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Vista Network World Icon⚓︎

June 10, 2009⚓︎

I have always wondered, but never looked in to, how Vista knows when it is online with the little globe over the network icon and today I found out how it does this. This might not be anything surprising to many of you but I thought I would share this little tidbit either way.

With my home network I have things locked down tight for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is that I run a business removing Malware and I often end up bringing those infected computers into my home network. I have a separate quarantine network designed just for these infected computers that goes straight through my firewall and I am always looking at the logs for hints as to what infections there might be. Anyways, today I had one of my first Vista laptops the user thought to be infected, so I put it in the quarantined network, started monitoring logs, and quickly noticed a weird site in the logs. came up and it caught my eye quickly with a name like that, mostly because MSFT is a common abbreviation for Microsoft.

Doing some quick snooping around I found this Microsoft article that talking about the site and what it is meant to do.

Basically when a Vista computer gets on a network it tries to get DNS for, and then it tries to access the file looking for “Microsoft NCSI” within that text file. When these two tasks complete successfully you get the little icon, it’s just that easy.