How to fix “Cannot renew IP address” in Windows

Recently, I was working on a clients machine and after logging in realized that for some reason I was not able to connect to the server. I went to the command prompt and type in IPCONFIG and pressed Enter.

The IP address for the computer was 169.254.x.x and the subnet mask was The 169.254 address is an APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing) address that is assigned when no DHCP server is available or reachable.

So I decided to run the IPCONFIG /RENEW command to renew the computers’ IP address. Unfortunately, that didn’t work either and I got the following error:

An error occurred while renewing interface Local Area Connection : An operation was attempted on something that is not a socket.

If you get this error when trying to renew your IP address, you have a problem with the WinSock configuration on your computer. Luckily, you can read my post from Online Tech Tips on how to repair Winsock errors in Windows.

However, that may not be the only reason why an ipconfig /renew would not work. You may also get an error like this:

Limited or no connectivity
You might not be able to access the Internet or some network resources. This problem occurred because the network did not assign a network address to the computer.

For example, if you have a static IP address, then renewing will never work. You can tell if you have a static IP address by typing in IPCONFIG by itself and making sure it’s something other than 169.254. If it is, then someone may have manually set your IP address.

This means that even if there is a DHCP server on the network, it won’t get a new IP address. You can set your computer to obtain an IP address from a DHCP server automatically by going to Start, Control Panel, Network Connections. Right-click on the Local Area Connection and choose Properties.

On the General tab, scroll down in the list box till you see Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and highlight it. Then click on Properties.

local area connection

Now make sure that both Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically are selected.

obtain ip address automatically


Now try to renew your IP address and see if you can connect to the Internet or network. If this does not work, you have to make sure there is not some kind of software on your computer that could be blocking all the ports on your computer.

Disable any firewall software and remove or disable programs like Zone Alarm and Norton Internet Security as they can get in the way sometimes.

Finally, the problem of not being able to renew your IP address could be because of the network interface card (NIC) itself. It could be with the drivers, so download the latest drivers and update them.

You can also test out whether it is a problem with your network card by connecting the computer to another device such as a cable modem or another router and seeing if it can connect to the Internet. If so, it could be a problem with the router assigning IP addresses and it would be easiest to reset the router.

Hope this hepls! If not, post a comment with your error and I’ll try to help! Enjoy!

Comments [53]

  1. So here's the deal, I'm having the same problem of getting the APIPA address when trying to connect to a Tut Systems Long Run LR2000T modem with ethernet cables. I'm trying to use this modem because my ISP gave it to me to alleviate high latency issues on their wireless network they have for my apartment complex due to high usage of portable devices on the same bandwith.

    I have been trolling several forums after hours now and have tried all of the above options plus others. Some differences in my situation I note are my subnet mask is (Not sure if it makes a difference) and when I type just "ipconfig" by itself it is still giving me the 169.254 IP address and 255.255 subnet mask.

    One thing I have noticed is that I have the newest driver for the modem however the date on it is from 2005 which seems extremely old. I've heard that it depends what XP service pack you have (Because I also tried winsock fixes that I had found on some forums to no avail)…I don't even know which Windows SP I have or how to figure out which one I have. If so can this make a difference?

    Hopefully my ISP will get a work order in for me and be able to help soon I'm just trying everything I can think of. Can email me at or post back here if you have any advice.

  2. I am getting after typing ipconfig/renew…

    An error occurred while renewing interface Local Area Connection : unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out.

    Do you know what caused this and how I can fix it?

  3. Very helpful. My Internet was working the other day but for some reason has stopped, saying limited or no connectivity because of the network not assigning an ip address. I tried ipconfig, it is a 169.254 number, and disabling firewall and norton did not help. Ideas?

  4. When I try to connect to the wireless network at home, I get the error message "limited or no connectivity"; even though the signal strength is strong. Also, attempts to renew the laptops's IP address bring up the message "Error renewing the IP address: The semaphore timeout period has expired".

    Any ideas on how this could be resolved coz I find it rather bizarre that I am able to connect to other wireless networks without a hitch!!!

    someone help!!!

  5. I'm having this problem on my windows XP…when I do the ipconfig/renew…I get an error message saying it is unable to contact my dhcp server! Pleeease help! :(

  6. I am having same problem as Alishmommy above, I get the below message. I have two computers that have both been reformatted recently with XP, one because of a bug and the other was an institutional computer that i bought.

