back to article Busted Windows 8, 10 update blamed for breaking Brits' DHCP

Folks using Windows 10 and 8 on BT and Plusnet networks in the UK are being kicked offline by a mysterious software bug. Computers running the Microsoft operating systems are losing network connectivity due to what appears to be a problem with DHCP. Specifically, it seems some Windows 10 and 8 boxes can no longer reliably …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O rly...

    I've an Asus router sitting behind my BT router and I've no trouble at all. Perhaps BT bought their routers with a huge discount and no standards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: O rly...

      Sorry, but you failed. Double NATting a system is NOT the same as that system directly connected to the provider network and requesting DHCP addrs from it. Your address is coming from the Asus router. Still, good on you for not subscribing to Talk Talk, like so many other shitheads in the UK.

      Do try putting your host on the BT side of your service and let us know how that goes?

      I do the same thing on my production home network; comtrend box from the provider, and either a 1st gen Airport Extreme, or my "new" test/hacking network's WRT54GL. Nothing goes in betwixt, except when checking for localized ARP cache poisoning and checking the outbound connection and provider router settings.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: O rly...

        Production home network - really? Double Natting - seriously? This makes no sense to what this issue is about.

        The home gateway on the router to the provider network - as we all know - comes from the home gateway from the radius profile and PPP negotiates it without DHCP. Unless BT run their home gateways and routers on Windows 10 that's not the point. DHCP runs on the internal interface for the clients, for better or for worse.

        Running a 3rd party router does solve one bit of the problem - whether it's in the production tier 3 home network or the DMZ in your shed. Seems a little harsh to dismiss quite a fair precaution in my mind with a lot of technical knownot putdown on the back of it.

        1. itzman

          Re: O rly...

          AIUI the issue is windows 10 and the BT router not playing nice on DHCP, so using another brand of router OR not using windows 10 solves the issue.

          1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

            Re: O rly...

            If DHCP fails when the client is pulling an address from a BT router, but works when it pulls an address from a non-BT box ... that tends to suggest that the problem is with the BT kit, not the client.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: O rly...

              "that tends to suggest that the problem is with the BT kit, not the client."

              And given my experience with the quality of the BT kit, last one I had I changed the network from 192.168.1.x to 192.168.0.x to go with my antique setup, only to find the routing dialogs were hard coded to only accept 192.168.1.x addresses. I would certainly be focussing on "the BT kit".

              It got replaced with an OpenReach Fibre modem and a proper router.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: O rly...

                This is nothing to do with BT. Microsoft has B0rken Windows' DHCP client.

                1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

                  Re: O rly...

                  Is everyone sure that this is actually a problem limited to BT routers?

                  My wife's W10 PC has been suffering from network disconnects all this week. It's losing it's IP address and we aren't using a BT router. The DHCP addresses are coming from a Linux server and I can read the logs on there and my box is offering the DHCP info and it just isn't being taken up. It's only affected 1 PC, none of our other ones seem to be affected.

                  1. Youngone Silver badge

                    Re: O rly...

                    I'm pretty sure this is a problem with the Microsoft Realtek drivers, (also maybe Broadcom).

                    I can fix it on my Win10 box by installing the latest Realtek driver, but Windows update replaces that with the Microsoft one every time.

                  2. Naselus Silver badge

                    Re: O rly...

                    "Is everyone sure that this is actually a problem limited to BT routers?"

                    I'd suggest there's about a zero % chance that it's limited to BT routers. What will have happened is that MS, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that some DHCP option or other is 20 years old and now obsolete... without bothering to check if any brand of kit is still using it. Which implies that any router using said DHCP option will not work. It's a bit like if you've ever tried to change out a Sky router - you need to activate DHCP option 61 on the outside interface to connect to their network, which most modern routers don't bother with, so you're stuck using the (unimaginably shitty) Sky kit.

                    The proximate cause of this one is MS's error - they should've checked before rolling out. But the underlying cause is telcos insisting on shipping really decrepit equipment to their customers and not replacing it in a reasonably prompt manner.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: O rly...

                      Please clarify.

                      Either the required functionality is in the relevant RFCs and any competent set of vendors should implement it properly.

                      Or it's not in the RFCs and no competent vendor should rely on it.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: O rly...

              "If DHCP fails when the client is pulling an address from a BT router, but works when it pulls an address from a non-BT box ... that tends to suggest that the problem is with the BT kit, not the client."

              No. It tells you that either the client or the server (or both!) is not fully standards complient such that in combination, they don't work.

              As it happens, I got home yesterday to my wife telling me her Win10 laptop can't connect to the network. I checked. It sees the WiFi but has a 169.*.*.* address. I tell Win10 to do run it's diags/fix thingy. It still fails. I run CMD and do an IPCONFIG /renew. Fails. Try IPCONFIG /release, IPCONFIG shows ip address details gon, use IPCONFIG to get new address and now it works. We're on VM and the Win10 laptop connects and gets DHCP from a re-purposed SamKnows monitoring router running DD-WRT. This has not been an issue once since she installed Win10. An odd coincidence? A windows 10 issue? Or does DD-WRT have the same "problem" as the BT/Plusnet routers?

