The Geeks' Den: Unidentified Network Windows 7 - Solved!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Unidentified Network Windows 7 - Solved!

One of my Windows 7 PCs on my Home network (which has 3 XP machines, 1 Vista, and 2 Windows 7 machines) started having the "Unidentified Network" problem. It wouldn’t connect to the already existing Home Network setup that it previously connected to fine. After some trial and effort and research, this is the following approach that worked for me:

First of all I checked CMD Prompt to see my current IP address using the command: ipconfig and it had 169.254.x.x which appears when the gateway fails to give the computer a correct address. Which should be something like 192.168.x.x (dependant on your network setup).

So I changed my adapter MAC address:

Device Manager >
Network Adapters >
Right Click on the network card >
Properties >
Advanced Tab >
Network Address and enter a 12-digit alphanumeric string (0 to 9 or A to F) in the value field eg 1234567890AB >

Now open CMD prompt and type:
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

Success! Now my pc is back on the correct network and I am able to stream movies to my other PCs again.

UPDATE: Microsoft has an article relating to this issue here. It looks like the issue goes back to Windows Vista not able to obtain an IP address from certain routers or from certain non-microsoft DHCP servers. I will update this post soon to show the 2nd option here.


  1. THANKS SO MUCH, this works a treat! i was getting so angry about the wireless suddenly stopping working after my first restart (new computer).

  2. Thanks very much! Your solution worked perfectly and was readable from lynx in a terminal (which, due to the problem, was my only recourse).

  3. Works like a charm! Thanks a lot!

  4. Hope this works, Il give it a shot

  5. i spent hours on this, i followed the instructions up to changing the network address on adaptor when i okayed that it logged straight on, i didnt have to to into the CMD prompt, but if it happens again i will go through the rest, dont want to do anything else when its working !! Brilliant info..THANKS !! AuDbOd !!

  6. Thanks a lot.. will give a shot today!!

  7. didnt work for me... :( kept saying no operation can be performed on wireless network connection while it has its media disconnected.

  8. David, just wondering if you are on a wireless connection to your modem or if you are on Ethernet? Have you tried this using an Ethernet connection?

  9. It worked for me, great job!!! Thanks a lot man!

  10. I am having similar problems, but my wireless adapter spent most of the time disconnected and so I can't use the ipconfig commands.

    When it does connect, I get the 'unidentified network' problem. Is there a solution that can be done even when the wireless adpater doesn't connect? Otherwise I'll just wait until the few minutes it does connect


  11. Did not work for me. i put in the hex number suggested (1234567890AB). Should use a different number.

  12. Thank you a lot! I do not know how many hours I've spent on this. You've made my day!

  13. I've been trying to figure it out for weeks! This worked perfectly. Thanks!!

  14. For those of you who still can't get to fix this, maybe you can read up on this article here!

  15. Hi everyone. I spent a couple of hours doing tests and found what looks like the most simple solution so far.
    If you have more than one network adapter, disable the one/s you're NOT using and reset (disable/enable) the one you ARE using.
    After that, W7 will prompt you to specify the type of connection (Home, Work, Public). Click on the right one and you should be up and running in a few seconds.
    It's worked for me. Hope it does the trick for you as well.

  16. Where do I find this 12-digit alphanumeric string that I should enter under the Network Access value?