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#1 2010-07-07 16:39

ajw
Member
Registered: 2010-07-07
Posts: 3

Windows 7 network location - home work public unidentified

Hi Ilja,
I'm running Windows 7 and VMware.  VMware creates virtual network adapters, which in my configuration have static IPv4 addresses  (10.x.x.x range).
Windows 7 identifies them as "unidentified network" and forces them into the "public network" location.  (shown in the Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center "View your active networks" section)

Is either the free or Pro version able to set what location a network is in?  I don't see it from the screenshots, nor searching the forums.

I want to force both VMware virtual NICs into the 'home' location.

This seems to be a common problem on the web - I could give a dozen URLs with people looking for help on this with little success.  (odd things like 'change the NIC driver sometimes works...)
It'd be great to be able to post "use NetSetMan Pro"  smile

- Al Weiner -

Last edited by ajw (2010-07-07 17:39)

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#2 2010-07-08 23:49

Ilja Herlein
Administrator
Registered: 2005-08-06
Posts: 930

Re: Windows 7 network location - home work public unidentified

Well actually (by default) Windows asks the user what to do as soon as a new network is recognized. The decision is saved so you aren't asked again. Why is it in your case that your VM NICs are always changing?

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#3 2010-07-09 11:16

ajw
Member
Registered: 2010-07-07
Posts: 3

Re: Windows 7 network location - home work public unidentified

In the case I'm seeing Windows doesn't ask even the first time - the VM NICs are automatically identified as "Unidentified Network" and forced into "public network".

To try to track this down, I created a new virtual network, which creates a new virtual NIC, "VMware Network Adapter VMnet7".   I assigned it a static IPv4 address 192.168.77.1 mask 255.255.255.0, no default gateway, and no DNS addresses.  Windows never asked how to treat it; automatically "Unidentified network" and "Public network".

I changed it to use DHCP (VMware internally supplies a DHCP server), disabled the NIC and reenabled it.  Shows "identifying" for a few seconds, then back to "Unidentified network".

Windows also shows "Access type" as "No Internet access" - I believe that's part of the problem.

This is a person using a VPN having a similar problem:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For … 0c244e0de7
That includes a clunky workaround.

Here's a workaround for my problem that disables Windows firewall from monitoring the virtual NIC at all.  It's not really the correct solution though - it defines the virtual NIC as a device endpoint; but it's really on a (virtual) LAN - it should be monitored by Windows firewall at whatever level I deem appropriate.  (perhaps I'm using that virtual LAN as a trusted domain, or perhaps I'm simulating being at an Internet cafe so should be 'public network').
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For … 0c244e0de7

I think Windows firewall is just broken though - identifying a network by the gateway's *IP address* is stupid (MAC addr is far better!) and I should be able to create additional profiles...  So it goes...

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#4 2010-07-09 18:13

Ilja Herlein
Administrator
Registered: 2005-08-06
Posts: 930

Re: Windows 7 network location - home work public unidentified

As far as I know it actually does recognize it by the MAC address of the default gateway. Have a look at this article:
http://www.404techsupport.com/2008/10/v … ification/

Maybe the problem is that a VMWare or VPN NIC does not have a proper MAC address so this whole recognition routine fails.
Another thought might be that this recognition is performed by a special service or task that is deactivated in your system. I'm not sure about the actual routine. Maybe a search like "activating/deactivating network recognition in windows" will bring up more info on that topic. I'm a bit short of time at the moment, but I can place this issue on the ToDo list to deal with it another day. Then I can also have a look whether there are possibilities available to change that by NetSetMan. But to be clear: if this feature comes it will probably need some time.

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#5 2010-07-11 16:41

ajw
Member
Registered: 2010-07-07
Posts: 3

Re: Windows 7 network location - home work public unidentified

The virtual NIC itself does have a MAC address; it really looks just like a real physical NIC.  At least as far as anything I have done with them.  The difference in this case is it's as if it were on a private LAN that only uses static IPs that does not connect to the Internet.  Haven't checked a VPN lately - haven't used one for a while...

If Vista/Win7 does identify by the gateway's MAC then that makes what's happening more sensible, since the virtual NICs (at least most of them) don't have gateways.

Thanks for the article - I've been drilling down through the registry too, and good to hear confirmation of my findings.
I've gotten around the problem for the NICs I use for day-to-day work by the workaround above, but it bothers me when computers don't do what I want so I'm still digging into it.  I'll let you know what I find; maybe it'll help with future work on NetSetMan.

Fully understand about time - no problem!

Last edited by ajw (2010-07-11 16:43)

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