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I just installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 Pro on a computer, and plug it into the network, and it gets labeled with "Unidentified Network"

I open up the command prompt, and check "ipconfig/all", and I am getting an IP address ( and DNS server ( info from the DHCP server (, and when I attempt to "ping" I get: Pinging [] - Reply from Destination Host Unreachable" So I can talk to my local DNS server, resolving a domain name, but I cannot get outside of my network from only that PC.

I can ping my DNS server, and every other computer on the local network, but not my Gateway/Router/DHCP ( So the Router is giving my computer an IP, but my computer cannot ping the device that is giving it an IP.

Is is the Windows 7 Unidentified Network label preventing my from getting outside my network, or is something else?

Also where can I find a good article explaining what this whole "Windows is identifying network" stuff is all about? Why can't it just get an IP address and be happy?


When I set the IP statically instead of pulling from the DHCP server (using same values DHCP handed the PC), I get a dialog from Windows asking "Select a Location for the Network", with the choices Home/Work/Public. And now everything works fine, no more issues.

What is the deal with "Windows is identifying network" stuff?

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are you sure that other computers connected to this network is working ? – Sudantha Nov 18 '10 at 14:46
yes, other computers on same switch work fine – Joe Mako Nov 18 '10 at 15:06
Identifying the network is so Windows can lower the firewall settings when you're on a home network (to allow file/print sharing, etc.), and raise them when you're on a public network like a wi-fi hotspot. – Stephen Jennings Nov 18 '10 at 15:41
and when it is "Unidentified", does that cause windows to block all traffic to the gateway? – Joe Mako Nov 18 '10 at 15:44
up vote 2 down vote accepted

go into your Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel and see if you can change that unidentified network to a home network and then see if you can get online

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where can I find instructions on how to do this? – Joe Mako Nov 18 '10 at 15:34
Nice advice, but I couldn't find any link or button that would change it. – Thomas Weller May 12 '14 at 8:47

Do you have any VLANs set up on your switch? That could cause this issue.

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no VLANs on the network – Joe Mako Nov 18 '10 at 15:18
Did you check for proxy setup on the computer? – David Nov 18 '10 at 15:21

I arrived here because I had a similar issue, just inside a VM.

In case of a virtual machine (VMWare), check the network settings of VMWare. If it is set to host only, you do not have Internet access. Setting it to bridged or NAT will bring back the Internet connection.

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