet

Over the last couple of days, my phone has been ringing off the hook from Windows 10 users who can’t get their computers to surf the Internet. Thus since Sunday, I’ve been running around to fix all these misbehaving PCs. The symptom set is similar. The computers are completely unable to get an IP address using the DHCP protocol which is responsible for automatically assigning addresses to computers, smartphones or whatever else happens to be on your network. Essentially, the PCs cannot automatically pick up their LAN-side IP address, router address and DNS settings from their routers, causing them to drop off the Internet.

After fixing the third one (I will get to how I did that in a second), I figured that there had to be something in common. So I used my best friend Google to see if there were any other reports of this phenomenon. Sure enough there was as Microsoft had posted this in their help forums saying that they were investigating a problem with DHCP and Windows 10, and their official advice being to restart the computer as a first step to troubleshoot. Their next piece of advice as restarting the computer didn’t work in any of the cases that I worked on is to walk through this troubleshooting guide. Now this will actually help you as in it are a set of commands that helped to get all of my clients back on line:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
  2. At the command prompt, run the following commands in the listed order, and then check to see if that fixes your connection problem:
    • Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
    • Type netsh int ip reset and press Enter.
    • Type ipconfig /release and press Enter.
    • Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter.
    • Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.

One thing that Microsoft forgot to mention is to restart the computer. But without fail, doing this got all the clients who had issues back online.

Now the question is what caused this to happen. Well, here’s my best guess. Microsoft pushed out the new cumulative KB3201845 update for the Windows 10 about four days ago that delivers a range of fixes for the operating system. The timing of this update is weird as today is Patch Tuesday and you would have thought Microsoft would have released this update then. What’s also weird is that there is no mention of any network related fixes in the release notes for this update. However, that’s no surprise as Microsoft isn’t all that forthcoming about what’s in their updates as I have noted in the past. But what is clear is that the timing of this update coming out and my phone starting to ring fits. Unfortunately, consumer users cannot stop Windows 10 updates from installing (which underlines yet again why I thought that forced Windows 10 updates were a horrible idea), but if you run one of the corporate versions of Windows 10, you may want to block this update from hitting your users machines.

In an ideal world, Microsoft would fess up to this and offer up a remedy. But as I type this, they haven’t. That’s a #fail on Microsoft’s part. I guess it’s easier for them to just pretend that this issue doesn’t exist. And that’s a shame.

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3 Responses to “Windows 10 Update Could Kill Your Ability To Connect To The Internet”

  1. […] I ranted wrote about the fact that a Microsoft update effectively knocked Windows 10 computers off the Internet. In the same article, I also provided a fix that worked for my customers and I said […]

  2. […] Now, how about applying this logic to force feeding updates to your users? Such as the one from a few days ago that took people off the Internet? […]

  3. […] throats in whole or in part is just an #EpicFail waiting to happen. In fact, I can think of this occasion where it already has […]

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