    An error occurred while renewing interface Local Area Connection : unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out.

    I have tried everything that you have listed here. I have three other computers that are working on this network. Please help I am pulling out my hair.

    Thanks for all you do.

  7. I have followed your instructions to renew the IP address and it worked, however, it comes back a few days later. Have you seen this issue before?

  8. I tried your suggestion to fix the IP address problem and it worked! thaks mcc

  9. Great, I could not renew my IP address and this fixed the problem! Thanks!

  10. I see comments are moderated yet no one is answering. I've tried everything to get this computer I'm working on back online. It assigns the APIPA ip and renewing the ip results in a timeout. if I type in the (currently working on other systems) dynamic IP et al manually, I get a fine renewal function but nothing on the computer (firefox, etc) can access the internet (still!). I've been combing the internet for two days, and Comcast (the isp) are jerks who won't troubleshoot a system if their modem will connect for other computers on the network.

    The problem began after the cable was turned off due to non-payment. Since then my friend can't get this system online. I've edited the registry to turn off APIPA, no change in ability to connect. Firewall was disabled, no effect. I'm at wit's end, and apparently the wit's end of most tech geeks posting online. I'd love to see someone respond to these comments soon.

  11. Hi, I have what may be a very simple question, however, it's giving me nightmares!! A friend recently asked me to help. He bought a business with it's computers. Computers were previously connected to headoffice through some vpn software and routers. Not to sure exactly what they used. OS = Windows XP Proffesional SP2.

    The problem: The computers cannot renew IP addresses when connected to the switch. However, when connected directly to the internet connection (plugged into the computer), it renews IP correctly and has internet access. Once the computers are connect to the switch (Dlink Ethernet Switch), no IP renewal and "Limited Connection". I have had a different laptop connected to the network to check if it was the network, but it works fine. I have uninstalled everything that I could find on the computers related to the previous network setups. IPCONFIG /RELEASE & /RENEW has no effect. Ran resets using shell. Done winsock repairs. I'm out of idees other than reinstalling everything… and he did not get the discs with the computers… So that's almost not thinkable.

    Really hoping for a quick reply! Even if it's only to say you can't help.


  12. I tried renewing my IP address and I get the message, "An error occurred while renewing interface Local Area connection: unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out." What does that mean and what process should I take inorder to fix that problem.

  13. Thanks! Resetting the router renewed the IP address. Thanks so much!

  14. I tried everything above…nothing worked…My laptop can connect but not my desktop. I just recently set up my PC it hasn't been set up for over 3 years..

    We have changed the WEP password to access the router within that time but for some reason it does not ask me for that when I try to connect with my PC…not sure if that has anything to do with it.

  15. plz guide me, in my company i face a serious problem! In win 2000 machine when i try to release ip it release but i renew the ip it catch again same appipa ip . so how i forcefully release appipa ip and set my dhcp ip.

  16. When I try to renew my ip using cmd>ipconfig /release and /renew, it says that I am unable to perform operation when local area connection is disconnected from media. I am setting up internet using a linxsys router in my new home. It says That I am connected to the internet and the signal strength is strong, but I can never access the internet. PLEASE HELP!!!

  17. I've tried everything, but still no luck. Cannot renew the IP address…

  18. Quote from Original Poster =

    "Disable any firewall software and remove or disable programs like Zone Alarm and Norton Internet Security as they can get in the way sometimes."

    Blocked ports are causing this problem……. remove firewall is all you have to do…..(hopefully)……it worked for me.

  19. im having the same problem as Dave, can anyone help?

  20. First reset TCP/IP and test:

    netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt

    If that doesn't do it, then reset Winsock and test:

    netsh winsock reset catalog

    If that still doesn't work, then this will definitely do:

    Note that these commands (and their effects) work on Windows Server 2008, as well as back to Windows XP SP3, since these share the same networking components.

    With plenty of patience, you will resolve it.

    Good luck.

  21. Windows System error – there is IP address conflict with another systems on the network. I cannot change the IP address of the computer. What to do?

  22. Hi Sergy,

    Regarding your IP address conflict, if this is going on at your job, you should contact your IT people as they can probably resolve the situation for you quickly and easily. Most companies, unless they are just a 1 or 2 person operation, tend to setup and configure every PC in their environment exactly the same way and you and I don't know what that is.

