back to article If you can read this, your Windows 10 2004 PC really is connected to the internet no matter what the OS claims

Microsoft is probing a bug in Windows 10 version 2004 that wrongly warns folks that their machines have no internet connection. For several weeks now, punters have complained that the Windows 10 May 2020 update causes their PCs to display the familiar yellow triangle icon – the no connectivity status indicator – in the system …

  1. karlkarl Silver badge

    Teething problems

    I said it back in '85 and I will say it now. Windows is still young. Of course it has these teething problems. Give it a chance! :)

    I used the (none) icon, because once Windows reaches 35 years old, I am sure its number of bugs will also be (none).

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Teething problems

      "I used the (none) icon, because once Windows reaches 35 years old, I am sure its number of bugs will also be (none)."

      How does 35 years of development make software bug-free? Is there a precedent? Shall Linux in just 7 years' time reach software-defined Nirvana?

      1. Mark192 Bronze badge

        Re: Teething problems

        Hi Sandtitz,

        I'm reaonably confident that Karlkarl's 35 year comment was sarcasm.

        I can't be sure because there's a large, smoking hole in the ground where my sarcasm detector used to be.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Teething problems

          IDK... some people spout silly M$ bashing even if the topic isnt about Microsoft.

    2. J. R. Hartley

      Re: Teething problems

      "Microsoft In Buggy Update Shocker"

  2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Cortana can't be activated

    Every cloud has a silver lining

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Cortana can't be activated

      Where do I get this bug? :)

      1. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Cortana can't be activated

        I use ShutUp10 to tell Cortana not to start.

        Can't always rely on MS to do it for me.

        /s

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Cortana can't be activated

      "Every cloud has a silver lining"

      That's what the cloud vendors are counting on.

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Every cloud has a silver lining

      except for the mushroom shaped ones which have a lining of Iodine 133 and Strontium 91.

      1. Basic

        Re: Every cloud has a silver lining

        But they spakle and shimmer so prettily...

    4. fireflies
      Windows

      Re: Cortana can't be activated

      I was trying to help someone fix a cortana issue earlier... looks like it broke since the 2004 update.

      If further evidence were required for the state of confusion windows has left itself in, it would be this summary:

      1) Cortana says it is not available in English (UK) language. (Suggested fix, download Cortana from MS Store)

      2) Get Cortana - you need to sign into a Microsoft account to download apps from the store (They didn't have a Microsoft account, so I created a nice shiny new personal account)

      3) Launch Cortana - Microsoft recommends using a Work or School account to get the most out of Cortana (well tough, we just have a personal account - so choose that and click continue)

      4) "Cortana does not support work or school accounts..." (but hang on, you said it worked best with.. yet I still signed in with....)

      So I'm guessing the myriad problems with the 2004 update are still seeping out of the woodwork.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Your problems are best summed up with the words

        MS does not know wether it is coming or going.

        Another fine mess you have got me into

        and finally,

        Too many crooks spoil the dish.

        Cortana, Alexa, Bixby (remember him?) and of course Siri are banned from my systems.

        I already mutter words of frustration and anger when using computers. The last thing I need is for the effing thing to answer me back!

        1. oiseau Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Your problems are best summed up with the words

          Cortana, Alexa, Bixby (remember him?) and of course Siri are banned from my systems.

          Good.

          You're almost there ...

          Now ban Windows.

          O.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @fireflies - Re: Cortana can't be activated

        Helping someone fix a Cortana issue, eh ? That's criminal behavior.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: @fireflies - Cortana can't be activated

          Nope, the correct fix is removing it, hardly criminal.

      3. Luiz Abdala Bronze badge
        Joke

        Re: Cortana can't be activated

        That´s why Master Chief unplugged her from his suit. Not that she'd go berserk... he was connecting her to a wired PC and trying to reset her registry key.

    5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Cortana can't be activated

      I regard that as the one really nice feature of this release and...

      Oh wait, MS will be along soon and make Cortana even harder to kill and bury 6000ft under.

      "Do it our way or on yer bike! and then they say in a whisper, 'Oh, and we are taking over Linux very soon so don't think that you can escape that way!'"

    6. stuartnz

      Re: Cortana can't be activated

      Cortana is not available here in "The Land of the Long White Cloud" (at least if NZE is default language) , definitely a big silver lining, imo

    7. FatGerman

      Re: Cortana can't be activated

      Dammit I only came here to post that.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TFTFY

    should maybe have even a little QA testing before release

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: TFTFY

      "We like to think of our customers as the final step in our QA process."

      1. Jakester

        Re: TFTFY

        Change that to read "We like to think of our customers as our QA process."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: TFTFY

          Exactly when did they start thinking about their customers?

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: TFTFY

            Exactly when did they start thinking about QA?

