Continuously “Acquiring Network Address”

I was facing this problem intermittently – my wireless network connection would get stuck on “Acquiring Network Address” even though I hadn’t changed anything in network settings. Typically, this would happen after coming back from Standby. I use Windows XP Professional and the wireless router is D-Link DI-524. The only solution I knew would be to reboot the machine.

When even a reboot wouldn’t fix it, I would go to My Computer > Properties > Hardware > Device Manager > Network Adapters and uninstall the wireless adapter. Rebooting would install it back and the connection would work.

Today, I got stuck as none of these approaches would fix the problem. So I went out Googling and found the following solution that worked for me:

  1. Start Control Panel and select Add or Remove Programs
  2. Select Add/Remove Windows Components
  3. Select Networking Services
  4. Click Details button
  5. Uncheck Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client

Save these settings and restart the system.

I have not seen the problem again since making this change.


83 thoughts on “Continuously “Acquiring Network Address”

  1. want to leave a comment before i reboot my machine, if it works i won’t be back, so thanks again…just used your java bypass in “Can’t set WPA-PSK on DI-524 D-Link Router?” and that works great. congrats on your layout and presentation, as well as the content!

  2. back for a quick visit, fix did not work for me. figure the DHCP is slow probably due to using wpa-psk, so i have manually configured the wired and wireless ethernet on the LAN. cheers.

  3. sorry, another naysayer here…didn’t work in my particular ‘acquiring network address’ situation—guess I’ll be calling my ISP.

    Thanks anyway!

  4. Having this issue on only 1 of my 3 PCs on my wireless network which makes me suspect that it’s truly a problem with just the PC itself. I’m going to try your solution when I get home and see if that works – hopefully it will and I’ll post here. If not, mine actually does correct itself if I go in and select “Repair Network Connection”, but the issue is I have to do this every time I get onto the PC which is annoying to say the least. Here’s hoping that your fix works!

  5. Your fix did not help me either.

    Here is my problem:

    I am having a problem that is driving me nuts.

    I am loosing my internet connection intermittently. Time Warner/ Roadrunner replaced all the cabling to my house and inside up to the dsl modem. Linksys has replaced my WRT54GS router. Dell has replaced my Intel Pro wireless lan 2100 card in my computer.

    I have a Dell laptop using Windows XP SP2.

    Here is what happens: if I download more than 1 meg, then the system looses the connection to the internet. As you know, in the task bar on the right side there is a one monitor indicator that lights up when there is internet activity. There is also an indicator for the signal strength for the wireless card.

    At there is a download performance tester. When I download any of the files larger than 1 meg (even with an excellent signal on both the one monitor indicator and the signal strength) a little red “X” appears on the one monitor and then little dots radiate from the one monitor with the message “acquiring the network address”. So my computer is loosing the network address when downloading large files.

    If I download the 4 meg file once, it will usually do it okay but if I immediately download again, at the same place each time, the little red X appears and the network address is lost.

    Here is the analogy that appears to be about the way things are happening. Imagine a bucket and every time the bucket is filled once and then half again, the system looses the network address.

    At my office, using a different router and cable modem and different ISP, I do not have these problems. At home, no problem if I connect directly to the modem. And my wife’s Dell laptop does NOT have the problem at home; just my computer.

    Does anyone have any ideas? Dell is getting to the point that i may have to erase every thing and reinstall Windows due to corrupted files. That I really do not want to do if there is any other way.


  6. Hadnt heard of the device uninstall, but i tried that and that worked.

    not really the advice you were trying to convey, but it worked!

  7. After several hours searching the net I came accross your solution, I know my problem was with the encryption key, because whenever I disabled the encryption on my router, the connection would establish with no problem I tried your solution and it worked like charm, I don’t know why or how but it worked. You have my gratitude. thanks

  8. Your solution worked for me. I didn’t even have to restart the system and it worked. I’m running a Dell D830 with XP SP2.


