Weekly quickTIP

Viva IPv6

It's alive, but not quite ready. And it might be slowing down network response. You have some options for disabling IPv6 for now.

IPv6 is coming, yet at what appears to be a glacial pace. The problem, though, is that IPv6's prevalence in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 means that these OSs at times tend to give an IPv6 response to a network request instead of the IPv4 answer we’re used to seeing.

When this happens, it can be cumbersome to troubleshoot what problem is affecting the server or desktop, doubly so when you're not familiar with IPv6's addressing scheme or nomenclature.

Among others, there are two things you can do that can assist with keeping IPv6 out of the picture for now, at least until global warming speeds IPv6's glacial melt-off. The first is the "-4" switch used with the ping command. IPv6 responses to ping requests can be confusing, so this switch forces ping to use IPv4 for the query. To use this switch, simply enter it before the hostname you want to ping, as in:

ping -4 {hostname}

Another option is to disable IPv6 functionality entirely. This can be done by editing the registry. In the location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip6\Parameters\ create a registry DWORD value titled DisabledComponents. Set the data for this value to 0xffffffff to disable all IPv6 components except for the IPv6 loopback interface. This setting also configures the computer to prefer IPv4 over IPv6. Restart the computer for the setting to take effect.

Later on, when you implement IPv6 in your network, simply reset this value's data to 0 and reboot again and you're merrily on your way to the networking of tomorrow.

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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