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Bug Networking Operating Systems Software Windows

Workarounds for Vista's Networking Problems? 153

Posted by Cliff
from the you-might-not-wanna-upgrade-just-yet dept.
tridium asks: "I recently moved into a new place where the landlord left a Linksys WRT54G v2 router for us to use. The three laptops in the house running XP connected to it fine, but my desktop, running Vista RC1 build 5600, had to be hardwired. The Internet worked fine for a bit, but I noticed some websites weren't loading up (Google, Gmail, and several others), and IM clients weren't working. Vista's self-diagnosis said it couldn't communicate with the DNS server, so I researched and it seems the new TCP stack in Vista is wreaking havoc with my router. I upgraded the firmware from Linksys, tried manually setting IP settings, modified the registry to disable TCP window stacking, but nothing helped. Linksys support was also useless in fixing the problem. I'm at a loss and any help, short of downgrading to XP, would be greatly appreciated." Other people have experienced problems getting Vista to work with off-the-shelf routers. A thread from September identifies the new window scaling feature as a potential culprit, while another article says that Vista and SPI-enabled routers don't play well together. Whether the problem is related is unknown, but another thread offers some troubleshooting tips for anyone else who may be experiencing this problem. Has anyone figured out how to disable (or at least work around) some of the more troubling aspects of Vista's new TCP 'features'?
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Workarounds for Vista's Networking Problems?

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  • Have you tried installing the Debian or Fedora Service Packs?

    Sean
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mac1235 (962716)
      I play games you insensitive clod!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Jebus you moderators are humourless fools.
      • by LunaticTippy (872397) on Friday January 05, 2007 @07:19PM (#17482426)
        For me it stopped being funny after the 10,000th time. Imagine if every linux question were guaranteed to include multiple "Install the latest patch from Redmond" variants. Sure, it is funny once (especially the redmond one I just made up) but give it a rest once in a while. I'm extra unsympathetic to downmods since this used to be a guaranteed +5, Insightful. Stupid karma whores.

        Anyway, even the most rabid linux fan has to admit that there are people who, for various reasons, use windows. Let them ask questions and get answers without snarky unhelpful "advice" from time to time ok?
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          no
        • by jpardey (569633)
          The whole thing is getting very annoying, I admit. also stupid is when people mention it as SERIOUS ADVICE to someone reading slashdot. Oh well, next time Duke Nukem Forever is mentioned, I have a way to freshen that joke...
  • Vista RC1 build 5600 (Score:5, Informative)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:31PM (#17481698)
    Vista RC1 build 5600?

    For starters, try, oh, I dunno, a newer RC, if you were part of the test, or...wait for it...the release version?

    This sort of story makes me a bit ill. I know this is Slashdot and all, but can we please have SOME sort of filter for "my lonely pre-release copy of Vista dosen't work on my home network" stories?
    • by steak (145650)
      Vista RC1 build 5600?

      For starters, try, oh, I dunno, a newer RC, if you were part of the test, or...wait for it...the release version?

      This sort of story makes me a bit ill. I know this is Slashdot and all, but can we please have SOME sort of filter for "my lonely pre-release copy of Vista dosen't work on my home network" stories?

      QFT
    • by blincoln (592401) on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:37PM (#17481798) Homepage Journal
      For starters, try, oh, I dunno, a newer RC, if you were part of the test, or...wait for it...the release version?

      Seriously. I'm running the release with a WRT54G and it works fine. The only networking complaint I have is that there isn't a hack yet to disable the asinine TCP connection limit like there was for XP.
      • by LoadWB (592248) * on Friday January 05, 2007 @07:33PM (#17482606) Journal
        This relates to a question I posed on Amiga.org:

        Amiga.org - Forum
        http://www.amiga.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?t opic_id=35273&forum=22#forumpost417060 [amiga.org]

        "Is pluggable TCP/IP stacks feasible in mainstream operating systems?

