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Removing Hidden Network Adapters

Removing Hidden Network Adapters

Sometimes within the Windows guest operating system, seen mostly with the E1000, the NIC will seem to disappear or stop working properly. This issue may also be prevalent when upgrading a virtual machine’s VMware Tools and Virtual Hardware. You may even see error messages like these within Windows:

  • The IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter
  • The virtual NIC intermittently disappears from the Network Properties on your Windows guest operating system.

To fix this issue you must remove the “ghosted”, or hidden, NIC within Device Manager. Follow the instructions below to remove the hidden NIC. Afterwards, you can add the new NIC to the virtual machine, scan for new hardware, and configure the new NIC as desired.

  1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd.exe, and then press ENTER.
  2. Type set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1, and then press ENTER.
  3. Type Start DEVMGMT.MSC, and then press ENTER.
  4. Click View, and then click Show Hidden Devices.
  5. Expand the Network Adapters tree.
  6. Right-click the dimmed network adapter, and then click Uninstall.

To prevent this from happening again you can follow this VMware KB article to disable the HotAdd/Hotplug feature. Click here to view the article.

About The Author

Bryan Krausen

Bryan Krausen is currently working as a Technical Architect with experience in a vast number of platforms. Bryan has been active within the VMware vExpert community for several years and is the leader of the Louisville VMware User Group (VMUG) and Louisville AWS User Group.

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