Alright, I typically don't post but after spending 5 hours troubleshooting this problem I thought I might save some people some time.
- Unknown Network (public) Local only on the network connection
- Gateway may or may not be missing but either way its typically it's not always accessible.
- Network Locations missing: Home/Work/Public
- Packets sent out, none received
- In my case which seemed to be pretty common, my machine was woke up from a sleep condition where someone else was logged in. I switched user and logged in and had no network connectivity.
OS: Vista Ultimate 64bit
FW: Norton 360
AV: Norton 360
I don't think it matters whether you are running Vista Ultimate/Home/Premium etc., however there may be a difference between 32bit and 64bit because the drivers
are typically different.
I run both windows defender and Norton 360 for malware, and Norton 360 for Firewall and Antivirus protection.
My initial thoughts were that the system was corrupted and didn't come back from sleep correctly. So after much reading on many sites like this I decided to uninstall and reinstall the NIC drivers. No luck. Then I went after all the AV and FW software, first disabling them all, then reinstalling Norton 360. Still no luck. I rebooted my Cable Modem, Linksys Router, and even my computer... at one point all at the same time. After reboot... yep you guessed it.... still no network. I read suggestions and how things mysteriously started working again for people but no one could put a reason why. I gave up shut everything off, including my powerstrip on the floor because of frustration and went to bed.
Next morning I wake up and check it. Can you believe immediately after logging in, Vista asks me which network I'm on - Public/Work/Home and once I put it in everything works. This really bothered me and I went to work describing these conditions and the fact someone had mentioned on one of the boards that the NIC was broadcasting some checksum that basically said the NIC was still off or asleep.
To the credit of my co-workers, I think we came up with a solution!
- The NIC because of a driver
issue never gets the reset from the OS. Since new motherboards have Wake-On-Lan enabled, they still have power regardless of what you power off. EXCEPT physically unplugging your machine long enough for everything to discharge and loose their state.
This would explain why some people solved this by replacing the NIC, or performing any function that they may have physically removed power from the Case/Motherboard.
Hope that helps, sorry for it being a long one....