        On Amiga we have been graced with AmiTCP, Termite TCP, Miami, Genesis, and probably other TCP/IP stacks about which I do not know. IIRC, these mutated from an original stack produced by Commodore (AS225?) and all offer some compatibility to what appears to be ubiquitous among Amiga, the bsdsocket.library.

        So I read about how Gibson Research decried the raw socket access introduced by the new Windows XP TCP/IP implentation (which has not caused the end of the world, best as I can tell,) and Windows Vista introduces another TCP/IP stack. All of these harken back to winsock.dll and winsock2.dll.

        Then there's the TCP/IP stack within the Linux kernel, and found in most Unix implementations such as Solaris (/dev/tcp, /dev/udp, etc.)

        We run into so many issues with vendors' TCP/IP stacks (like Windows XP SP2's half-open connection limitation,) why do third party vendors not create third-party TCP/IP stacks? Or do they?

        Regardless of the thought process behind the curiosity, could we speculate on the viability? Would it be a potential segregation of the mainstream OS world, or could one vendor's better implementation take over?

        I see potential for the server market where many system builders, administrators, and maintainers would like to tweak system performance and security as much as possible. Would TCP/IP outside of the operating system allow for such an approach? And would it be too much of a potential black-eye for OS vendors to ever allow?"
        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @04:10AM (#17486214)
          Windows will let you add protocols to the system, and bind and unbind them from adapters as you see fit. Someone is perfectly free to write a replacement TCP stack. However as a practical matter it's unlikely to happen because the Windows TCP stack works great for most people. Yes, the /. crowd like to bitch, but then it's full of pedantic geeks that dislike Windows so they would. There's very little incentive to replace it. For the few things that need more than it provides (like Nmap), WinPcap seems to be what's popular.
        • Uh. there was a time Windows didn't come with a TCP/IP stack. And this extended to the period when Windows DID come with a TCP/IP stack. Heck, even TODAY you can get 3rd party TCP/IP stacks.

          If you used Windows 3.x, you've probably used it - Trumpet Winsock [trumpet.com.au]. Looks like it's still around and even updated for 9x and NT.

          So there's your third party TCP/IP stack. In fact, before Microsoft had a TCP/IP stack (i.e., Win 3.x) in Windows, they released the Winsock specification, thus ensuring that people who wrote wi
          • by LoadWB (592248) *
            I remember using Trumpet. I just had a look at v5, but it seems to just be a dialer for Win9x and NT. I'm looking around on Google and just don't see and third-party stacks for Windows XP.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gravis777 (123605)
        I have had no problems with RC2. Now I admit that I could not get GAIM to work, but this is unrelated to networking - its not that GAIM will not connect, its that it won't even freakin start. Seems to be an application error. AIM Triton, Windows Live Messanger, and Yahoo all work fine.

        In fact, in my experience with Vista on two different computers on two different routers (one a Airlink, one a Linksys), I have actually experienced improved network performance over XP and, wait for it, even over Linux and OS
    • by Barny (103770)
      Yeah, remember "release candidate" is just a fancy word for open beta so far as Microsoft is concerned. But then, so is any version of windows prior to its first service pack.

      As for the filtering, next time drink from the hose [slashdot.org]!
    • For starters, try, oh, I dunno, a newer RC, if you were part of the test, or...wait for it...the release version?

      Just give Bill Gates $150 and it will work, yeah right. According to the fine summary, this problem was not resolved as of September (link has Windows Vista build 5728), do you think it's fixed now? Will spending your money magically make it work?

      This sort of story makes me a bit ill.

