Local Area Connection numbers changing on recently virtualized server.

We recently did a physical to virtual virtualization of an HP Proliant DL380 G3 server ( Windows 2003 Enterprise SP2) to VMWare vSphere 5.1.0-7997.

When we virtualized it the network adapters were still in the hardware list and the virtual NICs got put in as Local Area Connections 4 and 5.

We have an application (Crystal Enterprise 10) that has to use NIC #1 for certain tasks (saving/updating reports)

So last night we removed ALL the NICs from Device Manager and the VM properties including the HP NIC team, rebooted, (re)added virtual production and  backup NICs and rebooted.

Everything was fine, everything was working with the virtual NICs as 1 and 2.

When we rebooted again to put the machine back into production the NICs assigned themselves as 3 and 4.

I only see two NICs in Device Manager (the correct ones) but Network Connections show Local Area Connections 3 and 4.

I see Hex entires named Local Area Connection 0-6 in HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet(prime through 2)\Control\Network  with their Pnp instance IDs.

We have not yet cleared out these keys as we are in production.

How can I set the NIC order/numbers and keep them that way?

We are all very tired after a long night battling this and are having trouble braining.


Thank you,

Charles
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CharlesHAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
This is completely normal.

You can try and remove the phantom nics, by removing hidden devices, which you should do as a clean-up measure, but it often does not help getting back the correct Local Area Connection Number 1, if that's what you seek!

You have got to start messing and editing the rtegistry!

Uninstall Hidden Devices details here

http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/504/how-to-uninstall-hidden-devices-drivers-and-services/

there are scripts available as well, if you check my EE Articles

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1
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Joseph DalyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
My guess is that you still have the original nics from it being physical in the machine. Have you tried removing the hidden devices following the instructions below.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315539

I know the article says its for windows xp but this will apply to other versions of windows.
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CharlesHAuthor Commented:
Thanks, that only showed the two NICs that are in fact there.  I have also clicked "Show hidden devices" and olny saw some miniport dirvers etc.

Thanks though, that's a good thing to know.   I usually boot to safe mode which is where my collegue removed the old adapters.

For what it is worth, Crystal Reports is showing the following error when we try to save or updae a report:

"Unable to retrieve cluster members.  Transport error: Communicaton failure."
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CharlesHAuthor Commented:
I just swapped the binding order and renamed the NICS to no avail.

(Right-click and rename. sheesh I AM tired...)

I think it is still seeing a phantom NIC that I can't get at.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Again, if you are chasing try to rename this Local Area Connection 1, you may be at it for sometime, before you through in the towel!

It's in the Registry, even with all the phantom nics, gone, and then thinking I'll remove them all and re-add, still comes back with a random number.
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CharlesHAuthor Commented:
It is working for now.

I also changed the binding order and after Crystal freaked several hours later and I had to reboot it is all working.

hanccocka, do you have one of your articles on chasing this particular ghost?  I did not find much strictly relevant the way i was searching.  Or just a better way of phrasing "change NIC order."
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
no because there is no real fix, and its just cosmetic, isnt it?

nic still functions?
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CharlesHAuthor Commented:
Yes it does.  

I think it was changing the binding order.
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CharlesHAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help everyone.

It seems getting a full night's sleep makes a great deal of difference in problem solving. ;-)

All is still running well.

We have not rebooted again as the production department have threatened us with grevious bodily injury if we do anythig to take it back out of production.

We shall have to do some stealth testing later on to make sure it can survive a boot without randomly binding the NICs.
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