This weekend I spent an hour resetting the network instead of watching basketball - the key point to remember is when this happens - nothing has changed - it just stops working.
I have been networking my PCs with Windows since 3.11.
Finally I decided to go thru the Vista web site and try to find explanations to some of my "issues" - amazingly the duplicate IP address came up as a common problem with an apparent solution - which I clicked on -- mind you this is from the Vista web site --
Can there be any clearer testimony that this company does NOTHING to increase the stability of its product from iteration to iteration? I don't need the AERO interface - I need a networking infrastructure that WORKS CONSISTENTLY - even on Sunday morning when I want to watch basketball.
Here is a clue - if the network is working Saturday night and I DO NOTHING - it should still be working Sunday morning.
Moreover, is it too much to expect, as a home business user, that in the decades since Windows 3.11, or the five years since the initial post of this "knowledge base" article - that Microsoft might deign to actually fix the problem if IP conflicts - and perhaps make the fix transparent to the user.
...Or - failing that - at least clearly explain what the heck an DHCP server even is -- is that too much to ask?!?!
Instead they concentrate on new "features" - leaving a hole in a service that every business or even home user has a right to expect will work and perform stably.
Could a problem be the router? Of course -- since Vista needs all kinds of hardware and software upgrades to work properly.
I also saw a link for a listing of Vista supported Routers - great, another peripheral I need to upgrade for no reason. But I ran the diagnostics for my older router in Vista and it passed - so that is not the reason for my problems.
Finally, the symptom of my problem (which is nowhere covered in the Vista web pages even in the section on Win 3.11) is the sudden appearance of a duplicate network. This requires me to get rid of it by restarting my network adapter. Doubtless Windows tech support would inform me that this is a "hardware" issue -- but let's face it -- if they haven't solved the IP conflict issue since Windows 3.11 then apparently the modus operandi of making excuses instead of creating a stable working environment is not going anywhere any time soon.