The Network Status icon may show an "Acquiring network address" message after an address is already acquired in Windows XP Starter Edition


When you connect to a network from a Microsoft Windows XP Starter Edition-based computer, the Network Status icon may not correctly indicate when the network is connected. The Network Status icon may show the following message:

Acquiring network address
This message appears even though the network connection has already acquired an IP network address.


To work around this problem, manually determine the network status. For example, try to access a network resource. Or, use the IPConfig tool to verify the configuration. To use the IPConfig tool to verify the TCP/IP configuration on the computer that is experiencing the problem, click Start, click Run, and then type cmd. Then, use one of the follow methods:

  • Type ipconfig, and then press ENTER to view the basic network configuration.
  • Type ipconfig /all, and then press ENTER to view a detailed configuration report for all interfaces. This report includes any remote access adapters.
Review the IPConfig output to determine the computer network configuration. Use the following information to interpret the IPConfig output:
  • If a computer is manually configured by using an IP address that duplicates an existing IP address that is already detected, the subnet mask appears as
  • If the local IP address is 169.254.y.z and if the subnet mask is, the IP address was assigned by the Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) feature of Windows XP Professional. This assignment indicates the following:
    • TCP/IP is configured for automatic configuration.
    • No Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server was found.
    • No alternative configuration is specified.
    • This configuration has no default gateway for the interface.
  • If the local IP address is returned as, the DHCP Media Sensing feature override is turned on. The feature override is turned on because the network adapter detected the lack of connection to a network or because TCP/IP detected an IP address that duplicates a manually configured IP address.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314067 How to troubleshoot TCP/IP connectivity with Windows XP


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.