              1. david 12 Bronze badge

                Re: O rly...

                >No. It tells you that either the client or the server (or both!) is not

                >fully standards complient such that in combination, they don't work.

                You have the idea that fully standards complient combinations always majgically work? ROFL

                I take it that you don't actually have much to do with writing or using standards?

              2. LDS Silver badge

                Re: O rly...

                It could be a combination of both. Once I had a issue with a Netgear wifi device which wasn't able to get an IP from an old 3Com router which worked without issues with any other device.

                Luckily my access point allowed for capturing a dump of the network traffic. It turned out the router was sending DHCP answers which contained more options (some unusual, but fully RFC compliant, like 12, "hostname") than the (open source) library used by Netgear could handle, being badly coded and implying a DHCP offer packet could not be larger than n bytes.

                I fixed it using a Raspberry PI as a DHCP server turning off the router DHCP server.

                I would not be surprised if someone at Microsoft "optimized" the DHCP code without actually knowing enough of the DHCP protocol. Many young developers believe reading the original specification and implementing full support is a waste of time.

            3. AJ MacLeod

              Re: O rly...

              It may suggest that BT's routers are to blame, but I've also seen this problem on third party routers in the past few days.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: O rly...

        Sorry, but you failed. That's clearly what OP was saying.

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    Yet another reason to be glad of not being a Windows 10 user or a BT user.

    Seriously though - DHCP - how hard can it be ??

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Seriously though - DHCP - how hard can it be ??

      Too difficult for Logitech apparently.

      I had to give my Harmony Hub a static IP address as well. This was last month so they've apparently not fixed it yet.

      1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        "I had to give my Harmony Hub a static IP address as well. This was last month so they've apparently not fixed it yet."

        Oh, is that what happened? After I tried restarting a couple times I reconfigured it into the bin. Was more fiddly than doing things by hand. Lucky I got it at a discount.

        That was months ago, though. You say this was last month? Hmmm. Maybe my kit just died.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Happy

          The original forum post was from 2015. I installed mine last month - so over a year and Logitech have still not fixed it. Mine worked but would periodically go into a fugue state for ten minutes. Giving it a static IP address fixed that. I still wish they had redesigned the remote but it's working well now.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Broken update?

    Then just roll back the individual update that went wonky & that will fix the issue!

    Oh wait. It's Windows 10 & the "open up & say AH!" method of "fixing" things.

    Webcams, wireless, & DHCP oh my!

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Broken update?

      Which is why I've just ordered another PC with Windo 7, while I can get it. :) (And must remember to go and play with that Linux box I set up earlier in the year.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Broken update?

        This "update now bitch, you're helpless" mentality is a serious fucking problem and Microsoft is going to have to address this issue. The internet is swelling with pages describing update problems with Windows 10, and quite rightfully. It's no longer a debate if Windows 10 has approached updates in a broken manner, it's a sad fact.

        These Windows update problems are making Mac and Linux look like advanced operating systems, when in reality Mac and Linux are just doing what their users expect, nothing advanced about that.

  4. I J Ellis
    Facepalm

    Our Customers Never Believe Us

    Arrive on-site, spend 15-20 mins checking the obvious then tell Joe Bloggs "It's because you've got Windows 10 and use BT broadband". They'll proceed to tell you, in excruciating detail, how their phone/tablet/laptop/neighbour are all fine & then look at you suspiciously whilst impugning your technical ability & parentage! I'm framing this... ;-)

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: Our Customers Never Believe Us

      {sigh} When something like that may require an intervention, I've already given a heads up to all the potential suffering individuals. Saves wear and tear on both sides. As for the netsh fix, been having to use it since about Windows XP in one form or another. Microsoft has regular teething problems with networking so much that ipconfig/all requires no thought at all.

    2. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: Our Customers Never Believe Us

      1000 upvotes (if only I could).Hope you will settle for one.

      This is precisely the reason I don't provide support for Windows 10 and have moved to other platforms.

      Somehow it becomes your problem for Microsoft's dodgy software.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Our Customers Never Believe Us

      "...then look at you suspiciously whilst impugning your technical ability & parentage!"

      Ah, you've evidently met either my girlfriend or some spiritual twin of hers. Every time her work laptop fails to connect to a keyboard, mouse or the same router everything else in the house is perfectly happy with, or her VPN just randomly drops, I get exactly that look.

      1. itzman
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Our Customers Never Believe Us

        Ah, you've evidently met either my girlfriend or some spiritual twin of hers. Every time her work laptop fails to connect to a keyboard, mouse or the same router everything else in the house is perfectly happy with, or her VPN just randomly drops, I get exactly that look.

