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For those of you who do not know what a MAC address is, it is the burned in address that every networking piece of equipment has that is unique. No two pieces of equipment should every have the same MAC address. There are many reasons someone might want to change the MAC address of the network card or wireless card. Maybe they are trying to connect to someone's wireless network that only allows certain MAC addresses. You can also change your MAC address to test your own security settings, and even DHCP settings. So there are many reasons why you might want to change your MAC address.
First off this article is intended for Windows Vista users only, some of the details my apply to Windows XP but everything here was tested in Vista. We need to first find the name of our network card and this is really easy to do. Click start then run and type in "cmd" and click OK to bring up a command prompt. Then to find the name we will type in "ipconfig /all" and press enter. This will give us a lot of information depending on how many network cards that we have. We are going to look at the header of each section of information that ipconfig is going to give us. Every connection will have its own header and once we find the connection we will be using we will copy down the "Description" field that ipconfig gave us. The description of the connection is what we want to take note of here because that is how we will find the settings for it in the registry. So for purposes of this article lets say that our description is "WirelessWiFi Link".
First I would like to give my disclaimer. This article is intended for informational use only and in no way should you ever modify your registry unless you know what you are doing and have a verified backup. Improper modification of your registry can cause you computer to crash.
Now that we have our connection, using the description, within the registry of our computer. So click start and then run again, only this time type "regedt32" and click OK. You will see the registry pop up and you want to navigate to
Within this key lies all of the network card settings for your computer. Scroll through all of the 4 digit codes until you find the one that has a REG_SZ named AdapterModel that is the same as the description we copied down earlier. You have now found you network card within the registry and from here it is pretty simple to change the MAC address. Scroll down and see if there is a REG_SZ name NetworkAddress. If there is simply change this to any 12 digit hexadecimal number you wish, but if it is not there you will have to create it your self. Simply create a new REG_SZ entry named "Network Address" and again give it any 12 digits hexadecimal number you want.
The last step to change your MAC address is to go to your network connections and disable the connection we just change and then re-enable it. You can now do another ipconfig /all and see your new MAC address in the window. To get your old MAC address back simply delete the REG_SZ that you created, or put it back the way it was before you changed it.