So where does ipconfig information come from?

I'm working through a Microsoft Academic tutorial on Win7 configuration and I'm instructed to run ipconfig/all at cmd prompt. Then I'm asked where the information displayed came from. You know, that's a good question! I would guess that ipconfig/all looks at information stored and pings the network for the attached device information but I don't know that for sure and certainly can't give a citation even if it is right.
So... where does the info in response to an ipconfig.all command come from and where can I find a citation to validate the info?


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
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Microsoft MVP
Doesn't all come from one place. The IP address is a layer 3 address assigned temporarily to a network adapter following a DHCP request to the router (wired or wireless). The physical address is a layer 2 address permanently assigned to the network adapter being burned into ROM on the device. The default gateway address is the internal IP address on the router and is read from there. The DNS server address may be either an actual external IP address of the DNS server but is more likely to the the internal default gateway address on the router to which all DNS requests will be initially addressed before being passed on by the router to the external IP address of the actual external domain name server. Any of the layer 3 addresses described above may have the automatic addresses assignment over-ridden by manual setting.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
If the OP was asking where does the ipconfig command actually get the information, what might be a good answer?

Maybe from the registry under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services key and its subkeys. Or at least, that is what Process Monitor shows...

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