Updated With more and more Windows 10 users losing internet and network connectivity – thanks to a dodgy software update that broke DHCP – you'd have thought Redmond would be on the ball with a cunning fix. Sadly not: the only official advice is to go away and reboot your PC.
“Some customers have reported difficulties connecting to the Internet, and instructions on how to address this are posted here in our help forum,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg.
The Redmond spinner would not reveal which Windows Update patch is at fault – and it's hard for us or anyone to tell from the online documentation because Microsoft is deliberately vague about the contents of its updates.
The robotic response simply advises people to reboot the PC and try again, and includes a how-to guide of which buttons to press. Holding down shift before and during a shutdown forces a clean restart and may clear the problem. If that fails, there are a lot of drivers to reinstall, firewalls to be reconfigured and wireless reports to be found – which is all a bit complex for someone who needs instructions on how to reboot their PC.
And also unnecessary and unreliable. Rebooting doesn't always correct the problem. A better solution, for now, is to use static IP addresses. Alternatively, you can run the commands in this article to restart gummed-up components in the operating system's networking stack.
The issue appears to stem from a specific update that has borked the Windows Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) client so that a LAN-side IP address, router address and DNS settings cannot be automatically obtained from the broadband router. It doesn't matter which ISP or router you have, the problem is widespread albeit intermittent so not all users experience it. We're also hearing that it affects some Windows 8.1 and 7 users, too.
In an ideal world, Microsoft would identify and name the patch that is causing the upset, users could take it off their systems, and everyone's happy. But Microsoft is either unwilling or unable to give out that information.
So users can either reboot, switch to static IPs, try the flushing commands, revert their updates to an earlier point, install Linux, try macOS, or give up and move off the grid into the forests where it is calm and peaceful. We await on tenterhooks for a clearer answer from Microsoft, which earlier claimed it was investigating the bug. Until there's anything useful from Redmond, good luck. ®
Updated to add
After some not-so-gentle persuasion, Microsoft has issued a patch to correct this networking cockup.