Ghost NIC seen on Windows 7/Windows 2008 R2 machines built from VMware Templates when the Template uses a Synthetic NIC (VMXNET3)
This article provides a solution to an issue where you have a VMware Virtual Machine that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7, and is configured with a Synthetic NIC (VMXNET3).
Applies to: Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2012 R2
Original KB number: 2526142
Consider the following situations:
- You have a VMware Virtual Machine that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7, and is configured with a Synthetic NIC (VMXNET3).
- The NIC is seen as "Local Area Connection", "vmxnet3 Ethernet Adapter".
- A VM Template is created using the Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7 Virtual Machine.
- For each VM deployed using this Template, a new MAC address is assigned by the clone/deploy operation.
- Upon boot-up, Windows recognizes the NIC as a new device and the adapter is seen as "Local Area Connection 2", "vmxnet3 Ethernet Adapter #2".
- The original NIC "Local Area Connection", "vmxnet3 Ethernet Adapter" remains on the machine as a Hidden / Ghost Network Adapter.
This issue isn't seen if the Template has been configured with a Emulated NIC (Intel Pro/1000 MT Network Connection)
The issue is seen because Windows recognizes the network adapter or the motherboard as a new device. Which causes the network adapter or motherboard device to generate a different serial number than the previous network adapter or motherboard device.
Install the hotfix referenced in "0x0000007B" Stop error when you replace an iSCSI or PCI Express network adapter or a motherboard with an identical device on a Windows Server 2008 R2-based or Windows 7-based computer, which addresses a similar issue with iSCSI NICs.