  9. hi, i have been having this problem for sometime. i have an acer netbook, which is giving me the problem, and two other laptops in the house which are working fine with the router. the message “acquiring network address” only shows at home, i pick up internet on my acer at libraries, coffee shops and school just fine. so i dont think there is anything wrong with my computer. i dont know enough about computers to troubleshoot this but i would assume it would have to do with the settings for that particular router in my acer. i have tried to remove it from my preferred networks and reset it up but that doesnt do anything. when i look up the ip address it shows all zeros. but my settings are to auto acquire the ip address. which must work since i can connect other places besides my house.

    i tried the first suggestion of going to add/remove programs etc. and it did nothing. i would really appreciate some ideas.

  10. I have met this problem. I try to reinstalling the driver, but still on that status. until I try to activated DHCP client on Services, and it’s going connect again. but Thanks for your info.

  11. after 3 days of f acquiring network address and many hours talking to my server , I decided to have a go myself. It was so simple. i disabled windows control and allowed intel proset/wireless to take over ,,, hey presto, it worked immediately… Hope this helps u guys

  12. Hey – tried bunches of solutions but this one worked!!! going to do some more diagnostic stuff but at least can access the net. Thanks

  13. This did nothing for me ):
    i have a fujitsu lifebook t series and my computer switches forom acquiring network address and not connected, i am getting very annoyed since i just got the computer today ):

  14. Thank you so much! I brought a Dell Mini today in replace of my old advent which decided to stick two middle fingers up at any reboot the tech guys tried! Anyway brought the mini duer to uni being in 4 days and was horrified when the internet wouldn’t work, Ive been on the net for hours trying to fix my problem and yours did, you have my gratitude, once again thank you so much!

  15. Hey, I just tried this too, and so far (last 28 minutes), it’s working! My old Toshiba laptop has been giving me the “acquiring network address” forever, and the only way to fix it was to reboot. And sometimes that didn’t even work. I have the Intel 2200BG network adaptor, which has lots of other problems. This is our backup computer…time to get a new one! By the way, we have 2 Toshiba laptops and they’ve been great.

  16. It worked for me too. Stuck at some relatives house fixing their computer problems. Open network / no encryption worked but not WPA. This fixed it! Many thanks!

  17. This worked for me after much trying out of the other methods.It was the key that had to be entered in capital letters even though the caps lock says not to do this.Type out the key on to notepad or something in capital letters as it is written on the card or the side of the router etc.Next copy and paste the key into the connection box so you can see the code in capitals entered,then press connect and you should connect straight away.Check box that allows windows to find connection for you but do not check allow users to connect through this setting in the advanced box.I had tried a load of fixes but was going around in circles getting nowhere and this worked fast.

      1. IT WAS THIS!!!!! why the f+=k dont they put “key is case sensitive” next to the key eh?, eh? wasted 2 days on this lol! MIKE, if i was a woman i would marry you!

  18. The DI-524 has three WPA2 options, those with AES give the acquiring error, the other (PSK) doesn’t. This applies with and without disabling UPnP, both on the PC (as suggested in the original post) and on the router.
    If operating without security, no acquiring error (but neighbours up your bills).
    If linking to the router via ethernet cable, no acquiring error (but cables down halls).
    The post about using Intel Proset vs Microsoft to manage is a separate error.
    The capitals version of the key didn’t fix it when using AES. Not even cut and paste of the key from the DI-524 to the Wireless Connection gets rid of the acquiring error.
    I read up further on the client that was being disabled in the original post. It has some problems that could cause buffer errors. These are thought to be fixed with Service Pack 2 (which I have as genuine). Tried removing it anyway as unnecessary software which could allow less traffic if not present. The original post’s idea did nothing to remove the acquiring error when using AES.