        Is her name 'Cortana'??

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Our Customers Never Believe Us

      My family and friends when I'm telling them to do something over the phone to fix their kit are often the same. One memorable comment from a sibling was "But it won't work if I do that!" My response was along the lines of "Oh yes it will and remind me which one of us has the word "engineer" in their job title?"

  5. andy265

    Doesn't seem to be just BT and Plusnet, we've had customers with the same problem on others ISPs over the last few days.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: andy265

      We'd love to hear more - if you want, drop us a line to news@theregister.co.uk with details of other ISPs.

      C.

      1. Humpty McNumpty

        Re: andy265

        I've encountered this on 2 machines at work this week. Our ISP is BT but we use our own Draytek ADSL router.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge

          Re: andy265

          I'm seeing the same symptoms on my wife's win10 box connected to a gigaclear router. Fixed by clicking the "connect to network" button in network settings, but no idea if it will come back...

      2. Jonathan Smythe

        Re: same problem

        I've just dealt with three computers in the last couple of days. The first of which was a TalkTalk router; when I first looked I thought it might have been related to the mirai worm going around, but then I had a couple of others that were on BT hubs.

        Edit: on two occasions I tried setting a fixed IP address in the Windows IPv4 configuration, re-enabling DCHP after then appeared to work.

      3. Thought About IT

        Re: andy265

        I've seen the same problem on a Windows 10 PC connected to a TalkTalk HG635 SuperRouter. Had to reboot both the PC and the router to get it back online.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. Gio Ciampa

        Re: andy265

        Virgin for one... see virg.in/win10

    2. Jim Willsher

      Agreed, it's not just BT. I manage a dozen networks, all using Zen. We have Cisco 877 or Cisco 887 on them all, and we've had this problem for a few weeks now. The first time it happened, I even had a desktop PC couriered to me as I couldn't use teamviewer to access it.

      We had three on Monday, two Tuesday and two yesterday, at four different sites.

      Running those commands does fix it, but you can only run them if you are a local admin, which our users aren't....

      We actually reckon it's solely a windows problem, unrelated to any router, because all our sites use SBS 2011 or 2012 R2 as the DHCP provider. Our bets are on a recent windows update.

      It's a PITA.

      In all our cases, they are all win 10, upgraded from Win 7.

      1. arctic_haze Silver badge

        I'll correct that for you:

        In all our cases, they are all win 10, downgraded from Win 7.

      2. The Brave Sir Robin

        Not ISP related

        https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1947168-dhcp-not-working-on-windows-10?page=1#entry-6448641

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Correction

        You mean 'downgraded' from Win 7.

    3. Ian Emery Silver badge

      I know someone on SKY getting this problem in Worcestershire - might be a coincidence, but it started about the same time.

      As for Win8/8.1/10 users, I will revert to my default Simpsons mode: HA HA!!

    4. itzman

      iSP relaed?

      we've had customers with the same problem on others ISPs over the last few days.

      It appears to be related to the brand of router BT etc use. Others may use similar.

    5. Mickey Porkpies

      Virgin Media getting it on mass - had the issue with the 50mb business broadband (Netgear) router. Windows 10 seems to be getting it regularly and we have seen some of our Digital Sceens die due to same issue (Win 8) all set static now. :-(

  6. Z80

    OK here...for now?

    I'm on Windows 10 using Plusnet though a BT Homehub 4R and things are working fine. There is a restart pending following some updates though...

    The only one not for Office is KB3201845

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: OK here...for now?

      KB3201845 is a cumulative update changing god-knows-what.

      According to this German page it really could be the culprit. ISPs in mention are Swisscom and UPC.

      www.notebookcheck.com/Kein-Internet-nach-KB3201845-Wieder-Probleme-mit-einem-Windows-Update.187280.0.html

      1. nemenator

        Re: OK here...for now?

        Removing kb3201845 worked for me, on VirginMedia.

  7. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    MS appreciates our alpha testers

    Dear customer,

    Good news! Thanks to your unpaid alpha testing, this DHCP patch will be fixed before it is released to Enterprise and CBB customers.

    Unfortunately, your PC will not be able to receive the corrected patch because it can no longer get an IP address. We are aware that this will inconvenience a small number of our users. However, awareness does not equal caring, so you're on your own figuring out a workaround. We suggest using your phone to search our user forums, where other disgruntled customers have shared random solutions that probably will not work.

    Thank you again for alpha and beta testing our software. We hope you're enjoying your "free" copy of Windows 10.

    Your pal, SatNad

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: MS appreciates our alpha testers

      The release had better alpha grade when you give it to the alpha testers aka the great unwashed masses.

  8. Len Goddard

    Confused

    So confused that this post was nonsense. I realised that in time but I can't figure out how to not post so I offer this abject self-abasement.

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