      Me too, but for entirely different reasons. I think I'm going to stop reading now - I already know tha

      • by jb.hl.com (782137)
        Hi there twitter, I was wondering if you'd take the time to reply to this post [slashdot.org]. Or would it make you look too much of a tool to admit that you were wrong?
    • Pass. Considering I am running a legitimate, authorized RELEASE copy of Vista on my home network. Has networking hiccups, too, but I suspect that is the conntracking P2P issue with Linksys, since my partner's wireless dies at the same time, too.
  • Here's a thought... (Score:4, Informative)

    by PFI_Optix (936301) on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:32PM (#17481708) Journal
    Wait a month and buy the real version of Vista instead of using an old, unfinished release candidate.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dan828 (753380)
      Or sign up for Technet plus and get it now. @ $350/year it's a better deal than buying Vista retail.
      • by parvenu74 (310712)
        Unless I am reading the Technet site wrong, the subscription gives you access to the latest software for evaluation purposes. It's not like the MSDN subscription where you get to have a production install.
        • by pdbaby (609052)
          access to the latest software for evaluation purposes

          Perhaps the grandparent is suggesting a long-term evaluation...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nachoboy (107025) *
          Unless I am reading the Technet site wrong, the subscription gives you access to the latest software for evaluation purposes. It's not like the MSDN subscription where you get to have a production install.

          You've got the Technet site right (eval use only [microsoft.com]), but possibly misunderstanding the MSDN terms. Please reference the full MSDN license [microsoft.com].

          Some snippets from the MSDN license FAQ [microsoft.com]:

          The MSDN End User License Agreement (EULA) allows each person with an MSDN license to use all of the software that is included in

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aadain2001 (684036)
      And in the mean time he should do what... not have internet access? I'm in a comparable situation where I plan on buying Vista when it hits the shelves for my new computer (I know, I know, I just lost my True Geek credit because I'm not going with a Linux only setup), but what do I run on it until then? I can easily run Linux, but I would like to play some games on my kick ass new video card. I could pirate XP, which may or may not work. Or I could break down and buy XP now and either buy Vista or the u
      • by tverbeek (457094) * on Friday January 05, 2007 @07:19PM (#17482420) Homepage
        And in the mean time he should do what... not have internet access?
        He has other computers; he should use one of them. Or reinstall Windows XP. That's what you do when an upgrade doesn't work out: you un-do it. Especially with pre-release software (which only an idiot installs on his only usable machine). If A doesn't work, use B which does.

        OK, if your only computer is a hot new piece of hardware that you bought/built with no operating system in anticipation of getting Windows Vista, and you have no way of accessing the internet until you can get a working installation of Vista on it, you have my sympathy... for your remarkably poor planning.
        • Hey, sometimes you have to buy the parts when the money is there. Wait much longer and it gets spent on other items (dinners out, games, girlfriend, etc). I'm sure I'm not the only one caught in this situation.
          • by antonyb (913324)

            Wait much longer and it gets spent on other items ...girlfriend... I'm sure I'm not the only one caught in this situation.

            Err... You're probably in a pretty small minority. How much does one of those cost these days?

            ant.
          • by Al Dimond (792444)
            Again: remarkably poor planning (not to mention financial discipline).
      • For $110 you can get an OEM version of XP Media Center Edition with free upgrade to Vista Home Premium. (at least you could a few weeks ago, not sure when the deadlines are).
      • by gbjbaanb (229885)
        1. he's going to have to buy an OS eventually, so buy a copy of XP with a 'free upgrade to Vista' voucher.

        2. Keep running with it connected via a cable. He says it mostly works when 'hardwired', I assume he meant cabled and although he's having DNS issues, he says it works some of the times.

        3. Run the webbrowsing via a VM image - VMware is free, and there are plenty of 'browser appliances' you can use that will use their own (linux) stacks bridged to the adapter.

        4. Run it through one of the other computers
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blincoln (592401)
        And in the mean time he should do what... not have internet access?

