Detection of duplicate IP addresses by Microsoft TCP/IP

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 120599 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q120599
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SUMMARY

The TCP/IP protocol may fail to start if another system using the same IP address is detected on the network. All the TCP/IP protocols currently shipping (as of 9/20/94) can detect duplicate IP addresses in most cases. The following information details how this happens and how to recognize duplicate addresses in a network trace.

MORE INFORMATION

Each computer running TCP/IP uses a cache that contains mappings between IP addresses and media access control (MAC) or network adapter addresses on the network. The cache is maintained by the address resolution protocol (ARP) and is dynamic. When a connection attempt is made from one computer to another, the calling computer looks in its ARP cache for the target computer's IP/MAC address entry, and then builds an outgoing frame directed to the MAC address of the target computer.

If the target computer's IP address is not in the cache, the calling system broadcasts an ARP frame onto the network. The ARP frame contains the IP address of the target computer, and requests its MAC address. If the target computer exists on the local sub-net then an ARP reply will be returned to the calling computer, which updates its cache accordingly. The cache must contain correct mappings for communications to function.

At system startup, when the IP protocol initializes, it sends an ARP request containing its own MAC and IP address so that other computers can update their ARP caches. If there is already a computer using the IP address, the "older" computer will respond with an ARP reply containing its MAC and IP address, indicating a conflict. Unfortunately, many other computers may have already updated their ARP caches with the new mapping. At that point, the "younger" computer that is initializing needs to do two things:

  1. Repair the ARP cache on all affected computers.
  2. Cease using the duplicate address.
Computers running Microsoft TCP/IP will send out a new ARP broadcast to re- map the ARP cache on all affected computers. This new ARP will contain the MAC address and IP address of the older owner of the IP address. After sending this ARP, the IP protocol on the younger machine will report the problem to the user and the stack will shut down. The stack should not be re-started until a unique address is obtained. Note that the computer may still function at this point if another protocol such as NetBEUI is loaded.

Below is a network trace illustrating this behavior. It was captured on a Token Ring network.

Network Trace Illustrating Handling of Duplicate IP Addresses

  1. At IP protocol startup, an ARP package is sent by the younger computer:
    Frame  Time    Src MAC Addr  Dst MAC Addr   Protocol  Description
    1      1.166   4000DDDD1111  BROADCAST      ARP_RARP  ARP: Request,
                                                          Target IP:
    11.1.9.221
    
    + FRAME: Base frame properties
      TOKENRING: Length =  50, Priority Normal (No token) LLC Frame
        + TOKENRING: Access control = 24 (0x18) Repeated, Frame, Priority:
          Normal (No token)
        + TOKENRING: Frame control = 64 (0x40), LLC Frame
        + TOKENRING: Destination address : FFFFFFFFFFFF
        + TOKENRING: Source address      : 4000DDDD1111
          TOKENRING: Frame length : 50 (0x0032)
          TOKENRING: Tokenring data: Number of data bytes remaining = 36
                     (0x0024)
    + LLC: UI DSAP=0xAA SSAP=0xAA C
    + SNAP: ETYPE = 0x0806
      ARP_RARP: ARP: Request, Target IP: 11.1.9.221
          ARP_RARP: Hardware Address Space = 6 (0x6)
          ARP_RARP: Protocol Address Space = 2048 (0x800)
          ARP_RARP: Hardware Address Length = 6 (0x6)
          ARP_RARP: Protocol Address Length = 4 (0x4)
          ARP_RARP: Opcode = 1 (0x1)
          ARP_RARP: Sender's Hardware Address = 4000DDDD1111
          ARP_RARP: Sender's Protocol Address = 11.1.9.221
          ARP_RARP: Target's Hardware Address = FFFFFFFFFFFF
          ARP_RARP: Target's Protocol Address = 11.1.9.221
  2. The older computer already using that address responds directly to the younger computer with an ARP reply:
    Frame  Time    Src MAC Addr  Dst MAC Addr   Protocol  Description
    2      1.166   APRICT093738  4000DDDD1111   ARP_RARP  ARP: Reply, Target
                                                          IP: 11.1.9.221
    Target
                                                          Hdwr Addr:
                                                          4000DDDD000
    
