Fixing broken virtual networking

Fixing broken virtual networking

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Periodically I receive emails from people who find them and they start Virtual PC/Virtual Server, it reports that it was unable to initiate virtual networking on any network adapters.  There are two common causes of this problem, though they both seem to be related to something just going wrong during the installation of Virtual PC/Virtual Server's virtual networking:

Number 1: The Virtual Machine Network Services driver is installed but not enabled.  To fix this:

On a Windows XP system you’ll need to:

  1. Open the Start menu and click on Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network and Internet Connections and then Network Connections.
    If you are using classic mode you just need to double click on Network Connections.
  3. Locate your network adapter, right click on it and select Properties.
  4. Check the Virtual Machine Network Services entry and click OK.

On a Windows Vista system you’ll need to:

  1. Open the Start menu and click on Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Network and Internet and then Network and Sharing Center.
    If you are using classic mode you just need to double click on Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click on Manage network connections, in the task list on the left side of the window.
  4. Locate your network adapter, right click on it and select Properties.
    You’ll need to approve this action.
  5. Check the Virtual Machine Network Services entry and click OK.

Number 2: The Virtual Machine Network Services driver is installed and enabled, but does not seem to be working.  To fix this you'll need to:

  1. Follow the steps for the first solution to get to the properties display for your network adapter.
  2. Select the Virtual Machine Network Services entry, and click Uninstall.
  3. Reboot the physical computer (this step is critical)
  4. Return to the properties display for your network adapter.
  5. Click Install…
  6. Select Service and click Add…
  7. Select the Virtual Machine Network Services entry and click OK.

A 90% of cases these two processes will get virtual networking up and running.

Cheers,
Ben

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  • Please add 8 and 5 and type the answer here:
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  • One more cause, which is common in at least some environments, comes from obeying instructions for eVC++ 4.0 and emulators for Windows CE .Net systems.  I forgot exactly what the name was for the virtual switch.  I installed it in hopes of getting virtual connections to work properly between the host and the emulated devices, but it didn't work, the only effect was to break the virtual network for Virtual PC.

    Reinstalling Virtual PC did not fix it.  Installing Virtual Server fixed it for Virtual PC, though still not for emulated Windows CE devices.

  • I've had instances where the VM Network service just isnt installed and requires manual installation. This is present with both VPC 2004 and 2007. Is there anyway to produce a setup.log to see where it fails?

  • I was having problems with VPC so I tried #2 above, and now it doesn't work at all. When I start VPC, I get a message:

    "Virtual PC could not open the Virtual Machine Network Services driver. Access to the external network and host will be unavailable to all virtual machines using virtual networking. Virtual machines using virtual networking will still be able to access other virtual machines using virtual networking. To fix this problem, re-enable the Virtual Machine Network Services driver on one or more ethernet adapters or reinstall Virtual PC."

    So I tried step #1 above and it still don't work, and when I tried to re-install, the install program asked if I wanted to un-install. Now what?

    DanaJ

  • > when I tried to re-install, the install

    > program asked if I wanted to un-install

    In some cases, letting it do the un-install and then repeating the procedure in order to re-install can produce working results.  It "probably" doesn't hurt to try.

    As mentioned, in my case, installing Virtual Server on one machine fixed the networking for Virtual PC.  I don't really use Virtual Server on that machine, but this experiment paid off, just installing the server version.

  • I tryed both but no luck.

    Some other idea?

    A note: When I see "properties" of the VM's net services the dialog displays "Driver Provider", "Driver Date" and "Driver Version" labels without values.

  • Same issue as the above post. I upgraded to Vista Enterprise, updated ethernet drivers. Lost the "Virtual Machine Network Services" Followed steps, but had to manually add in the VM Service by navigating to "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual PC\Utility\VMNetSrv" all of the values are blank and get the message stated above when trying to open up Virtual PC 2007.

  • Same issue here: repeat uninstall/install have no effect, same message as Dana, same blank tab as Sergio. This is VPC RC x64 on Vista x64.

  • I gave to add that in Device Manager I show an Unknown Device under Network adapters. The Hardware id is Cntx_VPCNetS2_MP. Driver version is 2.6.541.0. This is with Virtual PC 2007 RC uninstalled (and reinstalled and uninstalled) several times. Uninstalling the device has no effect (the device remains in place).

  • Same here.  Did a VPC07 install on top of a clean Vista Business 32-bit load and get the same errors.  Tried multiple reinstalls.  Added the service manually and it looks like it binds to the adapter but still get the errors.  Disabled the wireless adapter and just kept the onboard NIC enabled but no change.  

  • I have the same problem as Kevin. I'm using Vista Business right now. It's really strange because I didn't have this problem with VPC 2007 Beta 2 and Vista Ultimate before. When I look at the properties of the service after re-installing both VPC and the Virtual Machine Network Services service it is still blank. Updating drivers for the NIC didn't help either.

  • I'm not sure if this is the correct blog but I have a problem that is network related. I have moved a Virtual Server from one server running WS 2K3 and VS2K5 to a new server running WS 2K3 EE R2 64Bit and VS 2005 R2 64 Bit. Windows Firewall is disabled and I have a Virtual server (created and built on this server)connecting to other servers fine.  The VS I have moved to the new box refuses to connect to anything. Anyone have any Ideas

  • Well, I upgraded to Vista Ultimate and now it is working.  I had a co-worker install VPC07 on the same notebook and he had no problem but he had Vista Enterprise and I had Vista Business.  So I upgraded to Ultimate and reinstalled VPC07 and now it seems to work.  At least I don't have the network services error when I start it and the VM service is bound to the NICs without me having to do it manually (which didn't work anyway).

  • Hi i am running vista business as the host and i keep getting the message Virtual PC could not open the Virtual Machinenetwork services, i have tried following instructions on net forums to install, but when i install manually it seems to got through but it dosent work click properties of Virtual Machine Network Services driver and its just blank ie shows no driver installed.

    have also tried downloading the xp standalone drivers from microsft they do install but again when you click properties for them its just empty i have two network adapter in mylaptop wireless and lan i have tried disabling wireless and unistalling it, then install drivers just to lan but still dont work really need to get this working for my studys if anyone has any ideas

  • This problem is very annoying. I tested all Virtual Server 2005 under Vista Ultimate RC1 and had no issues. I was forced to rebuild my laptop due to issues that I was unable to resolve so I went to Vista Business thinking I would just use either Virtual Server or Virtual PC to run a XP Guest to support the applications which I need for work but are not support under XP thinking this would give me time to get these applications working on Vista. Without Virtualisation working in some form or another I will have to be forced back to XP.

    Does anyone know why this works for Ultimate and not Business and Enterprise ?

  • It keeps getting worse: I ran Vista Business @ first and after reading comments that Vista Ultimate installation could solve the problem, did a clean Vista Ultimate install. This didn't solve my problem however: after installing the virtual machine network services according to the steps mentioned in this post, I still get a blank properties window on the service. I recall not having this problem with VPC 2007 Beta 2 on Vista Ultimate...

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