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Media Sense is a feature of Windows XP/2000 that automatically detects if a network cable is plugged into the Network Interface Card (NIC) and a cable modem or router.
When the network cable is disconnected, Windows will display a message similar to "Network cable is unplugged” on the TaskBar and can also be seen as "Media State ...: Cable Disconnected" when using the 'ipconfig' command within an MS-DOS prompt. Once Windows detects that the network cable has been disconnect, it disables the entire network protocol stack. Media Sense was designed to enable the network protocol stack once the network cable is plugged back into the NIC or cable modem/router, but in some instances, would not recognize the network cable and keep the network protocol stack disabled. Basically, this means that your computer cannot establish a connection to the Internet because Windows Media Sense has failed.
Below are links that discuss how to disable the Media Sense feature. However it is important to note a few things prior to taking this action. Microsoft has quoted the following warning:
There are some side effects of disabling the "Media Sensing" feature. For example, if you have a machine with two network adapters, and you have the "Media Sensing" feature enabled, if one network adapter does not work, it is unbound, and associated routes are removed so that all traffic goes through the other network adapter (assuming a default gateway is there). Also, if you are a roaming (portable) user, the "Media Sensing" feature is what provides the ability to connect to any network and have everything work, without restarting, release and renewing, and so on. After disabling Media Sense and restarting, Windows still shows the "Network Disconnected" icon on the TaskBar and the 'ipconfig' command still shows a "Media State .....: Cable Disconnected" message when the cable is disconnected. However, the Network Interface is bound to TCP/IP and you can verify this by looking at the route table --you can use the "route print" command-- which shows the interface IP address (you are also able to ping the IP address assigned to the NIC).”
The links for more information about Media Sense can be found here:
Microsoft Knowledge Base #239924 »
Microsoft Knowldge Base Supplemental Information »
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