TCP/IPv4 Settings Keep Reverting to Static DNS Server on Windows 10

The Story

The other day (Wednesday), my WiFi wasn’t working on my laptop. I would connect successfully, but the network showed “No internet, secured.” I needed to put some time into the WordCamp Kent 2019 site, so I ran back to the office, worked on 2 blog posts, then returned home to troubleshoot.

After checking Twitter, I saw that roughly 530 Twitterers in Kentucky and Indiana were complaining about a Spectrum outage when I was also having issues. So I got in contact with Spectrum first, since the day prior, there was a Spectrum outage in my area. It was a plausible cause for my Internet woes. After rebooting the modem and router, noticed the Ethernet was working. So the issue was on my end. (I own my modem and router anyways, so chances are naturally high that the issue was my responsibility.)

I read everything I could online about my router and all the “light guides” for the modem and router. (For the first time ever,) I logged into my router. I had a firmware update, so I ran that and turned auto-update on for new firmware releases. Checked my laptop again, and that didn’t do the trick.

After running the Windows troubleshooter and getting this message, “Windows can’t communicate with the device or resource (Primary DNS Server),” I finally found this obscure article, which had my solution. – It took me 3 hours to get to this point.

Active Network Connections
2. Active Network Connections

(Updated for Windows 10; that post is for Windows 7.)

  1. Control Panel > Network and Internet
  2. Click on your active Wi-Fi Connection on the right.
  3. On Wi-Fi Status prompt, click Properties.
    Wi-Fi Status Prompt
    3. Wi-Fi Status Prompt
  4. On Wi-Fi Properties prompt, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click Properties button.
  5. Ensure the IP address and DNS server address settings are set to “obtain automatically,” not “use the following.”

Once I updated this setting, my WiFi worked again. My troubles were caused by the DNS server address being set to a static IP. However, periodically, the setting reverts back to “Use the following DNS server addresses” with a static DNS server IP.

So I found this article that describes the same issue:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-networking/tcp-ipv4-dns-server-address-keeps-changing-to-a/42737057-7a18-47d6-ab2e-682617c9ac5e?page=3

“If you have a work profile for example that requires static IPv4 settings, and other connections using the same network adapter with DHCP then all bets are off. You may need to use something like NetSetMan to easily manage and switch between profiles on the fly.” –

I waited through the weekend (turning the settings back 3 more times) and got a hold of our managed services company through work. They’re working on a custom script solution, but if not that, they might create a second profile within my existing one that will not have these settings applied.

Resolution & Resources

I’ll update this post once the issue is resolved! Hopefully this helps save someone some time. I spent like 6 hours working on this!

Update: Our managed services company had made a change to our monitoring software (Webroot). They had added DNS Protection Service, which deployed to everyone, including remote/laptop employees. So it was good that I opened a ticket, because others would’ve been affected had they taken their laptops home and tried to connect to their WiFi at home.

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