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Microsoft KB Archive/171332

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Knowledge Base

Invalid LAA Media Access Control Address Causes Network Driver Failure

Article ID: 171332

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q171332


If a user types invalid characters other than (0-9 A-F) or types more than 12 characters for the media access control address by not using hyphens between bytes, Windows NT network driver interface specification (NDIS) cannot initialize the card and will result in event message(s):

Event ID: 7000
Source: Service Control Manager
Description: The IBM Token Ring Adapter (ISA/PCMCIA) driver service failed to start due to the following error:

A Device attached to the system is not functioning.

And in some instances, depending on the invalid characters typed, the following event log message may be displayed:

Event ID: 6004
Source: Eventlog
Description: A driver packet received from the I/O subsystem was invalid. The data is the packet

DATA: ........................ibmtok IBMTOK 17


Some network adapter drivers allow an administrator to assign locally administered addresses (LAA) or universally administered addresses (UAA) for the installed adapter card. This allows administrators to manage media access control addresses and use it for inventory control and troubleshooting purposes. The media access control address consists of 6 bytes using HEX Numbers 0-9 and A-F, so a typical media access control address would look like this:


Most token ring adapter drivers present a dialog box during installation to allow the user to type the LAA media access control address. The field presented to the user allows for 17 characters and assumes the user is going to use hyphens between bytes.

NOTE: Some OEM Ethernet drivers may also support this feature.


To resolve this problem, clear the invalid entry by performing the following steps:

  1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click the Network icon.
  2. Click the Adapters tab, select the installed adapter in question, and then click Properties. When the dialog box appears, verify that the media access control address displayed is valid or clear the entire entry and restart the computer.

The media access control address being used can be displayed from an MS-DOS command prompt by typing:


Workstation active on:   NetBT_IBMTOK1 (00C04FC9F170) <--- media access
control address


It is up to the driver's installation .inf file to parse user input and determine if the values entered are valid during network card installation. Some OEM drivers will prevent invalid entries while other OEM drivers accept any user input, that may cause problems during network card initialization.

Additional query words: MAC

Keywords: kbbug kbsetup KB171332