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Changing MAC address

    Question

  • None of the utilities or methods that formerly worked to change the MAC address used by a network adapter are effective in Windows 7.

    How must one go about changing the MAC address of an NIC? Hint: The answer isn't in changing stuff in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}. If this worked I wouldn't be here.

    Without being able to change my MAC address, I don't have a reason to use the operating system, as my network is crippled. Any help would be much appreciated.
    Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:01 PM

Answers

  • "...that the difference is the hardware wireless card driver... ", I'm using the same USB adapter (not another one) and using the exactly driver install (in CD), so I guess is not a driver problem.

    My beta key expires next month, I'm just give another try to the oct 22nt version/build, if not works I'm going back to vista :p
    Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:17 PM
  • I guess you can't unless you are already a member of the Windows 7 Connection.

    You could open a support call

    Or you could write about it on Have Comments about Windows 7 Beta?.  They promise to pass all comments there on to the development team.
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 8:58 PM

All replies

  • I would say your only hope is to try some of the workarounds for the old Mac changing software, like running as the default "Administrator" account, or rightclicking the exe to 'troubleshoot compatibility'. If you can acquire a cheap replacement NIC, it would probably be a better solution.
    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 12:43 AM
  • I take it that you tried opening the properties for the adapter, and the advanced tab of the configure button?  I see a line for "network address", which has a default of "not set".  I have never played with this and I don't know if mac address is what this would set, or if it works even.
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:02 AM
  • I tried this. Old Mac changing software either won't run or won't install, under any guise of compatibility. And the problem isn't that I need another MAC address, I need to be able to CHOOSE specific MAC addresses at will.

    Most probable is that the solution will be doing something very tricksy to the system that I have not discovered yet.

    Needless to say the operating system will have this capability when it comes out (or should, otherwise it counts as crippled), but for now it's pretty lame.

    bnborg: Yes, that has the effect of changing the aforementioned information in the registry; this works perfectly fine in XP, and behaves exactly the same way when done in W7 with the exception that nothing actually changes.

    Sunday, February 15, 2009 2:08 AM
  • I would report this as a bug.
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 2:29 AM
  • Where is the best place for me to do that? I naturally am not using W7 right now, and I only just found this forum today. Sad how for all money I've spent (chronicled below) and time spent frustrated that I haven't found the actual bug reporter.


    -This problem, chronicled-

    1. SIIG cardbus adapter 1.0 + D-LINK G-650 : system freezes upon driver load
    -$40-
    2. SIIG cardbus adapter 1.0 + D-LINK DWA-642 : system freezes upon driver load
    -$40-
    3. SIIG cardbus adapter 3.0 + either D-LINK card : system freezes upon driver load
    -$40-
    4. D-LINK WDA-2320 : actually works, revealing that the MAC-spoofing in Windows 7 is failing for some reason
    SUBTOTAL - death and frustration
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 9:52 AM
  • I guess you can't unless you are already a member of the Windows 7 Connection.

    You could open a support call

    Or you could write about it on Have Comments about Windows 7 Beta?.  They promise to pass all comments there on to the development team.
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 8:58 PM
  •  Your network is crippled because you can’t change your MAC address?. Hmm. What are you actually trying to do that requires you to change your MAC address so that you can access your network.

    I would think that MS has actually disabled the ability to change a MAC address to prevent its platform being a springboard for MAC spoofing attacks.
    Monday, February 16, 2009 2:10 AM
  • Hi

    You do not need tools or registry editor to set MAC because setting MAC address form advances NIC properties works without problems.

    I am sure it works on xp, vista and 7

    To set MAC what you want do

    1. Open NIC properties from device manager or from network connections

    2. Click on advanced tab

    3. Click network address property item and enter MAC you want without separating "-" something like 001122334455

    4. Apply

    Now you can see new MAC in NIC status details
    Monday, February 16, 2009 4:50 AM
  • It's just the situation I'm in and the infrastructure I have to deal with; getting someone to make changes to the routers is difficult.

    I highly doubt (read "really, really hope not") that Microsoft would be dumb enough to disable MAC address changes on wireless hardware.
    Monday, February 16, 2009 4:51 AM
  • Ventsislav Alexandriyski said:

    Hi

    You do not need tools or registry editor to set MAC because setting MAC address form advances NIC properties works without problems.

