One of the most common internet connection issues that you may come across is the “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error.
The error is quite annoying as you will have no internet access or maybe limited/ intermittent connectivity. This means you will have no access to your social media, emails, or online streaming sites. You can imagine what a nightmare it can be in today’s world!
You need not worry! As this error most likely generates from a software issue, it is quite possible to fix it.
This article will provide an insight into what this error is, what causes it, and how you can solve the problem.
- 1 What Does This Error Mean?
- 2 What Causes the Error ‘Ethernet Doesn’t Have a Valid IP Configuration’?
- 3 Possible Solutions to Fix the Error
- 3.1 Solution 1: Restart/ Reboot Your System
- 3.2 Solution 2: Check or Reset your Network Adapter Settings
- 3.3 Resetting the Network Adapter
- 3.4 Solution 3: Restart Your Router as well as Check Ethernet Cable
- 3.5 Checking Ethernet Cable
- 3.6 Uninstalling and Reinstalling Network Adapter
- 3.7 Solution 4: Reset The Winsock And TCP/IP Settings
- 3.8 Solution 5: Disable IPv6 and force IPv4
- 3.9 Solution 6: Update Network Adapter Driver
What Does This Error Mean?
As the error message states “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration”, you can reckon that the computer lacks a valid IP address, hence it is failing to establish access to the internet.
Some of you may wonder what the IP address really means. The IP address refers to the ‘Internet Protocol’ address, which allows devices to communicate through an IP-based network over the internet. This is basically a unique identity of your device on the network.
Another term you need to know to understand the problem is DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). The DHCP is a network protocol system that enables your server to automatically assign an IP address to your computer for a specific network.
When you receiving the error message, it means that your operating system is failing to receive a valid IP configuration from the DHCP server. For example, the switch, modem, or wireless router.
In general, your network connection should automatically obtain some details, such as subnet mask, default gateway, or DNS server. When an ethernet connection cannot acquire these essential details, the connections on your computer cannot reach through the DHCP server. Consequently, you are unable to connect to the Internet.
What Causes the Error ‘Ethernet Doesn’t Have a Valid IP Configuration’?
Now I will talk about some common causes of this error. Soon after, I will share some of the solutions with you to fix the problem.
There several reasons that can cause the problem-
- Incorrect network configurations
- Faulty, outdated, or incorrect network adapter drivers
- Expired cached files
- Cable issues, etc.
Possible Solutions to Fix the Error
It is not too difficult to solve the problem and prevent the error. Let me guide you through some possible solutions that you can apply to get rid of the error:
Solution 1: Restart/ Reboot Your System
Let’s start with a very simple one. Although it seems too obvious, one of the easiest fixes of an invalid ethernet configuration is simply restarting the system. When the system restarts, it can reset all of the incoming and outgoing connections and may be able to solve the error problem.
Of course, it will not always work. Sometimes the error is caused by using the fast startup feature. You can try disabling the fast startup and check if it solves the issue.
Follow the steps below to disable the Fast Startup feature:
- Step 1- Search for the control panel by simultaneously pressing the Windows Key and S key. From the list of results, select Control Panel.
- Step 2- Go to the Power Options from Control Panel.
- Step 3- Select the ‘Choose what the power button does’ from the left pane.
- Step 4- Click on ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable.’
- Step 5- Now uncheck the box for Turn on fast startup (recommended) under the shutdown settings
- Step 6- Select ‘Save changes’.
- Step 7- Reboot your computer.
These steps will disable the fast startup and may get rid of the ethernet configuration error.
Solution 2: Check or Reset your Network Adapter Settings
Checking Network Adapter Settings
As I mentioned before, by default, your device should be designated the IP address automatically. Besides, you have the option to assign a specific IP address if you want. You can check the Network Adapter Settings to verify if the internet properties have the correct settings.
Following are the steps:
- Step 1- Press the Windows key and the R key simultaneously
- Step 2- In the input field, enter ncpa.cpl and click OK.
- Step 3- In the Network Connections window, right-click on your Network Adapter. Then click on Properties.
- Step 4- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) from the Ethernet Properties window. and select Properties.
- Step 5- From the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window, enable the following options:
- Obtain an IP Address Automatically
- Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically
In case the network adapter setting was not functioning correctly, setting these to automatic should be able to fix the problem.
Resetting the Network Adapter
You can also try to reset your network adapter and thus refresh your IP address configuration:
- Step 1- Hold the Windows Key and press I to access Settings.
- Step 2- In the search bar, type network status, and choose the first option.
- Step 3- Under the Advanced network settings, select Change adapter options.
- Step 4- Now right-click on your Ethernet connection and select Disable.
- Step 5- Wait a few moments, and then right-click and select Enable.
When you enable the Ethernet connection again, the invalid IP configuration should be cleared and you should receive a new IP address. This trick is quite handy to address internet connection issues, especially for Windows 10 systems.
Running the Integrated Network Adapter Troubleshooter
Windows 10 also provides integrated troubleshooting tools to solve many common issues, including internet connection errors. You can try running the network adapter troubleshooter to identify and resolve relevant issues. Follow the following steps:
- Step 1- Press the Windows Key and S, and type network adapter
- Step 2- Choose ‘Find and fix problems with your network adapter’
- Step 3- Click on Advanced and then check ‘Apply repairs automatically’
- Step 4- Select Run as Administrator. If prompted, enter your Windows password.
