SP2 Carries Interesting Baggage

I’ve upgraded to SP2 on my primary production machine. Prosaically enough, it’s named “Ed-PC” and is home to all of the important stuff in my life. I use this machine as a control central in my office, and Remote Desktop Connection provides access to my HP MediaSmart Servers (models EX-485 and EX-475), a Windows7/Vista dual-boost test machine with 8 GB of RAM and VMs out the ying-yang, plus my Dell D620 production notebook and my new techtoy, an Asus 1000HE netbook (both of these portables dual-boot, but the Dell does Vista/Win7 while the Asus does XP/Win7).

It’s been an interesting ride since I grabbed the ISO download from MSDN a couple of weeks ago. At first, I was completely pleased: the machine was very stable, worked without a hitch, and did everything I asked it to. Then I noticed Vista kept telling me my machine wasn’t connected to a network, despite uninterrupted Internet access. Here’s an image to ponder.

Look: a networking icon with the Internet/World symbol but "not connected."

Look: a networking icon showing the Internet/World symbol that's "not connected."

Quite a trick, eh? A little research with Google showed me that not only was I not unique in my situation, but that some people started to experience this problem back when SP1 first went into mainstream distribution.

As an experimental fix ā€” I wasn’t too optimistic it would help, and I was right as it turned out ā€” I performed an upgrade install from a version of Vista Ultimate with SP2 slipstreamed , thinking it might repair the obvious registry issues I appear to be dealing with. But while it did improve my ability to access and use the network to which Vista thinks I’m not connected, I’m still seeing the same status information when I right-click on my network icon in the system tray. I can access and use all my network resources, and the network map even shows me what’s out there, but Vista stubbornly keeps on reporting that I’m not connected, no matter what I do.


Note the red X’s to the gateway and Internet, even though I can see and access them without a hitch (my Web browser happily lets me log into my Netgear router and manage its configuration, even though it’s not connected). Go figure!

Isn’t Vista just the greatest? I read the recently released official dates for Windows 7 — RTM in mid-July, general availability (GA) on October 22 — with great interest and anticipation, if not an outright sense of longing. As soon as I can lay hands on a valid, fully licensed copy of Windows 7, this machine is moving on up! Enough for me, already.


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