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Vista connecting to hotspot but only getting local access

by malcolmrc / April 1, 2007 10:51 PM PDT

I just upgraded (unwillingly) to Vista Business on a new computer: dell Latitude d240.

I can connect fine through hardline or my home network. I have tried a friends wireless network, and it worked there.

The problem I'm having is on certain hotspots: specifically those that require a log-in to work.

I'm used to connecting to the hotspot, trying to get to some webpage (for example,, getting redirected to some page to log-in, logging in, and then being on the internet.

What is happening is that I connect to the hotspot and get local access, go to, and don't get redirected. Instead it just gives the standard error message that I'm not connected to the internet.

I've tried connecting with both IE and Firefox, the exact same thing happens.

- it's not my computers hardware, since I can connect to other networks
- it's not the hotspot, since other computers work fine
- I suspect it's some new security feature preventing redirects, but a)don't know how to allow redirects and b) am not sure that's the problem.

Any suggestions?

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Suggestions only.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2007 12:14 AM PDT

1. Call Dell. It's this machine as you have proven so it's a warranty issue.

2. I suspect it's part of the new Vista security. I'm not up on what that could be but the concept is simple so I'll write how it can fail. One of the big failures was IE would apply the wrong security to pages with mixed sources or transfer/redirects to another page. Vista/IE likely tripped up on that redirect and failed to get there. You have the Vista IE machine so try lowering the security to test what it takes for that site to work.

3. Use firefox.


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Thanks: any other ideas out there?
by malcolmrc / April 2, 2007 12:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Suggestions only.

Well, as usual, Dell says call microsoft, and MS says call Dell... I think it is Dells issue" they are actually in charge of even alot of MS problems apparently. I was hoping to get this done without tech support from them though, cause it's a public area and I hate to be on the phone with them there.

As already stated in my initial post, I've tried both IE and Firefox. I'll try lowering the security though, at least to get the initial connection. Any suggestions from anybody else?

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The buck stops here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2007 1:02 AM PDT

The call to Dell should have ended with you asking to RMA the defective unit. The unit doesn't work at hotspots when your other machines and everyone else does so it's defective and you want your money back so you can buy something that works.

Only then they might kick you up to someone that will tell you to "do this." I know what causes the problem but we don't use Vista or allow it yet at the office so I can only offer the vague reason why it does that.

Dell also sells laptops with XP. So exchanging it for a XP Dell laptop is possible.


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Not sure it is returnable yet
by malcolmrc / April 2, 2007 1:16 AM PDT
In reply to: The buck stops here.

I'm still not sure it's defective. I can connect to other wireless networks; it appears to be a software issue which I don't think is an acceptable reason for a return.

Also, I got Vista since it's what we are using at my office: I like to just have one operating system so I can make sure all the software and hardware works with all my computers. I'll do it if I have to, but it's not the first option.

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It is a defect.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 2, 2007 1:42 AM PDT

You have your XP laptop that works fine. The new laptop does not work fine.

-> Sadly some will let such an issue slide and get stuck paying some geeksquad for the cure. This is unacceptable to me.


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Same problem here with a Gateway laptop & Vista
by jmbklj / August 13, 2007 8:51 AM PDT
In reply to: It is a defect.

You are so right. I just came back from the Geek Squad. They told me to leave my laptop there but I brought it home to research this problem more before turning it over to them. They told me it could be 1 to 2 weeks without my laptop which is unacceptable. I do have one week home but then need to take it on the road again. It's a definte problem not to have internet access with it on the road.

Mine is a Gatewaty with Vista also. It used to connect fine but not for the last 3 weeks or so. I have tried in 7 hotels and one airline club on the road. Other people have been able to connect wirelessly at these hotels when I was not able to do so. I have spoken to those hotels network help lines, with no possible suggestion of what the problem is. At one hotel, they gave me a bridge with a small router to plug into my laptop and I was able to connect that way. If the hotel offers wired service, it works, but so many hotels are going to wireless only. It is perplexing to me why I get only the local connect and am not able to access the internet. I guess I'll try to call Gateway.

