Bizarre DHCP server error solved

Here’s a solution for one of the oddest errors I’ve ever seen. We had a PC which had been wiped and the OS reinstalled, but it could not get an IP address from DHCP. The error message we got was:

“An error occurred while renewing interface Local Area Connection : The name specified in the network control block (NCB) is in use on a remote adapter.”

So we wiped the OS and tried again (with a different version of Windows this time), same error. We did a bit of digging, and we found a reservation in DHCP (this is a DHCP server on Windows 2003 R2) for the machines MAC but with the PC’s original name. We deleted that reservation and tried again. Same error. We did everything we could to make it “take”… restarted the DHCP service, rebooted the client, etc. Packet captures showed nothing unusual either.

Upon further investigation, we found a second reservation in DHCP which looked odd; it had the same IP address as the first one that we deleted but it had an entirely different MAC and name. We deleted that reservation anyways, and BANG. It works fine.


12 thoughts on “Bizarre DHCP server error solved”

  1. Long time no see! I was wondering if this was a dead site. So much good information on here, would be a shame to see it wither – glad to see new content!

  2. Good to see some updates.

    @Mike Check for more of George’s work as I see more updates there than here.

  3. I had this problem also. It did relate to the removal of a reservation. If you strike this problem take a look at the DHCP server. Ensure that you have removed the reservation and reconcile the scope in question. I found that there were inconsistencies in the database. I also restarted the DHCP after this…

    The record still did come back for some bizare reason so I shut down the machine and followed the above procedure again.

    In doing the above I was able to reassign the reservation and enable the old workstation to receive a DHCP address…

  4. I had this problem as well. After removing reservation in dhcp, I could not renew ip. Restarting dhcp did not help, but after reconciling (right click scope node) scope, I was happy again :)

  5. Hi – I am having the exact same problem. Using a Linksys wrk54g wireless router connected to a cable mode. All clients are using (successfully) DHCP, except one (Windows 7). it is getting the β€œAn error occurred while renewing interface Local Area Connection : The name specified in the network control block (NCB) is in use on a remote adapter.” error.

    I’ve looked in the router admin, but do not see where to release the reservations, or reconcile. I’ve shut down and restarted (router, computer, modem, etc.) but no change.

    Anyone know what I might try?

  6. This is related specifically to a Windows Server acting as a DHCP server… I don’t know why it could be doing that with a Linksys router, sorry!


  7. @Simpson:

    If you’re using the router as a DHCP server you have a couple of options.

    a) If the router doesn’t have any options for DHCP reservations that you can see, they’re likely happening ‘behind the curtain’. Try resetting it to factory defaults.

    b) If you don’t mind it, give your windows 7 computer a static IP address and you’ll never have to worry about DHCP problems again πŸ˜‰

  8. I had this same problem with my win7 laptop and my linux dhcp server. The lease file on the server had lots of entries. I removed them all. Then ran ipconfig /flushdns on my win7 laptop and it was fixed.

  9. I’ve just had the same error from my Win7 laptop connected to a Netgear DG834G Wireless ADSL. I’ve got 6 machines with a mixture of OS’s, so a while ago I configured static reservations by MAC address, on the router. Everything had been working fine until today when I discover I can’t see my laptop from my iPhone. A quick cmd shows it’s got the wrong IP (.10 instead of .4), so I check on the router. Router’s settings appear to be just as I left them, but I re-apply them anyway, and run “ipconfig /renew” which throws out the NCB error above! Never seen anything like it, so I try a search, which fails because I now don’t have an IP; but by the time I’ve switched to another window and back, it’s sorted itself out: I’m back on the right IP, and have no idea what the problem was!

  10. Thanks for this tip!

    I had the same problem with a Win7 client and a Linux DHCP server. I had added the client’s MAC address to a host section in /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf and restarted the dhcp daemon, but couldn’t renew the IP on the client.

    What I had to do so that the client could renew it’s address and get the new fixed one, was to delete the entry for it’s previous address in /var/lib/dhcp3/dhcpd.leases. No need to restart. “ipconfig /renew” worked immediately.

  11. Thanks!

    This was happening to me, but only on my WLAN adapter. It was working at home, but just not at work.

    This worked for me as well. I found a few DHCP reservations coming back with Names as “BAD_ADDRESS”. Once I deleted those reservations I renewed my IP using ‘ipconfig /renew’ and all NICs were able to retrieve an IP via DHCP.

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