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I have a rather nonstandard installation - Windows Server 2008 R2 on a Dell Latitude E6520 laptop. I want the Windows DNS server to run when the laptop starts up, but it looks like the network drivers don't present the NIC as being ready until a network cable is plugged in, because if I try to start the DNS service before the cable is plugged in, I get the error:

Error 1222: The network is not present or not started.

I suspect this is a driver issue because I have another non-laptop Dell server where, even when the machine is started without the network cable plugged in, the Windows DNS service will start.

So is there a way to get the Dell laptop network driver to start even when the network cable is not plugged in, or get the Windows DNS service to start with no NIC available? The silly thing is that once the Windows DNS service is started, it stays running even when you unplug the network cable - it just needs it plugged in to start up in the first place! I know I can start the laptop with the ethernet cable plugged in, or manually start DNS after it's been plugged in, but it would be nice just to have it start on boot no matter what.

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    There might be a BIOS setting that disables the NIC when there's no cable (trying to force the OS to use WiFi). Look for something that indicates Network Switching or similar.
    – Chris S
    Jul 15 '13 at 16:14
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Install a Microsoft Loopback Adapter. This is a fake network card for exactly this purpose.

  1. In the host operating system, right-click My Computer, and then select Properties. Depending on the style of the start menu, My Computer may be located in the Start menu.
  2. In the System Properties dialog box, on the Hardware tab, click Add Hardware Wizard.
  3. In the Add Hardware dialog box, click Next.
  4. When the Is the hardware connected? dialog box appears, click Yes, I have already connected the hardware, and then click Next.
  5. In the Installed hardware list, click Add a new hardware device, and then click Next.
  6. In the What do you want the wizard to do? list, click Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced), and then click Next.
  7. In the Common hardware types list, click Network adapters, and then click Next.
  8. In the Manufacturer list, click Microsoft.
  9. In the Network Adapter list, click Microsoft Loopback Adapter, and then click Next twice.
  10. If a message about driver signing appears, click Continue Anyway.
  11. In the Completing the Add Hardware Wizard dialog box, click Finish, and then click OK.
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  • Hmm, any idea why you have to install this manually on Windows? On Linux there's always a loopback adapter by default.
    – Jez
    Jul 15 '13 at 23:30
  • Same name, but they are not the same thing. The loopback interface in Linux provides 127.0.0.1. In windows, 127.0.0.1 is provided by the IP stack. That is not a loopback adapter, but the IP stack. The loopback adapter in windows is provided for services that require a bound and active IP that is not 127.0.0.1.
    – longneck
    Jul 16 '13 at 1:33

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