So, I ran into some very bizarre Windows networking behavior the other day, and thought I’d share both the experience and remedy.
My intent was to install a USB wireless adapter for the purpose of cleaning one more wire off my desk. Due to the fact that the extremely generic and cheapo nature of the USB wireless adapter, finding the correct drivers was a chore. Once the right ones were located, I had to go remove the previously installed, incorrect driver for the adapter. Lo and behold, I came to notice something very quirky about this particular Windows installation. Both my ethernet and wireless adapters were viewable in the Device Manager, however neither had an icon under “adapter settings” in the Network Center. All manner of obvious tricks were not working: winsock reset, removing all drivers and allowing for auto detection, etc. From my cursory research, this problem usually went hand in hand with loss of network activity and ultimately, access to the internet; this was not the case, as I was using the same computer to research a solution. I was able to locate a registry fix on Windows 7 Forums thread that seemed to do the trick for me:
- Run regedit
- Locate the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL-MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network
- Right click and select ‘Export’ to back up the entire key
- Expand ‘Network’ and then delete the ‘Config’ entry. DO NOT DELETE THE ENTIRE ‘NETWORK’ KEY!
- Restart the computer, the ‘Config’ entry will be reconstructed on reboot