Another WPAD mystery

I wrote a blog post on WPAD some time back to be specific this one and I got case on a subject related to this ,I thought the post and the details in it ,will be good enough to completely resolve this issue ,but it turned out that there were more interesting things to be discovered. Once again we were dealing with an issue, where autodetection with WPAD was not working as expected, using DHCP option 252 and it was falling back to DNS, so objective was to find out why autodetect was not picking up WPAD DHCP option 252 ,although it was configured properly.

So while doing testautodetect of FWCtool , we collected network traces and to my surprise we were seeing following in the DHCP response


- Dhcp: Reply, MsgType = ACK, TransactionID = 0xxx
    OpCode: Reply, 2(0x02)
    Hardwaretype: Ethernet
    HardwareAddressLength: x (0xx)
    HopCount: 0 (0x0)
    TransactionID: x (0xx)
    Seconds: 0 (0x0)
  + Flags: 0 (0x0)
    ClientIP: x
    RelayAgentIP: x
  + ClientHardwareAddress: xxxx
    MagicCookie: x.x.x.x
  + MessageType: ACK - Type 53
  + ServerIdentifier: x- Type 54
  + SubnetMask: x- Type 1
  + DHCPEOptionsVendorSpecificInformation:
  + DomainName: suraj.contoso.local- Type 15
  + Router: x.x.x.x - Type 3
  + DomainNameServer: x.x.x.x.x - Type 6
  - WPAD: http://surajisa.suraj.contoso.local:80/wpad.dat - Type 252
     OpCode: Web Proxy Auto Detection (WPAD), 252(0xFC)
     Length: 55 (0x37)
     URL: http://surajisa.suraj.contoso.local:80/wpad.dat
  + End:


which means that DHCP server was replying with option 252 for WPAD and the URL of the ISA server i.e.

" http://surajisa.suraj.contoso.local:80/wpad.dat"

but twist was that client machine was not consuming this and was not able to detect WPAD from DHCP.

I gave procmon a try(while doing autodetect) ,to see if there is issue with permissions on files, on the machine but answer was no, I could not find any permission issue with files/registries etc.

Following article explained the this issue and we applied this article and we were able to detect the WPAD settings using DHCP option 252.

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    i could have seen netmon, or WPAD output for fwctool to comment on it but without them its difficult to say what is exactly happening in your scenario

  2. jan says:

    Thanks for your work on this topic. I have the same issue but the hotfix didn’t resolve it. I also changed some registry keys, played around with the string the server replies back I’ve never seen my IE8 actually requesting the file DHCP pointed to from the webserver. We have it up and running for thousands of clients via DNS entries for wpad, but I need to spread the URL via DHCP so I can use seperate files per network now. It drives me crazy.

Skip to main content