        How about not running a beta OS on your primary machine unless you're willing to accept the potential consequences?
    • Or even better: wait a year and buy it when all the serious bugs are fixed.
      Never buy a .0 version of anything, especially microsoft software.
  • vista rc1.5 build 5612.5.6.10
  • I don't know for sure, but if I remember correctly dd-wrt [dd-wrt.com] works well on your router. Maybe if nothing else works reflash your router with dd-wrt?
  • by frakir (760204) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {rozarmahkco}> on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:34PM (#17481758)
    Microsoft technical support?
  • workaround (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JamesTRexx (675890) <m DOT nystrom AT mbitz DOT nl> on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:34PM (#17481764) Homepage Journal
    I can't help with changes in Vista itself, but if nothing works, think about running an old pc as dns server which in turn forwards requests to the dns servers of your provider.
    You may even want it to run a proxy like Squid, that way Squid is requesting dns and not your own pc.
    • by Phillup (317168)

      think about running an old pc as dns server which in turn forwards requests to the dns servers of your provider
      I run dnsmasq [thekelleys.org.uk] on my router... no old pc needed.

      (Then again, all my computers run some form of *nix so I don't have the problem. Just mentioning that you don't need a separate pc for dns.)

      • by NoMaster (142776)
        DNSmasq is actually pretty broken when it comes to providing DHCP services for certain (mainly embedded type) clients - Google for problems associated with the XBox, network printers, etc, etc.

        (Client sends a request, DHCP server responds with an offer, client hangs. It's tied up with exactly how the offer packet should be structured, and where in it the offered IP goes.)

        As far as I can tell (and, any real DHCP gurus out there, please correct me), it's down to a oversight on the part of the DHCP spec as t
        • by Phillup (317168)
          DNSmasq is actually pretty broken when it comes to providing DHCP services for certain (mainly embedded type) clients - Google for problems associated with the XBox, network printers, etc, etc.

          I'll take your word on that.

          I only use it, and was only suggesting it be used for... DNS.

          Tho... if it reliably hangs Windows machines... that could come in handy as a tar pit like mechanism for keeping the boogers off my network.

          ;-)
          • by NoMaster (142776)
            Pity, no, it doesn't ;-).

            And at least with a Windows machine you can see it hasn't got an IP, whereas all you can do with embedded clients is swear at them and go poking around in the client/server logs and peek at what's happening on the wire...

            FWIW, the ISC reference server works fine. I run it in conjunction with pdnsd and a set of scripts to keep everything synchronised.

  • by chrisnetonline (682344) on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:34PM (#17481766) Homepage
    The instructions at this url worked for me: http://www.tech-recipes.com/modules.php?name=Forum s&file=viewtopic&t=2602#7746 [tech-recipes.com]
  • Beta Tester (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:39PM (#17481820)
    Such is the life of a beta tester...

    Oh, wait, you mean you were trying to use release canidate software it in a production environment (even if it is a home PC)? You found things didn't work correctly. Well, I'm sure you submitted your results through the appropriate channels at Microsoft, right?

    Read the fine print next time; it's for testers and developers, not for getting a free OS for a year that works correctly in a production environment.
  • Misleading article (Score:5, Informative)

    by W2k (540424) <wilhelm.svenselius@gmail. c o m> on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:40PM (#17481838) Homepage Journal

    The article describes two separate issues: TCP window scaling, and SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection). These have very little to do with each other, excepting the fact that they're both networking features in Windows Vista.

    From what I gather from a quick Google, the problem with TCP window scaling is actually one with crap routers that don't support the feature and misbehave upon encountering it. Furthermore, TCP window scaling is not new to Windows Vista. It was merely disabled by default in previous versions of Windows. The fix is extremely simple, see this article [tech-recipes.com] for information.

    The second issue, with SPI, seems to indeed be a Vista bug, but I can find no evidence whatsoever that it exists in Vista RTM, or even RC1/RC2. It's seriously not "stuff that matters" anymore. Prerelease versions always have bugs! If you don't like it, wait for the RTM (or as is usually the case with Microsoft, the first service pack)!

  • by pembo13 (770295)
    Simple: Don't install Vista. If you must use Windows , install XP. If you have the choice and can, buy a Mac. If you like computers, give Linux a try.
    • by jpardey (569633)
      The poster is posting on slashdot. He/she knows about linux. Probably XP and mac too.
  • None of the links explain what the problem is with Window Scaling. Presumably Microsoft are doing something non-standard as Linux also sets Window Scaling for TCP, and we have not seen reports of this causing problems
  • by idontgno (624372) on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:58PM (#17482108) Journal

    W...T...F...?

