VMware Networking Error – IP address already assigned to another adapter KB 1179

This is an old fault that I thought I wouldn’t see again however I came across a VM this morning which tried to automatically update it’s VMware tools install and failed.

The machine was left without the tools and we had to deploy them manually. This wasn’t difficult of course however after the reboot the server did not respond on the network and a quick check via the console showed it had a network adapter with no configuration and one we could not configure with the static IP assigned to it.

The reason for this is a hidden NIC which you must first remove before the OS will let you configure this new adapter.

Let me walk through the process.

First let us look at the VM settings –

Virtual Machine Settings

We can see that the VM is configured with a single NIC with the type of VMXNET 3 however if we look in Device Manager the server shows a VMXNET 3 adapter AND an Intel Pro/1000 –

Windows Device Manager

If you encounter this problem you may find the NIC does not display, this is because we must first enable Device Manager to show hidden devices. There is an option under ‘View’ however this will not (typically) show the hidden adapter, we must first run another command.

  • Open a command prompt as Administrator and enter

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

  • Next open Device Mangager

start devmgmt.msc

start devmgmt.msc

  • Now click on the ‘View’ menu and enable the ‘Show hidden devices’ option

Windows Device Manager

  • Now we can see the hidden NIC it’s time to remove it

Windows Device Manager - Uninstall Hidden Network Adapter

  • Confirm removal

Windows Device Manager - Uninstall Hidden Network Adapter - Confirm Removal

Finally configure your new NIC with the correct IP settings and all is good.

This can be done either via the usual GUI menu or we can use the following –


  • Example
netsh interface ip set address "Local Area Connection" static



  • Example
New-NetIPAddress -IPAddress '' -PrefixLength '27' -InterfaceAlias 'Local Area Connection' -DefaultGateway ''


Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias 'Local Area Connection' -ServerAddresses ','


Full VMware KB – http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1179

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