    I am sure it works on xp, vista and 7

    To set MAC what you want do

    1. Open NIC properties from device managed or from network connections

    2. Click on advanced tab

    3. Click network address property item and enter MAC you want without separating "-" something like 001122334455

    4. Apply

    Now you can see new MAC in NIC status details


    I know, that was how I was doing most of my attempts. This simply changes the registry value in the key I talked about earlier, the same as if you change this value manually. The problem here is that most MAC addresses are not actually being applied to the wireless card (at least this specific one) as they are to the other NICs.
    Monday, February 16, 2009 7:41 AM
  •  First try to set MAC as I suggest you, before to say that it is the same as to set key you specified!

    After you set MAC following steps I gave you, you can find correct registry key, just to see that it is not the same as that you think it is :)
    Monday, February 16, 2009 8:41 AM
  • As I was explaining, I have already tried doing it exactly as you describe. It never worked.
    Monday, February 16, 2009 6:39 PM
  • Not you have not tried it in same way, you have tried to set some wrong registry key.
    Monday, February 16, 2009 7:08 PM
  • I'm not sure what you mean, but I DO know what I'm doing. I did it exactly as you said, first. Before changing the registry entry manually. So even on the off-chance that everyone else is wrong about how the system works, I still did it the right way.

    I never changed anything but the REG_SZ value "NetworkAddress" in the appropriate registry key, which identified itself as belonging to D-LINK WDA-2320 Wireless Network Adapter.
    Monday, February 16, 2009 8:01 PM
  • Widdershins said:

    None of the utilities or methods that formerly worked to change the MAC address used by a network adapter are effective in Windows 7.


    How must one go about changing the MAC address of an NIC? Hint: The answer isn't in changing stuff in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}. If this worked I wouldn't be here.

    Without being able to change my MAC address, I don't have a reason to use the operating system, as my network is crippled. Any help would be much appreciated.



    This is your first post and key you have tried to set MAC into.


    This key is not correct key!

    If you have set all as I said you have to know that, and have to know what correct key is
    Monday, February 16, 2009 8:41 PM
  • I take it you think it should be HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{guid}\?

    I wouldn't know.  I haven't changed any MAC addresses.
    Monday, February 16, 2009 9:00 PM
  • As I stated in the first post, adding or changing NetworkAddress in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}\xxxx\ and then resetting the appropriate NIC will change its MAC address normal circumstances. The registry key you named does not have any settings related to MAC addresses.

    This is the correct key. I have verified this numerous times. For instance, in XP, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}\0033\NetworkAddress (REG_SZ) contains the MAC address of the wireless adapter. Change this value, reset the adapter, and voila -- it now has a different MAC address. This is 100% verifiable with "getmac -v" in the commandline.

    The problem is not that no MAC addresses are changing. I know how to do that and do so frequently. The problem is that where it works perfectly as expected in XP, this specific wireless card refuses to assume most MAC addresses while running under Windows 7. By the very same method, the other NICs operate completely as expected. So, this may or may not be a driver issue, but it is clearly a problem.
    Monday, February 16, 2009 10:35 PM
  • To Ventsislav Alexandriyski:

    Sir, I have had enough of your pointless, detracting machinations. I do not care what you think. I already know how to make this work, I can tell when it is not working properly, and I don't need you telling me that I'm doing it wrong and even thinking about it the wrong way when you cannot even read what I have already said or even take a brief look in your own registry.

    You clearly haven't even taken a good look at the registry at any of the places you've been talking about. As you continue to post it is becoming clear that you do not have specific knowledge about this particular problem, nor the desire to do the basic research to find out.

    Your base assumption is that I know nothing about the problem or about MAC addresses, and that in short I am an idiot. Now is the time for you to remove yourself from the conversation.

    If you really have the need to post again, you should read and learn the material at http://www.irongeek.com/i.php?page=security/changemac, which summarizes the method nicely. Until then, it is obvious to anyone who HAS read it that you do not know what you are talking about.
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 7:45 PM
  • Widdershins - (I know this doesn't answer your original query, but...)

    Can you obtain a NIC card/device with a 'network approved' MAC address, **AND** which you can find Win7-compatible drivers ?

    I kinda agree with DarienHawk67, that MS may have disabled this ability, for the reasons specified...

    As a separate angle, have you checked with the NIC mfr website, to see if there is any info there on defining a MAC alias ?
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:59 PM
  • JimVec said:

    Widdershins - (I know this doesn't answer your original query, but...)

    Can you obtain a NIC card/device with a 'network approved' MAC address, **AND** which you can find Win7-compatible drivers ?

    I kinda agree with DarienHawk67, that MS may have disabled this ability, for the reasons specified...

    As a separate angle, have you checked with the NIC mfr website, to see if there is any info there on defining a MAC alias ?


    I have already spent $120 trying to obtain a NIC card/device that doesn't bring 64 bit systems to a grinding halt as soon as the drivers are loaded; I'm afraid I've already done more than I can handle on that front.

