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Old 12-20-2009, 06:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 29
Default How to get rid of a non-existent network adapter?

I have an Asus M4A78 Plus motherboard with a Realtek network adapter built in. My connection properties shows the Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller from the motherboard properly set up as the network adapter.

Whenever I need to set the manual configuration to assign the IP for this machine however, I get the following message, which makes me think there's a ghost installation left over from another network adapter somehow or some old program:

"The IP address you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter 'NVIDIA nForce MCP Networking Adapter'. 'NVIDIA nForce MCP Networking Adapter' is hidden from the Network Connections folder because it is not physically in the computer. If the same address is assigned to both adapters and they both become active, only one of them will use this address. This may result iin 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?"

I select "no" to keep the IP I assign and everything then works fine. But I'd like to clear up that false network adapter reference if possible. Every time there's a Windows update that has anything to do with networking, it always changes my settings to optain an IP automatically, meaning I lose networking until I reset it to my assigned IP for the network.

There are quite a few references to this incorrect network adapter in the registry, but not sure how much of that I should prune out. Or is there any easier way or place to remove it? In the Device Manager, the only network adapter shown is the correct one, the Realtek, and it's shown as working properly, no problems with it, and no yellow exclamation points for any entry in the CP.

OS is WinXP Pro with all updates current except for SP3. I posted the problem on the Asus forums a few weeks ago and no responses at all, and very few reads even.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Henderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2009, 08:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 5,471

Did you check Control Panel | System | Device Manager to see if the device is listed there?

If it's there, try deleting it.
ScottMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2009, 10:35 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 794

Assuming it's XP, use the following link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315539

You have to enable viewing of hidden devices. This typically happens to me when doing a P2V conversion and having the old NICs left over from the physical install. Viewing hidden devices will allow you to see it in Device Manager and remove the IP settings from the NIC (or delete it entirely if you no longer need it).
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Jamsan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2009, 10:37 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 29

Yes, as I said in the OP, the only network adapter shown in the Device Manager is the correct Realtek one. Nothing else is there, and no yellow exclamation points anywhere.

Also in the error message, you'll note that it even states there that the odd network adapter "is hidden from the Network Connections folder because it is not physically in the computer."

Edit: Jamsan snuck in a post while I posted, and I never knew about the "show hidden devices" in the Device Manager, and it is showing there, thank you!

I'm pretty certain it'll remove easily from that point. Thanks again.

Last edited by Henderson; 12-20-2009 at 10:40 AM.
Henderson is offline   Reply With Quote

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