Removing a phantom NIC

Posted on 2006-04-14
Last Modified: 2011-03-26
I ran across a problem today with a new server of mine.  We have a SBS 2003 server that had a problem with the motherboard.  Upon replacing the board, the integrated NICs obtained DHCP addresses.  When I attempted to change to a static address, I recieved error: The IP address x.x.x.x you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter.  I researched and found MS Q269155 describing the exact problem I have, but when I follow the steps outlined, there are no additional adapters listed.  As a temporary fix, I assigned a different address and reconfigured DHCP and DNS, but I would like to know how to go about fixing the problem.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

Question by:smbnetsys
    LVL 74

    Accepted Solution

    The first step would be to follow this KB:

    If the problem persists, you will need to find the GUID for the particular NIC in question (all NICs are listed in the Registry under HKLM\SYSTEM\Current Control Set\Services -- towards the top you'll see a couple of GUID's).  Expand those GUID's to find the one that has the IP Address you're trying to add... and then back up the key before deleting it.  You can then search the registry for that particular GUID and delete any keys where it exists.

    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Instead of risking the registry you should be able to just add the environment variable "DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1" (no quotes), reboot the computer, then go into device manager and select "Show Hidden Devices" from the "View" menu.

    Hopefully you will then see all of the phantom network interfaces. Right click and uninstall under network adapters. No need to modify the registry.

    At one point on my support laptop I found I had *5* different NIC's that had become detached from all my adding/removing/testing at client sites.  And I'm embarrassed to say that until that point (not that long ago) I had no idea that "show hidden devices" was even there.

    Hope it helps,

    Matt Ridings
    MSR Consulting

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