Windows 2008 R2 – Unidentifed Network
Posted on 21 April 2012
I came across this issue two times in the past week on two different Windows 2008 R2 virtual machines running on vSphere. Ultimately I was able to fix these two boxes and decided to post what worked for me in hopes it might save someone else some time and frustration.
In one case this error occured out of the blue on a previously working server after a reboot. The second case was a POC server VM that I hadn’t connected to in a couple weeks. When I went back to finish my testing I couldn’t access the server from the network.
In both cases the network connections where now listed and “Unidentifed Network” and all traffic to and from the server was being blocked even though the Firewall was disabled. I could ping the server IP from the server itself, but I could not access anything else on the network. I tried removing and adding the NICs from the OS and VM shell. I also tried the NETSH INT IP RESET to reset the TCP stack. I tried different subnets, IPs, Port Groups, etc, all with no joy. Below is how I finally fixed the issue.
NOTE: These errors occured for me on two different lab servers in somewhat isolated test networks. As such the fix I employed is appropriate for those environments. In a production environment I might be reaching for my credit card or support agreement with MS and give them a call.
- Run Group Policy Editior > gpedit.msc
- Navigate to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Network List Manager and select the Unidentified Network entry.
- Under User Permissions set it to ’User can change location’ . The setting under Location Type is proably optional and by default is set to ‘Not configured’
- Open a command prompt and type ‘gpupdate /force’ to update the group policy.
- I ended up having to restart the computer before I was able to change the location but I don’t know that this is a requirement.
- Open the ‘Network and Sharing Center’ Under the view your active networks section click on Unidentified Network (shown boxed in Red )
- When the Set Network Location box opens, select either Home or Work network. After making this selection I was able to access the network again.
- A collegue also suggested disabling the IPSec Policy service as he had heard that this service may be responsible for causing the intial setting change to Unidentified. You may want to be careful with this because if this service is required due to security policies on your network you may cause yourself more problems.