    For now, I have found a card that works just fine in XP -- the problem now is getting it to change in Windows 7. And yes, I am hoping that that is not the new approach of Microsoft. That would suck.

    I did contact D-LINK; they told me where I could download the drivers I already had, and other than that they said "Please do not send an additional request for this information." So, not terribly helpful.
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:39 AM
  • I have successfully changed the MAC on my Wireless Intel chip to the same as my Wired by installing the Vista drivers and using the macshift program.
    The problem is however that the wireless won't connect if I don't disable the Wired one.

    Hope this helps.
    Tuesday, June 09, 2009 7:18 AM
  • Same problem here.

    I have the same build version (win7 ultimate x64 7600 rtm) installed on my desk and laptop, and using the same USB Wireless with the same driver. In desk I can chance its MAC, in the laptop I can't.
    Very strange huh?

    Yes, tryed FIRST the common methods ("Open NIC properties"...), then programs (smac, mac makeup & tmac) and finally registry, nothing works in the laptop...

    Why Win7 do that? Any other system can change it's mac, so it does not prevent MAC spoofing attacks.
    Friday, October 16, 2009 2:39 PM
  • It's likely, in light of your testing, that the difference is the hardware wireless card driver. It probably needs to be updated for Win 7. I would be sure Windows Update for drivers is enabled on Oct 22nt.
    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP
    Friday, October 16, 2009 4:13 PM
  • "...that the difference is the hardware wireless card driver... ", I'm using the same USB adapter (not another one) and using the exactly driver install (in CD), so I guess is not a driver problem.

    My beta key expires next month, I'm just give another try to the oct 22nt version/build, if not works I'm going back to vista :p
    Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:17 PM
  • Hello All
    I have just tried to do the registry trick & it worked. Changed the last character from D to C. getmac -v reflected the change only after I restarted the adapter though.
    Thanks
    bornlibra23
    Thanks For Your Help
    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 10:53 AM
  • Still not working here (registry fails too).
    Back to XP still not working :(
    • Proposed as answer by TLMahan Friday, June 08, 2012 7:38 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by TLMahan Friday, June 08, 2012 7:47 PM
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:55 PM
  • I believe use N.Eee has already proposed the correct answer on another thread;

    I don't think it's a bug, is intentionally made...

    MAC address:  "XY-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX"
    "X" can be anything hexadecimal.
    The hexadecimal "Y", written in binary format, is
    Y:  "kmnp",  where "p" is the least significant bit;
               p=0 --> unicast;
               p=1 --> multicast;

               n=0 --> globally assigned MAC;
               n=1 --> locally administered;

    So, actually MAC can be changed not only to 12-XX-...,
    but to any combination in which p=0 and n=1;
    "Y" can be 2, 6, A or E.

    I think it can be tweaked in registry, since it apply only to Wireless,
    not to Ethernet adapters. But I don't have much time to experiment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:MAC_address

    Microsoft has apparently changed their software to be compliant with the spec with Windows 7. Any time this is done (after allowing users to take advantage of their non-compliance for a long time) there is pain. This is somewhat synonymous with closer the barn door long after the the cow has left or trying to put the poop back in a horse, but it does make them compliant.

    There are valid reasons for being able to change a MAC to a globally administered address, Linux bonding comes to mind, I'm sure there are similar MS features, but these should only be done with the OS or through a privileged interface.

    • Proposed as answer by TLMahan Friday, June 08, 2012 8:14 PM
    Friday, June 08, 2012 7:47 PM
  • N.Eee has it right;

    I don't think it's a bug, is intentionally made...

    MAC address:  "XY-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX"
    "X" can be anything hexadecimal.
    The hexadecimal "Y", written in binary format, is
    Y:  "kmnp",  where "p" is the least significant bit;
               p=0 --> unicast;
               p=1 --> multicast;

               n=0 --> globally assigned MAC;
               n=1 --> locally administered;

    So, actually MAC can be changed not only to 12-XX-...,
    but to any combination in which p=0 and n=1;
    "Y" can be 2, 6, A or E.

    I think it can be tweaked in registry, since it apply only to Wireless,
    not to Ethernet adapters. But I don't have much time to experiment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:MAC_address

    MS appears to be correcting their non-compliant behavior (allowing users to configure a globally [as opposed to locally] configured MAC address). Closing the barn door after the cow has escaped for sure, painful for users for sure, but compliant.

    • Proposed as answer by Brian Borg Saturday, June 09, 2012 2:18 AM
    Friday, June 08, 2012 8:20 PM