Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Windows XP Permanently Acquiring Network Address for Wireless Card

On my son's PC I recently reinstalled Windows XP SP2 and connected it to the internet using an Asus WL-167 Wireless Adapter. After a few days it stopped working and the message showing in the bottom right hand corner of the screen was "Acquiring Network Address" yet this message appeared constantly, even if the PC was left on for many hours.

Having done some research online it appeared that it was an error with the settings on the Asus WL-167 wireless adapter and the encryption method being used to connect to the wireless router. I realised that when I initially connected the Asus WL-167 Wireless Adapter the PC was running Windows XP Service Pack 2 but that then updated to Service Pack 3 shortly afterwards and the Asus WL-167 Wireless Adapter stopped working giving the error Acquiring Network Address constantly.

To fix the Acquiring Network Address problem the solution was as follows:

1) Open 'Network Connections' (accessible from the Control Panel).
2) Right click on the Wireless Connection, and select 'Properties'.
3) Select the 'Wireless Networks' tab.
4) Under the 'Preferred networks' section, click on your network and click 'Properties'.
5) Under the 'Association' tab, there is a drop down menu specifying 'Network Authentication'. This should be set to WPA. Set  Data Encryption to TKIP.

Having done this and re-entered my WEP key the PC was then able to connect to the router and internet.

It would appear that this Acquiring Network Address error can be caused by the Windows Update from XP SP2 to Service Pack 3 and that some wireless setting is reset as part of the Windows update in SP3. So if your PC is unable to connect to wireless network after installing Windows XP SP Service Pack 3 then the above information may be a solution to resolve the problem.


  1. thanks! this worked for me too (Samsung NC10 netbook with Win XP SP3 connecting to an Airport Extreme base station).

  2. Thanks so much. You just helped me out.

  3. Thanks. You just helped me out.

  4. Found this today after much searching for a solution.
    Many Many thanks, you have brightened my day. Finally got it to work.

    Much appreciated,


  5. what about with the on board network card..

    1. The same procedure should still work

  6. I tried many solutions but they did'nt work for my laptop. The solution given here solved my problem. The link guides you to reset the TCP/IP in windows.

  7. Great help. Thank for taking the time

  8. God bless you! Suffering for weeks with this problem. Been on live chat with Verizon for 2 hours today (no luck). Found your article just now and voila! It works! Thank you so so much!