How to Fix an Unidentified Network in Windows Vista
By Ruri Ranbe
Most businesses require Internet access to keep in touch with clients or customers, check for new orders, review inventory, communicate with employees and other important tasks. Critical processes can come to a screeching halt at some organizations if workstations aren't able to access the Internet. Certain applications or network settings can cause Windows Vista to see an Ethernet or wireless connection as an "unidentified network," preventing the PC from going online. You can restore network function to the PC by downloading the latest software for the network adapter, changing adapter settings or fixing the default gateway.
Click "Start | Control Panel | Network and Internet | Network and Sharing Center" and then select "Manage Network Connections," or click the Start button, type "ncpa.cpl" into the search field and press "Enter."
Right-click "Local Area Connection" if on a wired network or connected to the modem; right-click "Wireless Network Connection" if connected via Wi-Fi.
Select "Properties" from the context menu and then deselect "Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)." Click "OK."
Right-click the connection and then choose "Disable" from the options to disconnect from the network or modem. Right-click the connection again and then click "Enable."
Reconnect to the wireless network, if applicable.
Update Device Drivers
Click "Start | Control Panel | System and Maintenance | Device Manager" or click the Start button, type "devmgmt.msc" into the search field and then press "Enter."
Double-click "Network Adapters." Right-click the Ethernet adapter if on a wired network or connected to a cable modem; right-click the Wi-Fi adapter if on a wireless network.
Click "Update Driver Software." Select the option "Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software" and then follow the wizard to download and install new software, if available.
Modify the Routing Table
Click "Start | All Programs | Accessories | Command Prompt," or click the Start button, type "cmd.exe" into the search field and press "Enter."
Type the following command into the terminal: route delete 0.0.0.0
Press "Enter" to remove the invalid default gateway. Restart the computer.
You may also need to deselect "Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver" and "Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder" in the Local Area Connection Properties or Wireless Network Connection Properties window.
Ruri Ranbe has been working as a writer since 2008. She received an A.A. in English literature from Valencia College and is completing a B.S. in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Ranbe also has more than six years of professional information-technology experience, specializing in computer architecture, operating systems, networking, server administration, virtualization and Web design.