  19. I had the problem with my wireless LAN icon often displaying “acquiring network address.” The internet worked in spite of the problem. After weeks of research and trying many suggestions, I finally found the answer to the problem. Let me give some specs first on my laptop:
    -IBM Thinkpad T30
    -Windows XP Home w/SP3
    -Intel Pro Wireless 2200BG LAN

    The solution:
    -Changed the wireless manager from Intel to Windows.
    -Turned off the tray icon for the Intel manager (This may not be necessary)

    The cause had to do with a glitch with the Intel manager or a “tug-of-war” between it and WinXP. I suggest, if applicable, switching to Windows as the wireless manager to solve the problem no matter what wireless device you have.

    To switch from Intel to Windows, right-click on the Intel Wireless icon in the “System Tray” and look for an option to switch to Windows as the wireless manager. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with your devices settings to turn off the tray icon (if necessary).

  20. Hey,

    I tried all the above solutions but it dint work for me. I lost all hope of fixing it on my own and was gonna get help.
    But, Since i wanted to change the name of my network I thought let me do that first. There was my solution !!!!
    Thats it. My net connection is up and working 😀
    Hope this helps some other user as well.

  21. Seriously, I’m starting to get a little pissed off.

    I tried re-installing my networking device. When I restarted the computer, it now has Local Area Connection 2.
    Ok, something happend.
    Ok, nothing changed. I still have acquiring network address forever.
    Helpz. I called my internet service provider … they said my problem was the first time they encountered it.

    -Does it help to say I had a virus and I had to delete some files to get rid of it?

    Thank you.

  22. I’m a PC Tech and this is the first time all the usual steps did not work, and I have this problem on 2 XP Desktops.

    The fix to Uncheck Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client miraculously worked on the HP, but did not work on the Custom XP machine (I am suspecting that one to be a hardware issue). I’ll know soon enough.

  23. I have this same issue (“Acquiring Network Address” forever) on a Hard-Wired Custom XP Pro SP3 Machine. The system has worked *almost* flawlessly for me for over 5 years (No problems with connectivity). It just decided not to find a Network address one day, and hasn’t been able to connect since. That’s been about a month ago, and I’ve tried everything I could think of to fix it, including installation of a new NIC.

    IP Config gives me ” ” for the DG, and “” for the IP
    Loopback works fine – 4 replies every time… (New NIC as well as Original)

    It is using the onboard LAN Controller (NVIDIA) on a “DFI Infinity” mobo

    I would really like a solution for this that doesn’t require a complete reformat of the system…

    I will check this post and my e-mail again as soon as I can, and will hold off on Reformat until after checking – however, I have no clue when I will be able to check again, as I have no other means of connecting to the internet (at the library in order to post this)

    Thanks in advance for all help afforded

      1. Yes, Gary – I connected straight to the Modem, and it gives me the same issue.

        I have also Connected through the router (Both Hard-wired and Wireless) with my laptop.

        I have narrowed the issue to something with Windows or a Virus – I think that my recent update of “Avast Free Anti-virus” is what may have caused some of this.
        I’m not certain why, but the system has mysteriously allowed me to connect…
        (I did nothing to it, and just decided to check if I could connect, and it let me on)
        While connected, I decided to update everything, and upon restart, the system wouldn’t let me connect again.
        I then restored the system to a restore point made just before I started updating, and it has been connecting for the most part.
        So I decided to scan my system with Panda Anti-virus – I will post an update when that has finished.

    1. Do a Google search for “download combofix.exe.” Only go to the “bleeping computer” website to download. Before running it, turn off all anti-virus, real-time anti-malware, and third party firewalls because most will see this program as a virus. Run it, choosing “yes” or “ok” to any message prompts. This will remove any malware/virus root-kits on your pc that may be blocking network connections. It is safe…I’ve used it many times.

    2. P.S. I realize you have no internet connection so choose “no” when asked to search for updates or to download and install the “Microsoft Windows Recovery Console.”

  24. It seems my problem has escalated – The system crashed halfway through the Virus Scan, and ever since, it has taken to restarting after loading the desktop and making the “Windows Sound” for startup. System will allow me to boot into safemode, but that will not allow internet access. Also, the restore point that I had been using has mysteriously disappeared.

