How To: Remove Non-Existent Network Adapters Windows Server


When migrating a virtual machine from one physical node to another and adding a network adapter, you may receive the following error:

The IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter Name of adapter. Name of adapter is hidden from the network and Dial-up Connections folder because it is not physically in the computer or is a legacy adapter that is not working. If the same address is assigned to both adapters and they 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?

To repair this issue, you may need to remove all network adapters and restart the virtual machine. To remove the missing adapters, perform the following:

  1. Click Start and type CMD, then Right Click and choose Run As Administrator
  2. In the command prompt window, enter SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1 , and press the enter key.
  3. Type the command Devmgmt.msc to open Device Manager
  4. In the Device Manager window, click View > Show Hidden Devices
  5. Locate and expand Network Adapters
  6. Locate the adapters that are dimmed. Right click > Uninstall on each of the adapters
  7. Restart the virtual machine.

In my particular case, I had to start the virtual machine in Safe Mode with Networking, then I was able to restart into the normal operational mode. I was then able to configure the network adapter with the original IP address.

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