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Not a Dell defect
by megkag / April 23, 2007 10:43 PM PDT

I am having the same problem with a brand new Gateway.

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It is a known driver defect and is...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 23, 2007 11:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Not a Dell defect

The maker delivering it with the bum driver. It's clear to me that it is a defect since I've seen it cured many times with the laptop maker issuing a new driver or swapping out the wifi card in the unit. This one confuses many since it works here but not there. This has lead to some owners refusing the idea there is a defect. Those can't be helped until someone explains the issue in detail. Me? I'd rather just fix it.


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Not Just a Dell Issue
by dranard / July 6, 2007 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Not a Dell defect

I have a Sony VGN-SZ440 running Vista Business. It connects to our 3Com wireless network just fine, but when I try to go to a browser to get the wireless portal login page...I just get error messages. I have the same issue with a Dell Latitude D630 running Vista Ultimate. I have also tried Firefox with no success. From my limited perspective of the world, it appears to be a Microsoft Vista issue.

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Even if it is a Vista issue ...
by Kees Bakker / July 6, 2007 1:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Not Just a Dell Issue

Dell is OEM, so Dell does the support. That's part of the deal between Microsoft and Dell. If they can't get it working, it's their problem, not yours.

It's a quite reasonable requirement for a laptop to work at hotspots. So if it doesn't within the warranty period you didn't get what you paid for. And that's the reason to return it if they can't fix it.


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This one belongs to Sony.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 6, 2007 5:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Not Just a Dell Issue

I'm unsure how much stronger I can make my words here. I'm now well past 100 incidents across almost all makers. The top fix is a driver from the maker. This driver has yet to come from Microsoft.

I hope I've made this clear now.


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Local Only
by supakeepa / July 16, 2007 5:36 AM PDT

The previous responses were pretty stupid if you ask me.
1) The issue is not with his Dell Computer, it is with Vista. The computer would not be replaced by Dell no matter how many times he asked. They might replace the wifi card if anything.
2) He can connect to other wireless networks, but not some that require a log in. Again, this shows the wifi card is fine and the problem is with software.
3) Dell is obligated only to fix basic OS issues. The majority of the responsibility for fixing a bad piece of software falls on the manufacturer
4) The drivers come from the part manufacturers, not from the OEMs.
5) Rather than just spouting off a bunch of nonsense, how about you really try to find a solution to the problem.
6) ) In my experience the local only problem is very often fixed by running the repair utility in the Network and File sharing center.

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Back at you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2007 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Local Only

You didn't supply a cure either. It's likely because the situation is as described above.

Unlike OPEN SOURCE PROJECTS we can fix such items if they deliver it with the defects described above.

Looking forward to your not s_____ reply.


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Accessing wireless with Vista and Intel wireless
by ckelsen / July 24, 2007 11:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Back at you.

We are having the same issues with connecting to the access points, the computer is getting a valid IP address and then not being able to browse the Internet. OS: Vista (doesn't matter what version); APs: 3Com; Wireless Cards: Intel (different versions); PC Make: Any. On "home networks" everything works fine. We found a "work around" by installing the latest XP drivers for the wireless cards on Vista machines. Everything works just fine then. So that tells me it is for sure a driver/Vista issue.


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Thanks for the update.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 25, 2007 12:26 AM PDT

I'm running into this one more often. Some laptops arrive with old or defective drivers. It's a shame they can't deliver it working everytime. For most machines no issue. But who brings me their working machine?


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by willyhoops / September 18, 2007 1:09 AM PDT
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How can this be true? I have 2 Vista laptops and just fine.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2007 1:16 AM PDT

Somethings amiss here. If your post was true why would ours work?

And we've been all over at many hotspots.


