Can't remove disconnected (ghost) network device

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  1. Posts : 20
    Win 10 Edu x64
       #1

    Can't remove disconnected (ghost) network device


    Hi,

    I recently had to change my motherboard, which went without any problems (from Z170 to Z270). I just updated the intel drivers and had to re-activate Windows and that's all. However, the onboard LAN on the new board didn't replace the old one (both being integrated Intel I219-V NICs) but created a new device and a new ethernet interface called "Ethernet 2" (the other interfaces are from VMware and OpenVPN):
    Can't remove disconnected (ghost) network device-networks.png

    I can't rename it to "Ethernet" because it already exists, i.e. from the previous motherboard.

    So I looked into the device manager (show hidden devices option), and there it is:
    Can't remove disconnected (ghost) network device-ghost-nic.png

    The first ghost network adapter device is the non-existent NIC from the old motherboard and I can't get rid of it. If I right-click on it and select "uninstall", it shows the uninstall dialog and a progress bar and when it's finished, the ghost device is still there! Even if I uninstall the new (#2) NIC first (which does remove it), the ghost one still can't be removed (and the #2 NIC reappears after a search for changed hardware, of course).

    I don't know why the non-existent NIC is so persistent and I don't want to blindly delete registry entries because I found different suggestions. I also tried netsh int ip reset and winsock reset, which didn't help. Does anyone know how to get rid of that ghost NIC?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 4,224
    Windows 10
       #2

    Try Uwe Sieber's excellent Device Cleanup tool. Find it on the "Tools for Windows" page at uwe-sieber.de. I've used it for years, and it is widely recommended by numerous other TF regulars as well.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 20
    Win 10 Edu x64
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks for the suggestion, but it can't remove the NIC:
    Can't remove disconnected (ghost) network device-remove_nic.png


    It's the only Intel I219-V that shows up in the device list of the DeviceCleaner program (it shows only non-present devices as I understand). Otherwise, the tool works - I found a ghost replica of the integrated GPU (Intel HD 530) and could remove it. Only the NIC gives this error message on removal, which is probably the reason I can't remove it the normal way through the device manager.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 4,224
    Windows 10
       #4

    I misunderstood your issue. I thought the device was not present. If you can't uninstall it through device manager, perhaps you can simply disable it and ignore it? Sorry for your troubles.
    --Ed--
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 1,097
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 1809 (OS Build 17763.437)
       #5

    EdTittel said:
    Try Uwe Sieber's excellent Device Cleanup tool. Find it on the "Tools for Windows" page at uwe-sieber.de. I've used it for years, and it is widely recommended by numerous other TF regulars as well.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
    Thanks for that link Ed. Has everything but a Metric Crescent Wrench for Windows.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 4,224
    Windows 10
       #6

    @Wiley Coyote: you are most welcome, sir. Uwe's stuff is absolutely awesome. Use it all the time.
    --Ed--
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 20
    Win 10 Edu x64
    Thread Starter
       #7

    EdTittel said:
    I misunderstood your issue. I thought the device was not present. If you can't uninstall it through device manager, perhaps you can simply disable it and ignore it? Sorry for your troubles.
    --Ed--
    The device is physically not present (because I replaced the mainboard) but Windows wants to hold on to it by all means. The ghost NIC is an inactive device (as per definition), so it can't be disabled and I can't uninstall it due to the aforementioned error.

    It is by no means a big problem and so far the only negative consequence is that I can't rename the LAN interface of the new NIC from the new mainboard to "Ethernet" (see 1st picture in the start post) because that name is taken by the old (ghost) NIC, which I can't get rid of. I just want to understand the cause.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 3,113
    Win10
       #8

    Just out of interest what do you see when you run "ipconfig/all" in a command box ? Do you see any ghost entries relating to the first adaptor there as well ?
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 20
    Win 10 Edu x64
    Thread Starter
       #9

    No, I see only the present NIC ("Ethernet 2"), not the ghost one:

    Code:
    Windows IP Configuration
    
       Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : Novgorod
       Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
       Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
       IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
       WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
    
    Ethernet adapter Ethernet 2:
    
       Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
       Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) Ethernet Connection (2) I219-V #2
       Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : [redacted]
       DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
       Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
       Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : [redacted]%8(Preferred)
       IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : [redacted](Preferred)
       Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.0.0
       Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : [redacted]
       DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : [redacted]
       DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : [redacted]
       DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : [redacted]
                                           8.8.8.8
       NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled
    Other than that, there are 3 more entries for the OpenVPN and the 2 VMware adapters, i.e. only the interfaces which show up under nework connections (first image in the first post) show up with ipconfig /all...
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 3,113
    Win10
       #10

    If you use a System Image backup program ( Macrium reflect or your preferred imaging program ), one thing you could do is try and remove it in Safe Mode. If it doesn't work out, you can go back to your System image.
      My Computers


 

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