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: TFTFY

              Exactly when did they start thinking .

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: TFTFY

      To many, it's clear the buggy version 2004 Windows OS should maybe have a little more QA testing before release.

      There, FTFY, version 2.0

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TFTFY

        To many, it's clear the buggy version 2004 Windows OS should maybe have a little more QA testing before release.

        TFTFY^2

  4. beep54
    Angel

    Error

    "Your latest Windows update could not finish downloading" I keep getting this message. I could not be more pleased. And damned if I'm going to get on the fast track by downloading it myself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Error

      I get that msg because somewhere it is checking and finding a (now*) unsupported version of VMware workstation. So I'm checking out VirtualBox. But I won't uninstall VMware WS until that ... wha'dtheycallit ... cumulative update? I also am pleased the conflicting borkages are *protecting* me.

      (* Microsoft 'fixed' something, that borks an older VMware WS version, and VMware won't spring a fix for that older version cuz MS broke it, and I'm not going to pay VMware full price now that they've leapfrogged improved versions so far past my couple years old version I can't 'upgrade')

    2. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

      Re: Error

      You could try the windows update troubleshooter, available if your settings panel. If it still fails, come back and complain again.

      1. FatGerman

        Re: Error

        >> You could try the windows update troubleshooter, available if your settings panel. If it still fails, come back and complain again.

        I manage a rig of 25 Windows machines, all various hardware, all various versions. I get Windows Update failures about one in two times I try to update. Not once has the "windows Update Troubleshooter" fixed a Windows Update problem. Usually it doesn't find one, even though Windows Update itself is saying there is a problem. Sometimes it does find one, and then it tells me it hasn't fixed it.

        I note that, across multiple operating systems and hardware types, Windows Update is the only one that even provides a "Troubleshooter" and indeed is the only one that has ever, in 20 years, given me a problem that has required one. It's almost as if Microsoft haven't got a fucking clue what they're doing.

        1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

          Re: Error

          Well, when you don't post what you already tried the first rule is always the most basic stuff. "Is the mouse plugged in" ..... "unplug mouse and plug it back in" ..... "you're welcome, have a nice day!".

    3. intrigid

      Re: Error

      I have a bottom-of-the-line Dell laptop with 32gb of eMMC and about 2gb free space. It brings a smile to my face every time Windows fails to update. It says it needs an additional 10 gigs.

      The funny thing is that I don't have anything installed on it other than a few hundred megs worth of apps and some old games. Windows 10 is simply an insatiable monster that wants to grow and consume, for no particular end user benefit at all.

      I love my top-of-the-line Windows 7 desktop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Error

        My Ubuntu 18.04 desktop is running quite nicely. It's the same hardware I used to run XP on...

        1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

          Re: Error

          Upgrade to 20.04 in a cooperate environment which enforces proxy. Result: apt is no problem, well documented. But in the middle of the upgrade it will complain "cannot connect snap", and if you choose "skip" it will complain "lxd still running, cannot skip". The only option is to abort right in the middle of the upgrade. kill lxd and snap the brutal way since it cannot be removed the normal way in this state. Reproducible sh*t. The next machine: Stop and remove lxd and snapd with apt with all dependencies before upgrading, all fine.

          Thanks ubuntu-store fail...

          Don't come with "Linux has no problem", that OS is as bad as M$, just a different kind of bad.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      beep54 - Re: Error

      Even better. I'm getting "we'll let you know when it will be available for your PC". It might be something related to the fact I don't have a camera and microphone connected to my desktop but I'm happy with it.

  5. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Happy

    Windows has always had issues with networking

    ...as those of us old enough to remember having to purchase Winsock can testify

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Re: Windows has always had issues with networking

      You could have stopped at "Issues"

    2. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Windows has always had issues with networking

      I personally don't see why Windows gets the flak on this one - my Samsung smart TV has made the same complaint twice in the past week, although it says "connected" it also says "no access to the internet". I had to do a complete reset last week to get internet connectivity back, even through a wired connection, and a network reset last night.

      1. Giles C Bronze badge

        Re: Windows has always had issues with networking

        I don’t know about Samsung devices, but Panasonic smart TVs rely on getting a reply from a particular server to enable the online services. If that server goes down then the screen becomes a dumb display.

        It is more likely for telemetry than any technical reasoning.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Windows has always had issues with networking

          So it's not connected to the internet - Win!

          Mainly because I find its easier to use a PC hooked up to a TV, with wireless KB & Mouse than it is to use the bloody remote.

          Icon; Won't somebody think.....Nahh the little bastards already got to grips with it...