- Step 5- Click Next and select your Ethernet network adapter from the list.
- Step 6- Based on your specific issues, work through the questions relating to the invalid IP configuration and thus complete the troubleshooting tool. It should be able to address the particular issue with the network adapter.
Solution 3: Restart Your Router as well as Check Ethernet Cable
Resetting the router
Just like you tried restarting the computer, resetting your router or modem can also solve certain internet connectivity issues. So try restarting your router to resolve the invalid IP address and then configure a new IP address.
Find the power switch of your router that may have a power switch. Usually, it is located at the rear of the device. Now switch off the power button and wait for around 5 minutes before switching it back on.
In case your router or modem does not have a power button, plug the device off from the socket. Leave it for few minutes and then plug it again. When you are giving the device some time, it allows it to reset the IP configuration.
Now check if your PC has a valid IP configuration.
Checking Ethernet Cable
If resetting the router still does not solve the error, try connecting your router to your PC using a different ethernet cable. If it still does not work, there could be an issue with the router. In that case, you may need to go for a different router.
If the issue persists even with a new router connection, it is most like an issue related to your network card. Hence, at this point, you can try performing a factory restore to your network card. If even that doesn’t work, replace the network card.
Uninstalling and Reinstalling Network Adapter
Once you perform the aforesaid problem-solving steps, you would require to uninstall and reinstall your network adapter. Following are the steps for that:
- Step 1-Press Windows and R keys together.
- Step 2-In the input hdwwiz.cpl in the input field and press OK.
- Step 3-Now click to expand the Network Adapters
- Step 4- Right-click on your Ethernet card and select Uninstall device.
- Step 5- Click on Uninstall, when the confirmation dialogue box appears
- Step 6- Now reinstall your network adapter using the driver associated with the hardware.
In case the reinstallation of the Ethernet card does not help, you could reinstall the network interface card. Make sure to find the latest version from the driver manufacturer’s portal and use that.
Solution 4: Reset The Winsock And TCP/IP Settings
The Windows Socket or Winsock is a core Windows component, which is responsible for incoming and outgoing data requests for programs using the internet. In other words, the Winsock assists with the management of your internet connection as well as the software using the connection.
Besides, TCP/IP, i.e., Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet protocol aids with the communication of computers on a network.
You can try resetting the Winsock protocol as well as TCP/IP settings by running some commands. These often help in getting rid of most Windows errors related to the Internet connection, IP, or DNS.
- Step 1- In the search bar of the Start menu, type command prompt
- Step 2- Select Best Match and Run as Administrator.
- Step 3- Now, input the following commands one-by-one, while making sure to press Enter after each entry:
- ipconfig /flushdns
- ipconfig /renew
- nbtstat –R
- nbtstat –RR
- netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt
- netsh winsock reset
- Step 4- After the final command, you should see a message stating successful completion
- Step 5- You can execute the following two commands to reset TCP/IP settings:
- netsh int tcp reset
- netsh int ip reset
- Step 5-Now restart your computer to apply the changes
If the ‘Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration’ error persists, you can try cleaning up all the network cached files on your computer. Perform the following commands in Command Prompt in the same way instructed above.
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /flushdns
- ipconfig /renew
Then restart your computer and check whether the internet connection issue is resolved.
Solution 5: Disable IPv6 and force IPv4
While IPv6 is capable of addressing billions of different address combinations, sometimes it is incompatible with older devices. If your network settings were reconfigured automatically to run on the IPV6 configuration, it can cause a conflict with the connection. As a result, you may encounter an ‘Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration’ error.
Many users have their connection problem was resolved simply by disabling IPv6. Try doing that using the following steps:
- Step 1- Right-click on the network icon in the system tray and select Open Network and Sharing Center from the menu.
- Step 2- Once it opens, select Change adapter settings from the left pane.
- Step 3- Find your network connection. Now right-click on it and select Properties
- Step 4- Locate Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and uncheck it.
- Step 5- Click on OK and thus save changes.
- Step 6- Restart your PC to apply the changes.
Now that the IPv6 has been disabled, check if the error is resolved. If it does not, you should re-enable it immediately to avoid any additional network problems.
Solution 6: Update Network Adapter Driver
If you are using Windows 10, it usually keeps your drivers up to date. However, you may still encounter a driver error. In that instance, you can try manually updating the drivers associated with your Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi connection.
- Step 1-Press Windows Key and X simultaneously.
- Step 2-Select Device Manager from the menu.
- Step 3- Select Network adapters to expand the list of network drivers.
- Step 4- Locate and select your Ethernet adapter driver.
- Step 5- Now right-click and select the Update Driver Software option.
- Step 6: Next, you will be prompted to choose between two options. Select Search automatically for drivers
Now Windows will search your system for the best driver and install it automatically. Thus you can make sure if it was the driver that was causing the internet connectivity issue and also fixes it.
I hope you have found this article to be useful for addressing the ethernet configuration error. Now you can apply these tips and get your internet connection back to normal!