Vista: TCP Window Scaling Errors – Cannot Communicate with Primary DNS Server

In Vista, TCP Window Scaling is enabled by default. If your router does not tolerate this feature, it can cause random DNS and connection errors. This is a common cause of Vista limited connection errors.


Microsoft’s Vista enables a TCP Window Scaling option by default. For most systems, this is a good thing. However, if your router does not tolerate this feature, it can cause many connection areas on your network. This conflict will cause drop packets and limited connection in many circumstances.

If you try to diagnose this problem, you may see a window that says that Windows Network Diagnostics “Cannot communicate with Primary DNS Server.”

To fix this problem, you should do one of two things. First, just upgrade your router to take advantage of this new feature. Second, you can just turn off this TCP feature.

I am sure there is an easier way to turn off this TCP feature. I just do not know it. Here is how I have been doing it:

1. Connect to your network on your troublesome Vista box.
2. Click on this link while your network connection is working:
res://ieframe.dll/dnserror.htm#
3. Click the link that reads Diagnose Connection Problems.
4. You should see something like this:

5. Click the button that says Turn off the TCP setting that is not compatible with your router.
6. Allow the repair to take place.

If it works to fix your system, you should notice that your episodic connection problems disappear.

 

About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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20 Responses to “Vista: TCP Window Scaling Errors – Cannot Communicate with Primary DNS Server”

  1. November 22, 2008 at 7:58 am, blaz said:

    i can olny send msg to microsoftu ;/

    Reply

  2. December 06, 2008 at 3:10 am, kameron said:

    the link shown did not work for me but i wait for the tcp error to come up to turn off tcp settings.

    Reply

  3. January 06, 2009 at 4:20 am, Rahul said:

    In the TCP/IP settings, I changed the DNS IP addresses. I got the correct ones from my other laptop. (Do ipconfig /all in the cmd prompt) Looks like the DNS addresses got messed up on my vista system

    Reply

    • January 18, 2009 at 5:46 am, Shashank said:

      I had set up access restrictions on my router to allow internet through a specific MAC address for my laptop. With my new Vista laptop giving this problem initially I had forgotten that. Now after adding new MAC address I am back on internet. Hope this helps someone.

      Reply

  4. January 18, 2009 at 5:47 am, Shashank said:

    I had set up access restrictions on my router to allow internet through a specific MAC address for my laptop. With my new Vista laptop giving this problem initially I had forgotten that. Now after adding new MAC address I am back on internet. Hope this helps someone.

    Reply

  5. February 15, 2009 at 7:26 am, Dirge said:

    TRY THIS: It worked for me:
    —In vista (x32 bit) -probably works very similarly in vista, though i think this is more of an issue in vista.

    Before doing anything, bring up your ip settings for reference. To do this:
    -Right click command prompt in start menu-run as administrator- type: ipconfig.
    (This will display your computers and routers actual ip settings.)

    My symptoms were strange. The wifi network had no changes, and was working fine on other machines. On the vista laptop, the wifi card received the signal, and even gave access to the internet. While Google loaded with no problem, and most searches went just fine, many many sites 404ed, and would not come up, and the connection was rather weak and finicky. Also, i got the following message from my diagnosis.

    If you have a similar issue, PLEASE ATTEMPT THE FOLLOWING:

    Control panel- network and sharing center-view status (of the troubled network… usually the wireless network)- then click diagnose…

    At this point, if the problem persists, you will see the message:

    “Cannot communicate with (Primary) DNS server (IP ADDRESS). ”
    “Network diagnostics pinged the remote host but did not receive a response”

    Follow several steps to solve the problem completely. First:

    Return to your -view status- window you opened earlier, and instead of clicking Diagnose, -click properties (you need administrative access)

    -Under the networking tab:
    -In the “this connection uses the following items:” list, select:
    -Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/Ipv4).
    -click properties
    -under General tab there are two sections, one for setting the IP and one for the DNS.
    -set the DNS to “Obtain DNS server address automatically.”

    THAT SHOULD FIX YOUR PROBLEM. Click OK, and return to the status, and:
    -click Diagnose- thr problem should be resolved. If it is not:

    -select “Use the following IP address” and enter your information from the command prompt (IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway) Leave the DNS on automatic.

    Problem should be solved. If not, good luck! I highly recommend you look through windows help (aka not online, just your on-board help system from windows. That is how i figured out how to change the settings that fixed mine.

    Reply

    • February 28, 2009 at 6:59 pm, Raphael Barboza said:

      Dirge,
      Your tip saved me, but in my case, specifically, it only worked using both automatically (IP address and DNS servers). Thanks!!

      Reply

    • December 03, 2009 at 3:07 pm, Dani said:

      Thanks a lot. This works. For some reason, the setting was not set to automatic DNS. I guess the wifi network setting is automatically configured in that way, but this only happens on Vista. My laptop with XP and even mobile device were able to connect to the same hotspot (secured) with no problem.

      Reply

    • December 16, 2009 at 12:39 am, Name said:

      Excellent work – worked like a charm – very much appreciated

      Reply

    • March 04, 2010 at 6:33 pm, Kishore said:

      Thanks dude.
      Ur solution help me a lot…

      Reply

    • March 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm, Sol said:

      this solution works. thanks man!

      Reply

  6. August 02, 2009 at 9:04 am, Yemmy said:

    Dirge,
    It works! I have the same problem with my hp laptop and your solution worked for me

    Reply

  7. October 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm, Anonymous said:

    I have a problem with my internet, it has been working fine for two years on my laptop, but suddenly this week it randomly disconnects, does not let me sign into windows live messenger, is very slow at points, and at other times it works fine, and then just goes wrong again. I have no idea what the problem is as it has been working fine for like two years now. When i followed this tcp thing, my vista version doesnt have that option, so i have no idea what to do.

    Many thanks in advance as i need this internet to work for my education aswell as social life!

    Reply

  8. October 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm, Anonymous said:

    I am working with this computer because for now it work without wireless, the other laptop, doesnt work by network cable neither wireless, with the same message about DNS

    where I found thi linsk???
    2. Click on this link while your network connection is working:
    res://ieframe.dll/dnserror.htm#
    3. Click the link that says Diagnose Connection Problems
    4. You should see something like this:

    Reply

  9. January 31, 2010 at 11:29 pm, Anonymous said:

    How to update my Belkin Router?

    Reply

  10. July 18, 2010 at 7:08 am, Ramsouresh said:

    cannot communicate dns server 4.2.2.2

    Reply

  11. August 02, 2010 at 8:29 pm, Saveanth said:

    i have a better solution update your windows vista because my computer is a vista and it gave me the option to disable

    Reply

  12. August 08, 2010 at 4:14 am, Vivek_palvia said:

    Open your cmd.exe as administrator

    Reply

  13. December 22, 2010 at 5:26 am, Nick said:

    I also did not have the “Turn off TCP settting…” in my pop-up, but this line in the command prompt solved the problem.

    Reply

  14. June 07, 2011 at 2:31 pm, Um50 said:

    I can’t change my IP/Subnet/Default without the DNS changing to “Use the following DNS Server Addresses”

    Reply

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