Just in time for Christmas, Microsoft pushed an update last week for Windows 8 and 10 that broke the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and knocked user offline until they rebooted their systems.

The network connectivity of several European users was broken after a cumulative update KB 3201845, which was released on December 09. It’s not clear if the problem was isolated to Europe or not but Microsoft is displaying a global banner that declares all users with Internet connectivity problems should restart (not shutdown) their hardware.

Virgin Media and Proximus are the latest to confirm the reports on broken DHCP.

DHCP is the protocol that distributes network configuration data to all the relevant devices on the network and handles automatically assigning IP addresses, for example. You don’t need a DHCP server to access the Internet, but most home networks are configured to expect one, and the average user probably isn’t comfortable with the process of mapping out static IPs to each device on the network.

Users who statically assigned their LAN addresses were saved from the knockout but rest others had to either reboot or manually assigned their IP/gateway/DNS servers etc.

Essentially, the PCs cannot automatically pick up their LAN-side IP address, router address and DNS settings from their broadband routers, causing them to drop off the internet and disappear from other devices on their network.

Microsoft do seem to be aware of it and so they’ll probably rush out a hotfix for this but even if they do, the question is how people who are not able to connect to the internet supposed to get it?

The problem can be solved with a simple “ipconfig /release” command, followed by “ipconfig /renew” but some users are also reporting that this fix is insufficient, and a separate set of commands are also needed, specifically: “netsh int ip reset” followed by “ipconfig /flushdns”.

If you configure your box to use static addresses, you should be okay, or you can run the following the commands to reset the operating system’s networking components:

“netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log”

Soon a permanent fix should be out by Microsoft.

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