    If this is your home network you are referring to, post back and let us know if you are running static or dhcp IP addressing and a little more detail on your network and we'll be glad to help.

  23. Hi.

    I am very frustrated since I cannot figure out why my wireless router isn't working. When I try to connect to the network, it always gets stuck on "Acquiring network address." It says it can't complete the IP address. This is Windows XP, and I have checked to make sure it obtains the IP address automatically. I also have disabled the firewalls.

    Ughhh, stuck. Can someone please help?

    Thanks in advance!

  24. Hi Melissa,

    Your PC needs an address to access the internet and is sounds like it is trying to get an address but either the router isn't giving it one or (more likely), something on your PC is preventing it from authenticating to your router. By far the most common problem is the password you are using to connect to your router with.
    Check out this website which specializes in wireless connectivity issues and hopefully you can find your answer there. If not, post out there and I'll get back to you. Here's the site:

  25. Hi,

    Have a similar issue in that I cannot obtain an IP address on boot-up. Although there is packet transfer between my PC and the CVG824G modem there is no assigned Ip address. I even tried installing a PCI LAN card but still no Ip address assigned. My full discussion is at bc.whirlpool forums:…

    I ran msinfo32 and found several adaptors listed as well as two [2] winsocks? Any help would be appreciated. Regards, KH

  26. Go to Start >> Run and enter 'CMD' and hit ok

    in the black box that opens type in the following commands:

    netsh int ip reset reset.txt

    press enter, if you did it right it won't look like anything happened

    netsh winsock reset catalog

    press enter again. If you did that correct you will be asked for a reboot

    This will unlock your NIC and allow a new address to be applied after the reboot

  27. I followed PeterG's directions after disabling my firewall and antivirus protection. It worked beautifully!!

    It took me awhile to get my firewall and antivirus protection enabled after restoring the wireless connection, but I clicked on update, rebooted again, and it looks fine!

    Thanks so much.

  28. Thank you so very much. You are the reason I was able to stop banging my head against the wall!!!

  29. Please help me fix an error: "An error occurred while renewing interface Local Area Connection, the requested service provider could not be loaded or initialized."


  30. I found something that worked for me.

    The ipconfig /renew etc. didn't work. I learned that my problem was router filtering. My machine name can only be associated with one MAC address. The wireless has a MAC address and the network interface card has a DIFFERENT MAC address.

    I wanted high security, so I used router filtering with the wireless MAC address only. To fix this, I used both my wireless MAC and my Network Interface Card (NIC) address as a filter. You can find this information by going to Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information. Click on the + sign next to Components and then click the + sign next to Network. Click on Adapter. Find the MAC address for your Network (Ethernet) card. Make sure the adapters aren't disabled before going to System Information (Right mouse click on My Computer>Manage>Disk Manager and make sure there is no red x under Network adapter. If so, right click the red x and select enable.)

    Now, put this information in your router filtering (if you do filtering). Now, for the last step. At this point, you may still not have an internet connection through your NIC card. Therefore, disable your wireless card. Reboot. Now your NIC card is associated with your machine name. You may enable your wireless adapter if you wish. Both should now work.

    Good Luck.

  31. So nice of you to post this helpful article.

    I have a problem with just one computer. Other computers work on the connection, so it seems to be something with that computer. We tried everything above, restarted the router, and we do not have a static IP. Any other suggestions?

  32. So, I've been trying for hours, days on end to fix this problem on my other laptop. Every other site says the exact same thing which never works. This site is the only one with the simple answer!

  33. Hi.

    I have a problem renewing an IP address. When I type ipconfig/renew, an error comes and says, ''An error occurred while renewing interface local area connection: unnable to contact your DHCP server. request has timed out."

    That is all that I have. And I still can't renew the IP address.

  34. Hello.

    My problem is I can only use the IP address which is allotted by the service provider. Apart from that, I am unable to use other IP. If I try to do so, I get the internet for about 1 min only.

    Please help me!

  35. My wife's computer, out of the blue, decided it wants to give us grief when trying to obtain an IP address from our router.

    a) router works fine with every other device (and with Linux on same computer)
    b) router has not updated firmware in quite some time nor any config changes to it, the ISP settings, the network devices other than the problematic computer, and the problematic computer itself (that I know of, see below)
    c) this is Windows XP

    Now, what is unknown at this point is whether there was yet another 'helpful' update/patch by the quality-driven folks at Microsoft that could have changed the problematic computer.