    If this place were even approximately "News for Nerds", Our Illustrious Editor would have realized that calling TCP Window Scaling "new" rises to the same level as referring to the recently-inaugurated Clinton administration. Literally: RFC 1323 [ietf.org] dates to 1992.

    I love the scare quotes around "features" at the end of the summary to. God forfend that that evil Micro$oft CORRECTLY implement a TCP standard.

    Sigh. Look folks. In this case, MS isn't at fault. It's craptacular consumer-grade network gear which cuts corners on standards compliance. I acknowlege freely that MS is an evil monopolistic corporation bent on world domination, but in this case that's beside the point.

    • you fail to keep in mind that MS did some wierd and wacky stuff with window scaling. violating RFCs in a wierd and wacky way even.

      thats not to say this is the cause of the breakage. its likely due to the fact the guy writing is is a thief.
      • by amorsen (7485)
        you fail to keep in mind that MS did some wierd and wacky stuff with window scaling. violating RFCs in a wierd and wacky way even.

        Documentation welcome. I don't believe you.
    • by megaditto (982598)
      God forfend...
      What are you, some kind of a Shakespeare fan?
  • by quazee (816569) on Friday January 05, 2007 @06:58PM (#17482118)
    The problem is that most consumer-level hardware is only tested with the most common TCP settings, so, changing the TCP receive window (RWIN) or maximum transfer unit (MTU) often reveals hidden bugs in their TCP/IP implementations.
    Even the subtle changes in timing of the packets may trigger previously undiscovered bugs.

    In my case, the web interface of the Acorp LAN420 ADSL router was 'freezing' 75% of the times when accessed from Vista(RTM). Upgrading to the latest firmware solved this problem.

    If everything else fails, you can try disabling RWIN scaling by running this as administator:
    netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled
    netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

    (to see the list of available options, just run 'netsh interface tcp set global')
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Both Vista RC1 and RC2 both had problems nwith the WRT54G series routers if you had your IPv6 stack enabled. These problems are resolved in the release version.
  • Sad, just sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zcubed (916242)
    The editors must sit around and watch a retarded monkey for guidance as to which submissions are accepted or rejected. If the monkey picks his ass the submission is accepted and if he picks his nose it is rejected. Go ahead mod me down, this article is a joke. I had to look at my calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st.
  • There are four computers in your home. Three are running Windows XP, one is running Windows Vista. The computers running WinXP are fine, but your computer running WinVista is having problems, and you conclude that your router is broken and pester Linksys with your operating system issues?
    • by cnettel (836611)
      As others have noted, OS and hardware specific features (that nonetheless are following the specs) can get cheap consumer routers to behave strangely. DLink DI-624+ routers (at least those sold in some regions) couldn't handle multiple Centrinos with adaptive power management, for example. A temporary instruction to disable the setting was released (hurting battery life), finally followed by a firmware update. Maybe the Intel implementation is really in error, but if so, D-link never bothered to make that
    • by amorsen (7485)
      There are four computers in your home. Three are running Windows XP, one is running Windows Vista. The computers running WinXP are fine, but your computer running WinVista is having problems, and you conclude that your router is broken and pester Linksys with your operating system issues?

      Computers running anything with TCP Window Scaling have problems. We have been pestering Linksys and other router manufacturers since before XP was released. The router is broken.
  • I was able to use my laptop last week, running Vista (RTM), just fine via wifi and wired modes on a more recent version of that same wireless router.
    You may be able to flash the router with updated bits, and that might help. Also note: my laptop did just fine (i.e., "just worked") via wifi all the way from beta 2, tho I recall having some issues connecting to a WPE2-encrypted station. I don't know if it was a software issue or a user issue, tho.

