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.