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hotspots and vista
by willyhoops / September 18, 2007 1:30 AM PDT

Not every router or every hotspot will fail with Vista. Have you tried the Jetblue hotspots? How about the Vodafone hotspots?
Maybe it's also some hardware and not others.
Maybe it's also your PC came with a wireless switching program that runs on top of vista and works. But if you forked out for a fresh retail vista and installed it you would find it failing.

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Forked out.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2007 1:37 AM PDT
In reply to: hotspots and vista

I consider Vista to be very unfriendly to those that build their own PCs. Even more so to the poor soul that upgrades a laptop.

But all the Vista laptops I have access to and my friends as well have yet to report this issue. Go figure why.

There is an issue that extends back to Windows 2000, XP and now Vista but I have found people to wipe up a frenzy over that and call it a Vista bug. It's not. Which one is that? The issue of trying to connect to WAPs with the SSID broadcast disabled. They tend to drop connects as well no matter which OS (save Linux?)


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Forked Out-be specific
by dranard / September 18, 2007 2:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Forked out.

It would help if we talked specifics.

What versions of wireless cards are being used, what method is used to connect to the wireless hotspots, etc.

For instance, we cannot get Vista to work with an integrated intel wireless card using a portal page authentication method to a 3com wireless switch. We can get Vista to work with a Wireless Encryption Key, however. This stinks for us, because we wanted to authenticate with a customized portal page...not be in the business of entering encryption keys.

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You declared..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2007 5:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Forked Out-be specific


I was responding to your subject title. It was rather broad.


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by willyhoops / September 18, 2007 9:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Forked Out-be specific

Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address from certain routers or from certain non-Microsoft DHCP servers
View products that this article applies to.
Article ID : 928233
Last Review : September 6, 2007
Revision : 2.0
Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 ( Description of the Microsoft Windows registry
Consider the following scenario: ? You connect a Windows Vista-based computer to a network.
? A router or other device that is configured as a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server is configured on the network.
? The router or the other device does not support the DHCP BROADCAST flag.
In this scenario, Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address.
Back to the top

This issue occurs because of a difference in design between Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). Specifically, in Windows XP SP2, the BROADCAST flag in DHCP discovery packets is set to 0 (disabled). In Windows Vista, the BROADCAST flag in DHCP discovery packets is not disabled. Therefore, some routers and some non-Microsoft DHCP servers cannot process the DHCP discovery packets.
Back to the top

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.To resolve this issue, disable the DHCP BROADCAST flag in Windows Vista. To do this, follow these steps:

blah blah blah

XP and Apple MAC are OK]

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wireless w/Vista
by ADJFerret / August 15, 2007 3:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Not a Dell defect

Hi. I just bought a gateway a couple of months ago, and for some reason the internal wireless card wont work at this one hotspot buy my house, but will work at other spots. I called the gateway support, and they didnt know other than I could send me computer in which I really dont want. I am using a friends wireless card, and it seems to work fine. The internal card, connection 2 says, you are about to enter a unsecured site of coarse I continue and it wont connect. The card I am borrowing just connect without asking for permission. Can anybody help me? the driver for the internal cards driver has had the most recent vista update, can anybody help?

thanx - AARON -

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"the driver for the internal cards driver has had the most
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 15, 2007 3:34 PM PDT
In reply to: wireless w/Vista

"the driver for the internal cards driver has had the most recent vista update"

Microsoft's updates are not applicable for drivers. You get those from Gateway. Many didn't know this and make a statement like yours. Check with Gateway for the drivers.

I think using another card is the fix for now.


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by ADJFerret / August 15, 2007 4:15 PM PDT

Hi. Thanx for the quick reply, though I went to the gateway site and there driver is the same as the one I am using, I will just have to return the one I am using, and buy one. I was hoping to avoid having to purchase a new card, but it will have to do until I can figure out why it wont connect to the wireless network in my home.


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Any Resolutions?

