A number of my PCs have a persistent problem with the default route disappearing when the system is restarted. Since I use Remote Desktop to control most of these machines remotely, it’s rather annoying; if the PC reboots, I no longer have remote access.
I hoped it would correct itself when I upgraded to Windows 10, but it’s still happening. In fact, it’s much worse — Win10 feels it has carte blanche to reboot to install upgrades without asking my permission first and when it does, I have to visit the PC to reset the default route, or find someone to do it for me.
This all started a year or two ago, with a particular Windows 7 update (I’m not sure which one). The only common factor is that all the affected PCs use static IP addresses with a manually configured default route. It doesn’t occur when DHCP is used. Most of them also have multiple network adapters.
While I have a workaround using a startup script to manually re-add the missing route, it’s awkward to run this with the elevated command privileges needed to change the default route.
Google suggested various solutions, including:
- Editing the network adapter and switching it to DHCP, exiting, then going back in and switching it to static again. This needs to be done twice to work.
- Resetting the TCP/IP stack (by running netsh int reset from an elevated command prompt). This is quite drastic.
I tried both of these but neither fixed it for me.
Today, I found something that *did* work. I’m recording it here in case it helps someone else.
- Run RegEdit and navigate to
- Go through each of the interface GUIDs in turn.
- One of them will have an IPAddress field matching your main network interface. On this one, confirm that there is a REG_MULTI_SZ field called DefaultGateway containing a single text line with the IP address of your default route. If it’s not there, create it. Similarly, there should be a DefaultGatewayMetric field, also REG_MULTI_SZ, containing the single string ‘0’.
- On all the other interface GUIDs, delete any DefaultGateway and DefaultGatewayMetric fields entirely.
After completing these steps, restart your PC. The correct default route should now be configured.