Josh Robinson's WebLog

Virtual Server physical NIC error

I recently had to reload Windows XP on top of my existing XP install due to a corrupt hard disk.  Just when I thought that everything was fixed, I realized that both Virtual PC and Virtual Server had stopped connecting to my physical wireless network card.  Unless I wanted to run a 25 foot cable, I had to figure it out.  The error that I received from Virtual Server was not much help:

Unexpected error (0x80004005). The virtual network’s configuration information could not be retrieved. Microsoft Virtual Server could not complete the operation due to an unexpected error (0x80004005). 

The one thing that I gathered from this error was that somehow Virtual Server could not get the information for my physical wireless NIC.  When I booted any virtual machine, I wasn't getting any errors other than the fact that none of my virtual NICs could get an IP address.  After find this post on a blog, and this post on a newsgroup, it sounded like all I needed to do was uninstall-reboot-reinstall-reboot and everything would be fixed.  That worked fine for VPC, but not the case with Virtual Server 2005 R2.

I finally figured out after numerous uninstalls that the problem was that during my reload of Windows XP, I had removed and reinstalled the physical device for my NIC card.  Apparently that had given it a different ID under the hood, and the old WirelessNICCard.vnc file that Virtual Server 2005 was using to reference that physical wireless NIC was pointing in the wrong place now.

The final solution was to remove the old .vnc file from underneath the Virtual Networks config on Virtual Server and Create a new one - my updated wireless NIC was in there, I easily created the file and assigned it to virtual machines and everything worked fine.  I wonder if that would have solved the problem for the people in the posts above as well?  It sounds like when you change a physical NIC for another of the same name or model but re-install the drivers, the .vnc file doesn't always point to the new one since the ID changes under the hood?  At any rate, I hope that this post helps someone else with the same problem down the road.


James said:

Great post, helped me out loads, thanks! :-)

I was having the same trouble after reinstalling my physical network adapters (although not necessarily the same error message). I added a new virtual network adapter in VS admin assigning it to the physical network adapter I was trying to use and it started worked.

It seems weird that there is no option to delete a virtual adapter in VS admin and instead you have to delete the .vnc file.
# March 31, 2006 8:48 AM

Josh Robinson said:

James - I am glad it helped you out. It was a painful enough experience that I figured if I helped one other person, it would be worth it. My work here is finished now. :)
# March 31, 2006 9:18 AM

Bill Jameson said:

Had the same problem after reconfiguring my host NIC & searched for days and days for a solution.
Uninstalling & re-istalling didn't work. Just couldn't figure out what was wrong since VMware Player worked fine. From Microsoft's chair, nothing in the real world ever changes after an initial install :-)

Problem solved. Thanks a bundle for your tip.
# April 10, 2006 3:40 AM

Gary said:

And another 'thanks' - I was strugging with this.
# April 19, 2006 3:39 AM

. said:

Thanks! This helped out a lot!

# October 15, 2007 1:04 PM

Iainmcdee said:

Thanks a lot for this, it was driving me crazy.

# November 12, 2007 11:45 AM

Peter said:

Thank you so much for this post.  You helped me over this hurdle !

# January 16, 2008 11:04 PM

moncho rego said:

Thanks. Your description was exactly I had. And your solution was perfect to me!

# January 23, 2008 3:51 AM

Rort_norts said:

Thanks for this, resolved the issues I had in extra no time

# February 4, 2008 8:36 AM

Rob Atkinson said:

Thanks a mil. Lifesaver. I'd tried every other trick in the book and had wittled it down to the vnc file, then read your article and back tracked from there

had to reinstall VSRC2, restart the respective services and then re-create a new virual network

# March 27, 2008 7:39 AM

Lamar Esbenshade said:

Excellent post!    I had just installed VS2005 RC2 and Server 2008 with no success on the networking.  

I deleted the vnc file, deselected Virtual Machine Network Services from my host network connection and applied.  Immediately opened network connection settings and reselected Virtual Machine Network Services and applied.

I opened the network settings on the virtual server and the recreated External Network was there.   I booted the virtual server and everything was happy.

# April 14, 2008 5:38 PM

Natalie said:

Thank you Josh! This happened on 3 different servers after running critical updates this month. This worked awesome.

# June 20, 2008 5:23 PM

Trevor Hurley said:

Cheers buddy you just saved me a world of time

# July 25, 2008 7:23 AM

Jeoff said:

Thanks! this article is a life saver!

# August 11, 2008 5:08 AM

Joris said:

Had this problem too.  Thanks for pointing us all in the right direction !

# October 1, 2008 10:14 AM

HW said:

THANKS!!!!   I've been trying to solve this problem for a while.  This was perfect.

# October 9, 2008 1:33 AM

Skoob [UK] said:

Chalk up one more that you've helped out. Cheers mate.

# February 25, 2009 11:46 AM

Ray Reese said:

Thanks to everyone.  I deleted all .VNCs, resinstalled latest Virtual Server, and back in business.  NICs visible again.

# May 20, 2009 5:48 PM

Paul N. said:

I had the same problem and fixed it with the info in this post. Josh, I really appreciate this information!

# June 18, 2010 10:30 AM

Dave M said:

Wonderful a post that actually works first time.

You saved me a lot of time here thanks again.

# July 20, 2010 7:56 AM

Paul_P said:

Saved my b*tt nicely. I had been anxious to try deleting the .vnc file, it was going to be my 2nd to last resort, but you gave me courage. ;)

# February 26, 2011 8:06 PM

Mark said:

Nice, worked for me after too many hours spent faffing about, trying to work out what the issue was.

Many Thanks

# July 12, 2011 6:08 PM

tryecrot said:

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# August 27, 2011 12:47 AM said:

There are definitely quite a lot of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a nice point to convey.

# April 1, 2013 8:52 PM