Network adaptor disappeared from a Windows 2012 virtual server

By | April 16, 2020

One of the application team has reported that, Windows 2012 server was in hung state and unable to connect.

Then, I’ve tried to connect Windows 2012 server via remote desktop and I was able to get in with my active directory credentials.

Some time later, they asked me reboot the virtual server and I did it. When the server is up, I tried to sign-in with AD credentials, but, it is not allowing by throwing an error.

I’ve verified the VM config details from Summary tab in the vCenter management console. There I found, there is no network adaptor showing.

Network adaptor disappeared from a Windows 2012 virtual server

I’m surprised after seeing that. Why the network adaptor disappeared from the virtual server.

I’ve no other choice except adding a new network adaptor and then assign VLAN. And, tried to login with local server admin credentials and assigned the IP address.

Have verified in the device manager settings for any “hidden devices” showing. And yes, it is showing there, here is the screenshot –

Network adapter disappeared from a Windows 2012 virtual server

I do not find any specific logs related to the network adaptor missing either from the vCenter or OS event logs.

Logged a case with VMware to understand the issue better and find out the root cause of the issue.

Here is the VMware vendor findings –

Follow to disable the HotPlug capability.
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Note: NIC removal is always a user initiated process either outside of the Guest (using UI) or inside the guest. There are no other reasons why a NIC should go missing from Virtual machine configuration.

Please check if virtual NIC appears as removable devices on the System Tray in Windows guest operating system.

After Reboot the below logs are seen which is clear that before reboot only the Ethernet0 was missing.

Here ethernet0 is missing . [ethernet0.present = “FALSE”]

2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.addressType = “vpx”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.allowGuestConnectionControl = “FALSE”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.dvs.connectionId = “1511599346”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.dvs.portId = “116”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.dvs.portgroupId = “dvportgroup-456255”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.dvs.switchId = “50 1b 14 73 99 c5 89 6a-03 58 d2 84 f2 e6 9e d8”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.generatedAddress = “00:50:56:b1:21:b6”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.pciSlotNumber = “-1”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.present = “FALSE”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.virtualDev = “vmxnet3”
2020-04-13T20:57:07.175Z| vmx| I125: DICT ethernet0.wakeOnPcktRcv = “FALSE”

We do not have any events from hostd log about VM re-configuring tasks.

Ideally if this was done from ESXi side, we should see that in the hostd.log file. So the issue mostly was triggered from Guest OS or it was manually removed from the Device Manager. May be Guest logs (Windows 2012 Server) might give some idea.

VMware also not able to determine the root cause of the issue of Network adaptor disappeared from a Windows 2012 virtual server.

One thought on “Network adaptor disappeared from a Windows 2012 virtual server

  1. Peter Titus

    Same thing happened here today, but on a Windows Server 2016 Machine. I doubt that it was due to removal of the NIC in the Guest OS, as the Adapter could still be found in the Registry, but not in VMWare. Had to delete the Registry Keys with SYSTEM user rights because they blocked the static IP Address of the Server.


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