        2. Snake Silver badge

          Re: Windows has always had issues with networking

          Well, my point was that pretty much ALL these devices are getting too complicated for their own good, and almost everything goes "Boom!" every so often. Even my Android phone has been giving me connectivity issues in the past week, requiring 3 different network resets over the course of said week in order to acquire a 4G signal.

          Not sure what exactly is going on - home ISP issues, smart TV issues AND cell phone issues, all in the same week - but, there you go.

  6. swm Silver badge

    Network problems for MICRO$01 apps

    So, let me get this straight: The network works fine but MS data slurping doesn't work.

    What is the problem exactly?

  7. Keythong
    Big Brother

    I see this BS because of minimal trust for Microsoft domains

    Blackbird and other W10 lockdown software block this implicitly, but I also block them explicitly in my local dnscrypt-proxy instance and in my internet router.

    Too much spying gave me no choice, that includes blocks for most of the mainstream 'social media' domains, ad-domains (including amazon) and several non-essential google domains. If I didn't need google account stuff, real person verification, android and youtube, I'd seriously consider blocking all google domains, because their "Do no evil" mission statement is BS!

    I only have blocks in my browsers to block cookies, other domains I missed, or where domains which can be abusive in some situations.

    The correct way to detect no connections, should be continuous failure to connect to any internet address, during a set time period, a good one can be the time server, if set to an internet address.

    1. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: I see this BS because of minimal trust for Microsoft domains

      >The correct way to detect no connections, should be continuous failure to connect to any internet address, during a set time period, a good one can be the time server, if set to an internet address. <

      This is the way Win10 detects internet connection failure, and up until now has been the reason for this bug. You get a routing failure, and Windows labels that as an Internet connection failure, and that affects routing....

      It's been a problem with Win10 for some time, -- IPV4 standards/RFCs never really caught up with multi-homed systems and multi-homed systems are subject to corner-case routing failures. It should be fixed by total system conversion to IPV6 protocols (but of course will probably be broken by the transition).

      And no, "IPV6" doesn't just mean IPV4 with more bits.

  8. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Idiots

    When will the Rejects of Redmond decide they need a real QA group for Bloatware-as-a-(dis)Service? Errors like this should not ever happen. It is too critical a troubleshooting step that if the OS is incorrectly reporting connection errors it will side track the troubleshooting. Bloody idiots.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: When?

      When your legacy applications run on wine, when you friends use libreoffice, when new laptops come with Linux installed by default and when unicorns bring me fresh margaritas when I get out of my swimming pool on the moon to enjoy the rainbows.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Idiots

      They did test, but they were in Redmond when they did the test, everything works perfectly inside the MS domain... it's when you aren't in their domain that you have issues.

    3. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Idiots

      Clearly you don't understand MS's current QA process:

      1) Force the update out onto end-users PCs regardless of whether they want it or not.

      2) Wait and see what bug reports come back.

      3) Fix the issues (and introduce others).

      Why bother paying for QA staff when you can just fling it at your users and wait for them to point out all the borkage?

  9. Lee D Silver badge

    I think this sounds like MS has changed the NCIS methods they use.

    It always used to be that they would try to connect to a given website (www.msftncsi.com, owned by MS) and download a text file whenever it detected a new connection (wifi or Ethernet). If that didn't work, the connection was "limited" instead of "Internet". I know, because in the registry you can change the given website and then use it as a primitive (and completely invisible) monitoring of your devices. If a thief is silly enough to turn it on, it'll connect back to your website and your Apache logs will tell you the IP where it's at, and additionally if that server goes down you'll notice because your Windows PC will say that it's not on the Internet when it clearly is!

    In Windows 8/10, they changed the website and the text file and the contents of the text file. That's why you see a ton of connections to msftconnect.com or something... that's every machine on your network trying to see if they are on the Internet or not. It also triggers proxies to prompt you to login, so it does serve some purpose.

    I bet either that domain is having problems, they've changed the verification again and it doesn't work the same, or they simply broke the NCIS protocols in the background.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Windows_Troubleshooter_Guide/Network_Location_Awareness

      "Note that sometimes, you might get a yellow warning sign/exclamation mark indicating that you have no internet, yet can connect fine. In this case, judging by the above cases, it should mean that #2 failed but #1 works."

      That suggests that this would be caused by DNS issues on that given domain.

      (Although someone could check Windows 10 2004 if they like and see if that registry entry points somewhere other than the two known values).

      It does seem incredibly stupid to have the entire world check a text file on one website to see if they are online or not. That's one of the reasons I changed mine to my own server.

      1. Steve Graham

        It does seem incredibly stupid to have the entire world check a text file on one website to see if they are online or not.

        Android seems to do something similar, but connecting to a Google server, obviously.

  10. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Bad but not so bad as ...