    Out of curiousity, were you able to connect without encryptio
  • Linksys wrt54g's originally used linux based firmwares until cisco bought them and then started selling linux based wrt54gs's at a premium... Well there are a few community made firmwares like DD-WRT (www.dd-wrt.com) and openWRT which offer much more features and will allow you to turn on SPI if it's still a problem.
    • by mabu (178417)
      This is really sickening.

      I recently purchased a new Linksys router and I could have sworn it was not as stable as an older one. Now I know why. Cisco really sucks. I guess they can no longer innovate so they have to cripple products in order to sell their higher-end stuff. This is probably a major factor in them acquiring Linksys in the first place.
    • by greg1104 (461138)
      Linksys wrt54g's originally used linux based firmwares until cisco bought them and then started selling linux based wrt54gs's at a premium...

      This statement has a spin on it that I'm not happy with; let's consider the facts instead. See Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] for more details.

      Between V4.0 and V5.0 of the firmware, Cisco/Linksys switched from using Linux as the firmware for the WRT54G/WRT54GS to VxWorks. The lower memory footprint of VxWorks allowed them to halve the amount of RAM and flash in the box, substantially low
  • by artifex2004 (766107) on Friday January 05, 2007 @08:32PM (#17483176) Journal
    If you would like to keep scalable TCP windows, you might try flashing your Linksys with DD-WRT [dd-wrt.com] or one of the other Linux-based firmwares [linksysinfo.org]. One or more of them is bound to have support for it.

  • My Powerbook -- well, the screen is dead for the moment, but it has been a router killer for some time now. I haven't been able to figure out whether it's OS X, the VPN, the SSH, or what, but everywhere I go with this thing, routers die and have to be reset (pull the plug). Sometimes it doesn't happen for days, sometimes it happens every hour or so, sometimes I open the thing up from sleep, get all connected to the wireless, and watch it kill the router.

    I'm hoping that Vista will convince these router manuf
    • by Divebus (860563)
      Let me guess - you figured out how to set the MTU to 9000.
      • I'll have to check that, but it's doubtful. This is wireless, so Gigabit just doesn't make sense. I do occasionally use a Gigabit crossover...

        But so what? Does this mean we can "ping of death" these crap Linksys boxes? Gives new meaning to "wardriving"...
  • As others have stated - get the newer RC, or wait for the full release.

    I have an IBM (pre Lenevo by a few weeeks) G41 laptop and the wireless works perfectly with my WRT54G R3.0.
  • by mabu (178417)
    Why use a software product that is incompatible with other mainstream hardware and software?

    The obvious solution is to dump Vista. Is there any great reason to have it at this point other than you're looking to waste a tremendous amount of time beta-testing compatibility issues for Microsoft without pay?
  • by dr00g911 (531736) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @01:11AM (#17485332)
    I've run into this problem with RC1, and occasionally standard XP machines wouldn't connect to Win update.

    My solution? Change the MTU on the router to 1492. Problem solved.

    --droog
  • Switch to XP (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheLink (130905) on Saturday January 06, 2007 @07:45AM (#17486842) Journal
    Linux is not a substitute for Vista. Windows XP is, for now unless more and more people switch to Vista.

    As long as people keep switching to the next MS version of windows MS will continue to have control.

    If people stick with XP, then Linux and everyone else will have a chance.

    http://slashdot.org/~TheLink/journal/158520 [slashdot.org]
  • Here's my #1 Windows networking complaint, which still doesn't seem to be fixed in Vista (and I'd love a workaround for). You have a C, D and E drive locally. You map a network files drive F with 'net use' or the GUI.

    You then plug in a USB hard drive. Windows assigns the drive F, and you can't access it unless you change its drive letter in Computer Management.

    Why? It's not like it doesn't know there is something using that letter...

    • by smash (1351)
      Work-around? Start mapping network drives from Z, backwards. I agree, the windows handling of this is retarded, but then so is the whole concept of drive letters in the first place...

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