    However, I foolishly fired up Windows Update to see a history. Well, again, the quality folks at Microsoft decided that if you don't have an net connection in order to perform updates then 'logically' you must not want to do anything else related to Windows Update features. In this case, a historical review of updates.

    I am hoping now my wife will listen to me and turn off automatic updates. Time will tell. :)

    After waiting awhile from entering 'ipconfig /renew' we get amongst the various useless lines of error messages, the following, "unable to contact your DHCP server, request has timed out."

    Now, yesterday I rebooted the router and it 'might' have fixed the problem temporarily but its hard to pinpoint that because of the massive amounts of the 'standard Windows fix' of rebooting happening around the same time. However, if that truly fixes the issue then that logically means there is something wrong with Windows (shock and alarm and surprise!) not working with standard protocols and methods of networking.

  36. when i tried ipconfig/renew

    a message said:

    an error occurred while renewing interface local area connection : the

    RCP server is unavailble.

    plz hlp :)

  37. I can't connect to the internet on my desktop. My service provider told me I was missing drivers on my LAN card. so I looked it up on my laptop. I've been at this for hours and this is the best solution I've found so far but when I type ipconfig, ipconfig/release/renew the ONLY thing that comes up is: Windows IP Configuration. Thats it.

  38. An error occurred renewing interface wireless network connection. unable to contact your dhcp server. request has timed out.

    I tried many fixes including fixing the IP address, netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt etc, winsockfix….in the end something I read made sense. I chose a saturday morning when I figured neighbours wouldn't be up early, made my wireless connection unsecured, connected the pc (which easily lets router assign an IP to my desktop), then re-enable WEP security on the wireless connection. am happy to say that my pc has now successfully captured an IP address and connects to the Internet fine.

  39. None of this applies to my situation.

    This is a W7 OS.

    When I entered ipconfig/release it went into media disconnect mode and removed the IP address as it was supposed to. However when I enter ipconfig/renew I get an error message saying that it can't work while it is in media disconnect mode.

    Have tried:

    * Running as admin

    * winsocket repair

    * system restore to earlier date

    it still remains in media disconnect mode making it impossible to fetch a new IP address from the net server.

    Has anybody solved this one yet?

  40. Thanks PeterG..It worked beautifully!!!

  41. This is my problem:

    I have internet connection from my neighbour who has ran a cable from his router to my place. But if I insert the other end of the cable into a router at my place there is an error of IP Conflict and neighbour looses the internet service and has to reconfigure. And of course, I have to disconnect the cable from my router. It works fine if i connect it to a standalone laptop or desktop.

    As I cannot use my router, I cannot use wireless access on my laptops, iPad, iPod, iPhone etc.

    Is there any around it which I can do at my end without involving the source (neighbour is not very helpful)?

  42. When I renew my IP address, I get the following: "An error occurred while renewing interface Wireless Network Connection : unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out." What can I do?

  43. Thanks for the above info but…

    I still have a very similar problem that has just started on my Dell lattitude laptop running Windows XP, SP 3. All have been running fine until it seems I did an upgrade to AVG 12 and a windows update.

    I am trying to connect through a router that still works fine with another desktop PC and was working fine earlier this week. I’ve tried going back to a previous install but that did not solve it.

    I cannot access the internet and get a “Data Exceution Prevention” error and have to close internet Explorer 8 down each time. If I boot up the laptop with either (or both) the wireless and wired LAN connection the machine freezes. If I run Ipconfig /renew etc from the CMD prompt without LAN conection I get the expected “media is not connected ” message from but as soon as I connect up (either wireless or wired) the laptop hangs again jsut with IPconfig/renew.

    I have tried both “netsh int ip reset reset.txt” and “netsh winsock reset catalog” with no success. I’ve spent 24 hours on this so far .. any help pleeeease?.

  44. I successfully deleted my IP address by following these instructions. Now I have no idea was it was set to and still can not access the internet via my wireless router.

  45. I am getting the same exact error message on my desktop after I type ipconfig/renew “unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out.”

    Would you mind telling me how you fixed yours. I will realy appreciate it.

  46. exactly. I have the problem like jason…plz help

  47. Thank you so much for the Limited or no connectivity section. The problem was my Obtain DNS server address automatically was not selected.

    Thank you again.

  48. Thanks!! I finally solved my problem, as soon as I renewed my IP, I had a last Internet access!

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