    I have two Win7 professional laptops of different brands. Each periodically stops connecting to the network (even the local network) and then mysteriously reconnects a few restarts later. being connected but misinformed is a minor irritation by comparison.

  11. TheresaJayne

    After the last update all our network connections had turned into Unknown Network and being unknown were classed as Public networks and locked down by the firewall.

    We had to use the policy manager to change the default policy to read unkown networks as Private instead, then our static IP machines all went DHCP.

    Now this...

    (Our network is double natted as we have 16 static ips coming into the building and the generic work network is on one of them, with clients on the other 13)

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Thank you TheresaJayne

      you may have solved our problem (see post above).

    2. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

      Happened to us also. Luckily only a subset of our systems.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    2020. These are testing times....

    ...just not at Microsoft it seems

  13. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

    Easy workaround:

    new .CMD file on Desktop.

    ping www.google.de

    ping 8.8.8.8

    ping www.google.de

    ping 8.8.8.8

    Forces the OS to do a ping two different destinations and two name lookups (don't mix with nslokoup which bypass OS name lookup), and then it usually gets it and says "oh, I have internet!".

  14. aks Bronze badge

    I've certainly experienced very similar symptoms to those described but when looking in the registry using regedit, the parameter is at another level down and the option is already activated.

    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters\Internet

    EnableActiveProbing=1

    Windows 10 Pro, Version 20H2, OS Build 19042.388

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's been doing it for years, not just for 2004.

    1. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

      I came here to post this. We've especially had this issue with laptops for some reason and going to the chip manufacturers' driver (instead of MS or the PC manufacturer) seems to resolve the issue.

  16. Maximum Delfango
    Facepalm

    Another victory for 'Agile'?

    Move fast; break things.

    Never move fast enough to fix them, though. You'd be out of a job then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another victory for 'Agile'?

      Perhaps MS could move all those that they are laying off from LinkedIn onto Windows testing?

      {thinks}

      Don't be stupid. We, the users are all the only testers MS need to employ. We are stupid enough to deploy alpha software into production environment so what more do we expect.

      What I can't understand is why they aren't being sued into the ground for all the [redacted] they ship to us poor sods?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Re: Another victory for 'Agile'?

        You can't sue them. Have you read their EULA ?

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: @AC - Another victory for 'Agile'?

          You can't sue them. Have you read their EULA ?

          That clause against litigation is only valid in the USA (and Puerto Rico), unfortunately, the rest of the world isn't as litigious as the USA nor are punitive fines as common.

  17. DCFusor Silver badge

    It's a trend

    Anyone else notice that if you click on the voice search (microphone) icon on google's home page that it works fine in chromium, but in any other browser, it reports "no internet connection"? As in, how did I get to that page without one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @DCFusor - Re: It's a trend

      This is by design, to kick competition in the teeth. Remember when Opera could not access Microsoft sites unless you changed the user agent to mimic Internet Explorer ?

  18. AGT

    My son has had this on his Acer Aspire laptop, to his disgust, when trying to get Fortnite off the Windows Store. Which ironically it wasn't on, but I digress. Without knowing about the issue, I tried updating drivers etc but this issue was there for him before he did the major Windows update. I got connection back to do the update by using a USB Wireless adapter instead of the internal Qualcomm Atheros, and downloaded the Windows update thinking that would fix the problem. Not so much. If you happen to have an external adapter handy that might work for you until the patch gets patched?

    On the plus side, he might convert to Linux if it will tie in to his XBox!

  19. jeffdyer

    Never had that problem

  20. Blake Davis

    Win 10 has done this on a regular basis to me, no matter the update level/version. I've seen it on multiple computers as well.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10, a shit bag that just keeps shitting.

    A rolling distro model isn't working for Windows.

  22. karlkarl Silver badge

    In all fairness, I put the group policy firewall up so tight (to stop updates, DRM and Windows shite-ing on itself) so it permanently says it is off-line anyway.

    I only really let Putty through and then use a proxy tunnel for Firefox and Git.

    I don't think I would have even noticed this bug since the machine never goes online, even from installation.

  23. Reeder

    this registry entry is interesting

    No meaning to hijack this discussion but has anyone reviewed this key...especially the Internet key? Why 131.107.255.255 and all the other interesting addresses?

  24. David Nash

    Similar but not quite the same

    I wonder if it's related? One W10 laptop in my house has recently and intermittently begun throwing up a dialog box stating that Wifi is switched off, when it clearly isn't.

    Ethernet works, it just doesn't want to use the Wifi.

    Rebooting didn't help reliably but sometimes disconnecting and reconnecting the (not actually switched off) wifi does work.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does Windows Update rely on the "are we connected" test

    before it tries to download an update? If so, could be a HUGE problem - issue can only be fixed by downloading an update, which the OS won't do because it thinks it's not connected...

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