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W2K - Gracefully Handling Internet Outage


Broadband Internet access is generally reliable, but outages still occur. When they do, you might experience a problem with your workstations no longer seeing your broadband router.

For example, let's say you use a DSL broadband connection and your service goes offline for an hour or so. When your service comes back up, your workstations can no longer access the Internet. You could reboot the workstations to get them back on the Internet, but there's a much easier solution: Disable Media Sense in Windows.

The Media Sense feature in Windows 2000 allows Windows to detect the link state of a network connection. When Windows detects that the link state is down, Windows unbinds the protocols from the adapter until it redetects an up state. This behavior can prevent Windows from gracefully handling an Internet outage. By turning off Media Sense, you prevent Windows from unbinding the protocols, and eliminate the need to reboot when the service comes back online.

Here's how to disable Media Sense in Windows 2000 Professional:

First, open the Registry Editor and open:



1. Add a DWORD value named DisableDHCPMediaSense.
2. Set the value of DisableDHCPMediaSense to 1.
3. Close the Registry Editor and restart the computer.

Media Sense makes it possible for Windows 2000 computers to disconnect from one network and detect new settings when you connect it to a different one. If you don't move your computer between networks, disabling Media Sense can simplify your life when Internet outages occur.

If you do move your computer between networks, you might eventually need to set the value of DisableDHCPMediaSense to 0 to re-enable the feature.

REMINDER: Editing the registry can be risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

From techrepublic.com.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • was that "1" a binary or hexadecimal value?

    2008-10-21 14:23:26

Expand got feedback?

by alturner See Profile edited by lev See Profile
last modified: 2004-01-01 22:00:54