Not sure whether to post this in the Vista forum or the hardware forum.
We've bought lots of new Lenovo R61i laptops with Vista Business. We've decided to stick with Vista on these rather than 'downgrade' to XP
They work quite well, but there's a really strange DHCP problem, the likes of which I've never seen before.
If the machine is started up with the Ethernet cable plugged in, 9 times out of 10 it will fail to get an IP address via DHCP. The network connection icon in the system tray just says "identifying" and ipconfig /renew at the command prompt hangs for ever. If you go into the network connections dialog and change anything, it just hangs forever after clicking OK.
If the machine is started up without the Ethernet cable plugged in, and is then plugged in after it has started, it gets an IP address immediately, every time without fail.
This is really annoying as it means that group policies don't get applied without lots of reboots and logins fail most of the time. We've tried new LAN drivers (Broadcom NetLink) from both the Broadcom and Lenovo sites - different driver versions, but result in the same behaviour. We've tried Vista with and without SP1, no difference. We've updated the BIOS to the latest version as well.
Has anyone seen anything like this before? Is it a Vista thing or a driver problem as I suspect? Other latpops (HP) with the same Vista configuration have no problems at all. DHCP server is Windows 2000 with no routing or DHCP relay.
Our latest batch of machines with gigabyte motherboards would only get dhcp intermittently, was a real pain in the ass as we pxe boot to image. A bios update fixed the problem though. I'd try setting them up to boot from the network card to rule out the bios as the problem.
If it's not the bios it's got to be windows drivers. Have you reinstalled the machines with a fresh windows install rather than the factory install? What happens if you boot a linux live cd, that will rule out the laptop hardware as the problem.
I've also seen issues with some hardware connected to certain brands of switched, have you got a different brand of switch you can plug them into to test?
OK we tried all the usual BIOS and driver updates, using the latest drivers from the Broadcom and Lenovo websites, but they don't fix the problem. We've also re-installed Vista using the volume license media, rather than the factory install.
I hadn't thought of trying the DHCP media sense trick. The only down-side to that is presumably you won't be able to login using cached credentials as the machine will always assume it's connected to the network. Anyway it's worth a try and I'll give it a go when I get chance.
I'm having a bit of a problem with some Vista laptops at the moment as well. A couple of the students have been unable to get onto the internet with their lappys and it seems to be an issue with the Gateway and DNS detection.
The laptops pick up an IP address without an issue but they have completely incorrect entries for the Gateway and DNS.
E.g our gateway would be 192.168.46.7, the laptop has 192.168.1.254.
I checked the properties of the connection to make sure it hadn't been set to manual and the entries were clear. I even tried setting my own manual IP etc on there to see if that would clear the problem, everything worked fine with that until I put it back on DHCP.
1. What make are your switches?
2. How many hops between your R61 clients and the DHCP server that is supposed to be servicing them?
3. Do you have a RIS or WDS Server present on the network?
4. Is the RRAS enabled on the DHCP server?
5. IPconfig /all on a working machine, the IP of the source DHCP server will be listed is this the expected server?
6. Is the client request coming from a wireless or wired source?
These are the most common questions that I would ask myself in your scenario.
If you are using STP on your switches and you have two or more switches between DHCP server and the end clients this is enough to kill off your DHCP.
Multicast Filtering can mess with your DHCP especially if your clients are wireless.
A WDS or RIS server in the mix can also play tricks with your mind and your packets.
Start by connecting one of your R61's to the same switch as your DHCP server does it work ok?
If so, then STP or MC Filtering is probably your culprit.