Why Disabling IPv6 In Your System Image Is A Bad Idea

Despite its benefits take up of IPv6 has been slow, and many sysadmins disable it by default. That's a bad idea, since there is no easy way to change the setting back automatically across multiple machines.

IPv6 picture from Shutterstock

Microsoft experts Ray Zabilla and Mark Morowczyski point this out in a post discussing the importance of IPv6:

 If you need to re-check that box there is NO PROGRAMATIC WAY to do so. So if you have gone ahead and built that uncheck in your image and you do need IPv6 on that network adapter you’ll need to log into EVERY MACHINE AND RE-CHECK IT. Oh how fun that will be.

Better to leave it enabled, then. Hit the full post for more discussion of IPv6 issues.

Why you need to care about IPv6 [Microsoft Ask PFE Blog]


    :... no programmatic way to do so?

    netsh interface ipv6 install

    Are you guys living in 1985?valso who disables it... what possible advantage would that give you... you seriously need to do your research more and stop seemingly getting all your fact on what people do or do not do from seemingly whoever you happen to be talking to that day. You do it consistently and it makes you look incredibly ignorant for someone in your position..

      Hi! netsh int ipv6 install is not a valid command... There IS however a valid PowerShell cmdlet that works on Win8 and Server 2012 only.

      Unfortunately, lots of customers disable it. And by that, I mean probably close to 95% of the customers I visit. Most of us engineers who interface with customers need to have this discussion on a regular basis.

        Apologies - it's actually "netsh int ipv6 install", I use it regularly but it is only for XP. However as you say, my point was essentially that there's many ways to do it, as you point out.

        Personally, I would have linked the article to: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929852#letmefixit

        .. and left it at that. Both automated, and command line methods for fixing it, and how to check.

        Last edited 18/06/13 5:12 pm

          Some more good info from the link within that page:
          [Edit: sorry, just noticed they use the exact same quote in the blog post listed]

          Q. What are Microsoft's recommendations about disabling IPv6?
          A. It is unfortunate that some organizations disable IPv6 on their computers running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008, where it is installed and enabled by default. Many disable IPv6-based on the assumption that they are not running any applications or services that use it. Others might disable it because of a misperception that having both IPv4 and IPv6 enabled effectively doubles their DNS and Web traffic. This is not true.

          From Microsoft's perspective, IPv6 is a mandatory part of the Windows operating system and it is enabled and included in standard Windows service and application testing during the operating system development process. Because Windows was designed specifically with IPv6 present, Microsoft does not perform any testing to determine the effects of disabling IPv6. If IPv6 is disabled on Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008, or later versions, some components will not function. Moreover, applications that you might not think are using IPv6—such as Remote Assistance, HomeGroup, DirectAccess, and Windows Mail—could be.

          Last edited 18/06/13 5:18 pm

    No real need for IP6 in a home or corporate environment yet. Does ANYONE have a private network that is larger than an IP4 class A? I work for a fortune 500 company with over 60,000 employees, and we don't use it, in fact, we disable it because it interferes with some of our other software.

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