    I am on another system right now, trying to search out the drivers for my Mobo and Vid Card, as I seem to have misplaced the original disks. Once I find the Drivers, I will be reformatting.

    Thank you Gary, for your attempt.

  25. Hello, thanks for that advise. Even though you wrote this a couple years ago, it worked for me on my IBM T40 laptop. I was having that continuous “Acquiring ip address” issue for months. I even noticed that when I was online watching remote video surveillance cameras that during a network broadcast, I would lose connection until I rebooted (a waste of valuable time for me in my private investigator business). So again, thanks for your SOLVE!

  26. Worked for me! Not sure what happened today, left and was connected, daughter called and said no internet. Not sure what she did to try and fix. I got home, rebooted modem, router, pc, even reset the router, it would work hard wired, but not wireles.. This fixed it thanks

  27. Removing the Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client component worked for me on a ThinkPad T61. Thanks!

  28. Thank you! I purchased a used laptop to replace a slower Dell Inspiron 4100 and the “new” much faster one (a Jetbook CL51-15 running XP Professional) kept sticking at “acquiring network address.” Removing all internet devices and rebooting did the trick. My other laptop and the desktop worked fine throughout. THANKS again!!!!

  29. Thank you! The solution at the top of this thread worked for me!

    More details:

    D-Link DL-524 with DHCP turned OFF (so acts simply as wired hub and wireless access point).
    SpeedStream 5200 ADSL modem/router (DHCP enabled by default).

    Speedstream 5200 has wired connection to one of DL-524 LAN ports.
    One desktop computer, with wired connection to one fo DL-534 LAN ports.
    Three laptop computers – TinkPad T40, ThinkPad X60, LifeBook P7120), with wireless connection to DL-524.
    All commputers running XP SP3

    For several years, no problems at all with with wireless network with WPA enabled on DL-524.
    Then, one day, out of clear blue, wirelesss connections to all 3 laptops fail, with continuous “acquiring network address” message. No problem with wired connection (desktop to DI-524).

    Wireless connections to laptops work OK if disable WPA on DL-524.

    Re-enabling WPA on DL-524 causes failure of wireless connection to laptops, with continuous “acquiring network address” message.

    On TinkPad T40, I uninstalled “Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client” following steps described above. After computer re-start, T40 was able to connect to wirelessly to DL-534 with WPA enabled!

    Now here is the interesting part. On the X60 and the P7120, after entering WPS shared key, the wireless connection worked OK even without uninstalling “Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client”.

    Then, out of curiosity, return to T40, now I re-install “Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client”, and wireless now still works OK!

    Sigh….This kind of stuff can only happen with Windows……

  30. Tried this to no avail…so discouraging. It is mind boggling that something works for so long ans then our of the blue it just does not. grrrrr! Thanks for the info, though.

  31. This fixed my problem – stated above.
    The firewall is preventing obtaining an network address
    Do this:
    turn off your fire wall
    go to the any web page
    then turn the firewall back on

  32. Don’t understand any of it, I was connected fine but just kept saying aquiring network address even though I was connected, strange. I tried your solution and it worked first time so thanks.

  33. This Also works for me 🙂
    The firewall is preventing obtaining an network address
    Do this:
    turn off your fire wall
    go to the any web page
    then turn the firewall back on

  34. Original post worked for me. Thanks for taking the initiative to post it.
    Laptop had connected successfully in the past, but for some reason hasn’t been.

  35. Try the simple things first. Just got a new router and my roomie had this issue. As it turned out where system required the network key she had typed in the network name. Make sure you put in password correctly.

  36. Your LAN or internet is connected but this stupid message “Acquiring Network Address” still appear on the taskbar. To solve this goto
    control panel ->windows Firewall ->Advanced->Restored Defaults.

    This should solved your problem.

    1. It just means that the computer is not yet connected to the network (you may not be able to interact with other computers and the Internet).

  37. After trying everything I found on the internet, I came across this. Worked perfectly on my generic winXP Pro SP3 machine. Thank you for posting.

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