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I have a couple laptops running Vista. The users move between a couple physical locations where they have to plug into network jacks. These locations are on separate subnets and the individual static IP addresses that have been assigned to these machines will not work properly in all the locations where the laptops need to run. So, the users have been manually switching between multiple static IPs and/or DHCP configurations by directly entering in those values in the Vista settings dialog, depending on where they are and what network resources they need to use. This is irritating.

How can I simplify this experience by (potentially) creating a script that will allow users to more easily swap between appropriate tcp-ip configurations? It seems like PowerShell would be a good tool for this, but I haven't been able to find client-oriented scripts.

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Must it be solved by a script or would a third party application that is designed to facilitate the movement of a computer between many different networks be okay? (Much like Kevin Kuphal's suggestion) – Wesley Jun 22 '09 at 20:44
Oh, I'm really ignorant of the options, which is really why I'm here! anything to simplify this would be a valid option. – Chris Farmer Jun 22 '09 at 20:49


You can script this using netsh.exe and placing the commands in a .bat file. Here is a link to a site that tells you how to do it. Make the bat files and name them the locations that they are going to. Here is another link to a forum discussing the same thing.

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This is exactly what you want to do. Dump your config to a .conf file, and make a bat that feeds the conf back into netsh via the command line. If you want, you can get fancy by having a batch menu come up to prompt for a location and find the appropriate .conf file. Otherwise, just make a batch file for each location. I've got laptops set up to switch between DHCP and loading a .conf with multiple static addresses for communication on a network where we don't pass addresses out via DHCP. – Oesor Jun 22 '09 at 21:49

Ideally you should configure each DHCP server at the physical location with DHCP reservations so the users do not have to make system level changes.

Othwerise look for products like the Free IP Switcher

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Thanks for the suggestion. This is a large institution with a very fragmented IT infrastructure, so it's often hard to get the "correct" solution to work out! – Chris Farmer Jun 22 '09 at 20:42
Blah... the Free IP Switcher product looked to fit the bill, but it refuses to run on Vista. Do you have any similar vista-friendly suggestions? – Chris Farmer Jun 22 '09 at 21:05

Chris, I know someone who worked for the EPA who swore by GlobeSoft's MultiNetwork Manager (affectionately referred to as MNM -- which causes some confusion if anyone in the same room is a candy-holic or a fan of modern rap music). It can apparently make moving between multiple networks relatively simple for end-users. It also allows adminstrators to have control of many different options when a network is selected. Administrators can roll out network profiles to clients and have a default profile for all other networks that a user may stumble into. You may want to look into that as it seems quite powerful.

I cannot compare it with Free IP Switcher as I haven't used "FIPS" (Yay! I made an acronym!).

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