As one of the hot spot providers who is trying to support this issue, I'm curious if anyone has come up with a solution to the Vista issue. We receive calls every day from users across all manufacturer platforms. To date, we have not determined what is causing this issue.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



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vista local only internet
by willyhoops / September 30, 2007 11:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Any Resolutions?

If only we could get someone from microsoft to write one of their blogs explaining all this mess. i am downgrading all my laptops from vista to xp but it's a pain. i can't believe this issue does not get more press attention....

Here is an article from google groups about someone running a university campus wireless network beggin for advice and getting none...

Got I hate MSFT


Okay... here goes...

I'm an IT Tech for a housing department for a state university. One
section of the apartments was not built for a hard wire connection so a
wireless "solution" was implemented. We have a wireless bridge that
streches across the buildings into several Cisco 1231 APs.

Here is where the fun begins.

Any student that uses Windows XP, OS X, or any OS other than Vista can
receive DHCP no problem. When a student uses a Vista based OS (Basic to
Ultimate) I will temporarily get DHCP and then is lost within a few
minutes or at a reboot and the connections drops to "Local Only" Access.
Keep in mind later on that they will get an IP address yet still have a
"Local Only" connection.

At first I went through and did the basic ipconfig and netsh commands
to disable autotuning and disabling IPV6. No Luck. I went through and
disabled security features in the Firewall. I went into the APs and
updated the software to the Latest IOS version and changed the ecryption
from WEP (26 Hex) to WPA-Personal TKIP. No luck.

I then manaully set the IP Address, Subnetmask, and DNS Servers to what
corresponded to the network. I connected and never went into "Local
Only" at all. I reset it to obtain IP automatically and all I got was
"Local Only" Access.

This has been going on for about a month....

Today, I was investigating seeing if I could ping anything within the
Local Network. Not suprised, I was not able to ping the local gateway in
"Local Only". I tried to ping another vista laptop on the same network
connected through a hardwire connection and it all timed out.

Here's the interesting part. I then took the hardwire Vista Laptop and
Pinged the local only wireless laptop... I got responses (less than 1ms)
onto the wired laptop.

Since that happend I am so baffeled I called Microsoft and filed a
"complaint" and that they would investigate this. I'm not having
Microsoft charge me $245for their flaw in the OS and have some tech say
"yeah you got a problem" and end the conversation there.

I've run all "hot fixes" changed registry keys, change battery
performance levels and no luck.

The only thing that works is a static IP address but these are students
that take their laptops to class and wouldn't be able to connect to the
University's wireless and wouldn't know how to re-insert a static IP

Anybody got any insight?

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Only this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 1, 2007 3:33 AM PDT

I have solved every unit I've run into. I have shared above my methods and hope you find them useful.


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THE FIX.......
by Burner79 / January 23, 2008 10:56 PM PST

Had 2 PC's come into the shop this week with the exact same issue as you all are having. I checked and checked what I thought was all the Vista network settings and I was still confused. The only conclusion was it was a Software issue in Vista and to wipe and reload.
That's NOT the case.
For some unknown reason Vista is randomly filling the network settings with Static IP's and DNS....

To FIX this goto Control Panel and under Network and Internet click "View Network status and tasks".. Find your wired network connection and click "View status" then click "properties" When asked for Permission click "continue" Look under the networking tab and click "Internet Protocol Version 4" <- Must be Version 4 not 6. Under the General tab make sure both settings are set to "Obtain automatically".

Yes this is a bit more confusing than XP. It is unknown why Vista is doing this, but it has been the fix for 2 laptops that all in a sudden wouldn't connect on wired Networks this past week. If the problem happens again just repeat these steps.

Hope this solves all your problems as well!!!

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Local Access Only
by fprbroker / February 1, 2008 12:00 AM PST

I have an ACER Aspire 3050-1118 AMD laptop, and I have full connectivity at my office, but local access only at home. I can't send e-mail from Outlook at home, but can access the internet. It drives me crazy. I have VISTA Home Premium. I believe it is a software issue with VISTA, but haven't been able to resolve it so far.

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