    + FRAME: Base frame properties
      TOKENRING: Length =  50, Priority Normal (No token) LLC Frame
        + TOKENRING: Access control = 16 (0x10) Original, Frame, Priority:
          Normal (No token)
        + TOKENRING: Frame control = 64 (0x40), LLC Frame
        + TOKENRING: Destination address : 4000DDDD1111
        + TOKENRING: Source address      : 0000C9093951
          TOKENRING: Frame length : 50 (0x0032)
          TOKENRING: Tokenring data: Number of data bytes remaining = 36
                     (0x0024)
    + LLC: UI DSAP=0xAA SSAP=0xAA C
    + SNAP: ETYPE = 0x0806
      ARP_RARP: ARP: Reply, Target IP: 11.1.9.221 Target Hdwr Addr:
                     4000DDDD1111
          ARP_RARP: Hardware Address Space = 6 (0x6)
          ARP_RARP: Protocol Address Space = 2048 (0x800)
          ARP_RARP: Hardware Address Length = 6 (0x6)
          ARP_RARP: Protocol Address Length = 4 (0x4)
          ARP_RARP: Opcode = 2 (0x2)
          ARP_RARP: Sender's Hardware Address = 0000C9093951
          ARP_RARP: Sender's Protocol Address = 11.1.9.221
          ARP_RARP: Target's Hardware Address = 4000DDDD1111
          ARP_RARP: Target's Protocol Address = 11.1.9.221
  3. The younger computer realizes its mistake, and broadcasts a corrective ARP to map all ARP caches back to the MAC address of the older computer:
    Frame  Time    Src MAC Addr   Dst MAC Addr  Protocol  Description
    3      1.168   4000DDDD1111   BROADCAST     ARP_RARP  ARP: Request,
                                                          Target IP:
    11.1.9.221
    
    + FRAME: Base frame properties
      TOKENRING: Length =  50, Priority Normal (No token) LLC Frame
        + TOKENRING: Access control = 24 (0x18) Repeated, Frame, Priority:
                     Normal (No token)
        + TOKENRING: Frame control = 64 (0x40), LLC Frame
        + TOKENRING: Destination address : FFFFFFFFFFFF
        + TOKENRING: Source address      : 4000DDDD1111
          TOKENRING: Frame length : 50 (0x0032)
          TOKENRING: Tokenring data: Number of data bytes remaining = 36
                     (0x0024)
    + LLC: UI DSAP=0xAA SSAP=0xAA C
    + SNAP: ETYPE = 0x0806
      ARP_RARP: ARP: Request, Target IP: 11.1.9.221
          ARP_RARP: Hardware Address Space = 6 (0x6)
          ARP_RARP: Protocol Address Space = 2048 (0x800)
          ARP_RARP: Hardware Address Length = 6 (0x6)
          ARP_RARP: Protocol Address Length = 4 (0x4)
          ARP_RARP: Opcode = 1 (0x1)
          ARP_RARP: Sender's Hardware Address = 0000C9093951    <----|
          ARP_RARP: Sender's Protocol Address = 11.1.9.221      <----|
          ARP_RARP: Target's Hardware Address = FFFFFFFFFFFF         |
          ARP_RARP: Target's Protocol Address = 11.1.9.221           |
                                                                     |
                                                                     |
    Here the IP address gets mapped back to the older computer's MAC address.

Windows NT version 4.0 Service Pack 3

Microsoft changed the way a Windows NT TCPIP computer reacts to a duplicate IP address with Service Pack 3. This change has not been made in any of the other TCPIP stacks. The new method of resolving duplicate IP addresses is as follows:

  1. The "new" machine broadcasts an ARP request with its own MAC address andIP address.
  2. The "older" computer will send an ARP reply directly back to the "newer" computer, indicating a conflict.
  3. The "newer" computer will not initialize its TCP/IP stack.
  4. The "older" computer will send an ARP broadcast with its own MAC address and IP address to ensure other computers have a correct ARP cache entry for the IP address that was in conflict.

Properties

Article ID: 120599 - Last Review: July 28, 2006 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft LAN Manager 2.2b
  • Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.2
Keywords: 
kbnetwork KB120599

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com