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Hidden or phantom network adapters

04 Oct

After converting a server from a physical machine to a virtual machine, my network adapters did not find the network. A message appeared like this:

The IP address you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter “<network card name>”. “<network card name>” is hidden from the Network Connections folder because it is not physically in the computer. If the same address is assigned to both adapters and they both become active,
only one of them will use this address. This may result in incorrect system configuration. Do you want to enter a different IP address for this adapter in the list of IP addresses in the Advanced dialog box? Yes/No

What the???

I thought that the NIC was hidden so I opened device manager and selected “Show hidden devices” from the menu. I expanded the network cards section but I could still not see the phantom network cards.

After a quick search on Google, I found a solution. Do the following:

  • Open a command prompt
  • Type the following: set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1
  • Press enter
  • Type the following: devmgmt.msc

Your mystery network adapters will now be visible so you can right click and uninstall them.

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