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"Limited or no connectivity" Network Error in Service Pack 2

By: Arie Slob

Limited or no connectivity

I have heard several people complain about this problem: After upgrading to Windows XP Service Pack 2, they lose their network connection. The Local Area Connection Status will show a warning that it has "Limited or no connectivity".

It happened to me too, and I took some time to figure out what was wrong. I use a Linksys broadband router to connect several PC's to my ADSL connection. Never had any connectivity problems before. Computers are set to obtain IP addresses & DNS server addresses automatically. The Linksys router has its DHCP server enabled.

Netwerk Connection Details

After installing SP2 on my laptop I ran into problems. Windows XP wouldn't connect to the Internet anymore. After checking the connection details, I noticed that the connection had somehow been assigned a 169.254.x.x address, instead of a 192.168.1.x address that should have been "handed" out by the DHCP server.

Weird thing was that at the same time my desktop computer was running too, and its network connection status showed that it had been assigned an IP address by the DHCP server.

Then I decided to see if I would get any error messages if I "renewed" the IP address of my network adapter by running the command ipconfig /renew from a command window, and sure enough, I got an error: An error occurred when renewing interface Local Area Connection: Unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out.

After double checking to see if all my cables were still connected correctly, I decided there's only one thing left to do: reset the router. So I removed the power from it, reconnected it -and- BINGO!

Address assigned by DHCP

That was it! The laptop could connect to the DHCP server again. Don't ask me why the desktop didn't have any problems. I even renewed its IP address shortly before I did a "reset" on the router, and no problems occurred.

So, if you are struggling with this problem, try resetting your router. I had been running the same setup for well over a year, and never experienced this problem before... maybe I was just lucky?

Microsoft have released an update for Windows XP SP2 (KB884020). Programs that connect to IP addresses in the loopback address range may not work as expected and you may receive an error message indicating you cannot establish a connection. You can read more about this update in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 884020. The update is available from the Microsoft Download site.

If you have networking problems, you can post your questions in the Networking forum on the WindowsBBS support forum.