2016-03-11 Updated to note requirement to remove non-Microsoft anti-virus and firewalls
2016-01-24 refactored to give clearer path
2016-04-05 updated to remove anti-malware and suggest replacing the network card.
2016-04-06 updated to include restoring to a system restore point
I have a lovely new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 but after the November 2015 update to Version 1511 build 10.0.10586 (aka “Threshold”) I kept losing network connectivity with the error.
“One or more network protocols are missing on this computer”
After a lot of investigation and feedback in the comments sections I now know that there is no one single cause for this issue. Causes include,
- Upgrading to “Threshold”
- In November 2015 Microsoft released Threshold (Windows 10 version 1511). The process of upgrading to Threshold breaks can cause this issue.
- Refreshing your PC with Threshold.
- When you upgrade to Threshold it creates a recovery partition that containing Windows 10 version 1511. When you refresh your PC it is possible that you simply reapply the corrupt configuration.
- Using a USB to Ethernet dongle
- Having a bad router
- Having a dirty or damaged Ethernet cable or socket
- NetBIOS issues associated with a static IP
What I think is happening
I think that Windows 10 detects some sort of problem on the network adapter and then disables it. Our best fix is to find the root cause but this is very often impossible and therefore our second choice is to re-enable the network adapter.
Fixing the root cause and issue
Verify your DNS settings
If you are just using DHCP then you should not have broken your DNS but if you have changed your DNS servers on your router or network adapter then this could be the cause of your problem. In this case reset the devices to use the default DNS provider.
For wired Ethernet connections
These are simple non-destructive changes that you can make that may fix the root cause.
- Visually inspect your Ethernet port and the cable to the router. If there is any damage then repair it.
- Check your router logs for errors.
- Change the port you use on your router
- If you are using a Microsoft Surface or similar device change your inexpensive generic USB to Ethernet dongle to the expensive Microsoft branded one. (untested solution – I will update).
Remove non-Microsoft anti-virus and firewall
If you have a non-Microsoft anti-virus or anti-malware product it might stop your Windows updates applying properly. Remove it. I also don’t trust Windows 10 to play nicely with non-Windows firewalls. Remove it.
- Remove non-Microsoft anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall products
- Run Windows Update
- Proceed with the suggestions below if necessary.
Fix Windows 10 and drivers
These are safe changes you can make that might fix the root cause. If one step does not work then proceed to the next.
- Run Windows Update
- Run SFC and DISM.
- Although these make changes to your Windows installation I believe that they are safe.
- Select the adapter in Device Manager, right click on it and choose “Update Driver Software”
- After step 3 above has completed successfully remove the network adapter and choose Action > Scan for Hardware Changes to add it again. If it was disabled it should now be enabled and working again without the need for a reboot.
If this does not work you may wish to restore to an earlier System Restore Point. This will revert driver changes that may be causing you issues without affecting your data.
Fixing the Registry
If the above changes did not work then you may need to fix your registry because when Windows 10 disables your network adapter it sets registry permissions that stop it being reset successfully.
Registry Permissions Fix
This can be fixed by a registry edit as shown in this video.
The key is
And the correct permission is Full Control for everyone. You may find that on your device the key is “ControlSet” or “ControlSet002” etc – it depends on your device’s history.
After setting this permission you will need to run,
netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt
as shown in the video.
Registry Winsock keys fix
If this does not work you may have correct Winsock entries. You can replace these with ones from a good computer.
- Create a Recovery Point and then,
As suggested by Nate J export the Winsock and WinSock 2 keys from another windows based computer (Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 regardless of version (Home, Enterprise etc.)). I exported the keys from a Windows 7 Enterprise laptop for use on my Windows 10 Home desktop. Only thing to ensure is to export them from an OS of the same type (i.e. 32-bit for 32-bit, 64-bit for 64-bit).
Once you have the exported keys:
1.)Backup Winsock and WinSock2 keys.
2.) Add the exported Winsock and WinSock2 keys you just exported from another system.
4.) Following reboot your computer should now be able to successfully establish a network connection and your apps should be able to connect to the internet as well.
Replace network card
If you have a desktop computer you can put in a new network card. This will instantly solve any driver or hardware issues that you might have.
A note from the author
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My petition will require British petrol stations to sell fuel with 100% CO2 offset in addition to normal fuel. Eveyone wins and it won’t cost the taxpayer a penny.