Windows 2003: Lost network connectivity

Windows95WowYesterday I was working on an old windows 2003 server. I know: Windows 2003 is beyond End-Of-Life and it is dangerous to use it in production environment, but here in genoa we are famous for not wasting anything, and also the server is used in a “sandbox” and run an old legacy software not available for later windows versions.

When I was copying some files server has stopped all connectivity.
– Attempting to ping any ip on the dedicated LAN returns “destination host unavailable”.
– The NIC & Driver looks fine in device manager
– Ethernet connection in Network Properties shows status as Connected
– Link light and activity light are active on NIC
– Using arp -a I can see that the ip-MAC address association works !

After some research I’ve found that IPSec service is stopped despite being set to automatic start. I’ve read that if IPSEC service is not running this blocks all network access to and from the server. If I tried to start manually I get an error.

Using regedit check to see if the next key is missing.:


If it’s not present, there’s your problem. Run the following command to repopulate the registry.

regsvr32 polstore.dll

After I started without errors the IPSec service and solved the netowrk issue (usually also reboot is a good idea in this situation).