We started hearing about a potential blocking problem regarding Windows 8.1
Since we regularly test our software on Windows 8 this seemed strange to us. We originally thought this was probably a specific user or machine problem, perhaps a local anti-virus program or some administrative privileges not being set correctly that was causing the software to not work.
But, we decided that the problem warranted some further research.
In researching the problem, we discovered that several programs are having problems with WinPcap 4.1.3 on Windows 8.1. Our software does not require WinPcap in general, but for the blocking feature, WinPcap is required. So, this seemed like a likely culprit. If WinPcap isn’t working on Windows 8.1, then blocking won’t work on Windows 8.1.
The problem with WinPcap 4.1.3 that is installed on Windows 8.1 is that during installation a registry key is set incorrectly. Specifically the regkey:
This should have a value of 3, but for some reason after installation has a value of 1 or 0.
The value of 3 means that the service will always start on demand, where values of 1 or 0 do not auto-start the service correctly.
So, to verify this was the problem, we went ahead and upgraded our Test Windows 8 machine to Windows 8.1, and started testing blocking.
However, blocking was still working. The reasons that it was still working is because WinPcap 4.1.3 set the registry keys correctly when it was installed on Windows 8. And upgrading to Windows 8.1 did not change the registry keys. So this is why we did not experience the same problems as someone installing a fresh copy of WinPcap 4.1.3 on Windows 8.1
That is what we know about this problem so far.
If you have a Windows 8.1 computer that has never had Who’s On My Wifi or WinPcap 4.1.3 installed on it, then it is likely that when you try to block an intruder and install WinPcap, you will receive an error at this time and blocking will not appear to be working. The fix for now is after installing WinPcap to manually change the following registry key to 3:
And then restart your computer. Blocking should then work.
If you have a Windows 8 computer that was already running Who’s On My Wifi and WinPcap 4.1.3, and you upgrade it to Windows 8.1, then you shouldn’t have any problems.
Depending on what we hear from customers, we may go ahead and release our own fix to this problem, perhaps in an upcoming version 3.0.x that has this fix built into it. Perhaps as an option that lets you change this key from within our software to make it more convenient. It’s also very possible that WinPcap will release version 4.1.4 that has this fix built into it already. If version 4.1.4 comes out, then we will just start distributing the new version of WinPcap instead of having a different fix.
Hopefully this solves the problem that some of you might be having.