Phantom network adapters in 2008 R2


I thought this was a VMware issue initially and even blamed BGInfo for reporting spurious network cards on the desktop background, but this appears to be an issue with 2008 R2.

When removing and adding network adapters in 2008 R2 Virtual Machines in VMware, old network adapters are not fully removed from the Network Adapters list of devices in Device Manager.

The network adapter information remains in registry with the old IP address details. This causes issues for reporting software such as BGInfo. Really frikking annoying. Not really plug and play is it.

If you add a new adapter and remove the old adapter and try to use the same IP address, you will get an error message as per KB269155.

You can enable the option to see hidden devices in Device Manager by following these instructions:

  • Open a command prompt
  • Run ‘set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1’
  • Launch device manager by running ‘Start DEVMGMT.MSC’
  • Click View, and then click Show Hidden Devices.

Once you can see the old network adapters just uninstall them.

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2 responses to “Phantom network adapters in 2008 R2

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