Error message when you try to set an IP address on a network adapter

This article provides a solution to an error that occurs when you try to set an IP address on a network adapter.

Applies to:   Windows Server 2012
Original KB number:   269155


When you try to set the IP address on a network adapter, you may receive the following error message:

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?


In this error message, the placeholder XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX represents the IP address that you are trying to set, and the placeholder Name of adapter represents the name of the network adapter that is present in the registry but hidden in Device Manager.

If you select Yes, you see the TCP/IP properties. Then, you can change the IP address to something different for the currently displayed network adapter in Device Manager. If you select No, the IP address is assigned to the network adapter. Notice that if you select No, the selected network adapter in Device Manager and the ghosted network adapter have the same IP address. In most cases, this causes no problems, because the driver is disabled.


On a computer that is running Windows Server 2008, you receive the following error message:

Cannot rename this connection. A connection with the name you specified already exists. Specify a different name.


This issue occurs because a network adapter with the same IP address is in the registry but is hidden in Device Manager. It can occur when you move a network adapter from one PCI slot to another PCI slot.


To resolve this problem, uninstall the ghosted network adapter from the registry. To do it, use one of the following methods:

Method 1

  1. Use one of the following methods to go to a command prompt:
    • In Windows 8 or in Windows Server 2012, use the Search charm to search for cmd, and then tap or select Command Prompt.
    • In earlier versions of Windows, select Start, select Run, type cmd.exe, and then press Enter.
  2. Type set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1, and then press Enter.
  3. Type start devmgmt.msc, and then press Enter.
  4. Select View, and then select Show Hidden Devices.
  5. Expand the Network Adapters tree.
  6. Right-click the dimmed network adapter, and then select Uninstall.

Method 2

The DevCon utility is a command prompt utility that acts as an alternative to Device Manager. When you use DevCon, you can enable, disable, restart, update, remove, and query individual devices or groups of devices. To use DevCon, follow these steps:

  1. Download the DevCon tool in Windows Device Console (Devcon.exe).

  2. Unpack the 32-bit or 64-bit DevCon tool binary to a local folder.

  3. Select Start, select Run, type cmd, and then press Enter. If you're running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, use the Search charm to search for cmd.

  4. Type cd <path_to_binaries> to move to where devcon.exe is located.

  5. Run the following command to list all network adapters that are present:

    devcon listclass net
  6. Run the following command to retrieve all network adapters:

    devcon findall =net
  7. For those network adapters that aren't listed in the result of the first command, note the instance ID of those items, and then run the following command for each instance ID:

    devcon -r remove "@PCI\VEN_10B7&DEV_9200&SUBSYS_00D81028&REV_78\4&19FD8D60&0&58F0"

More information

When you receive the error message that is mentioned in the Symptoms section, the hidden or ghosted network adapter doesn't appear in Device Manager unless you follow the steps in this article. Device Manager does show a network adapter, and the network adapter typically has #2 appended to its name.