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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  • thanks for the heads up i was about to upgrade to solve the problem to ultimate, its really annoying me but i think i'll hold off for now to see if this problem gets resolved my microsoft roll on christmas lol

  • According to Microsoft's description of Vista Enterprise it includes a Virtual PC Express to allow for application compatibility. I will investigate this option to see if I can extract the Virtual Machine Network Services drivers used in it.

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/store_doc/GE/mb/windows/vista/vista_enterprise.html

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/enterprise/default.mspx

  • Finally got it to work by doing a clean install (Vista Business) and loading no network drivers except my LAN & wireless NIC (detected by Vista). Immediately after the clean install, instead of loading drivers for all my unrecognized devices, I installed VPC 2007. No error messages whatsoever, and working like a charm. So it's not true that it does not work on Vista Business. Haven't tried loading drivers for unknown devices though.

  • Well I finally managed to get VPC 2007 also working on Vista Business. In the VPC settings I changed the network adapter to use shared NAT. This works fine for what I need and you don't have to have the Virtual Machibe Network Services installed. When VPC loads I told it to ingnore the errors about the service.

  • folowed another posters advice did a clean install of vista business installed virtual pc before any microsoft updates it now works fine hope this help

  • Now I have successfully got VMNS working on Vista Business. What I found is that somewhere along the line the following registry value contained C:\inf rather than C:\Windows\Inf. You would be supprised how many applications I have now been able to successfully install and use on Vista.

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

        DevicePath: C:\Windows\Inf; .....

  • Thanks for the tips, Ben.

    Unfortunately, I must have been in the ohter 10%...

    I had this problem with VPC2K4 SP1 (build 5.3.582.27) freshly installed on WinXP SP2.  I tried both of your suggestions but neither worked.  Until I added the following steps before "Number 2," that is:

    0.1 Uninstall VPC2K4 SP1

    0.2 Reinstall VPC2K4 SP1 but _do not_ run it!!

    Continue with step 1.

    Before I did this, the Virtual Machine Network Services Properties were all blank.  Afterwards, they had a date of 2/4/2004 and a version of 2.5.452.0

    Cheers,

    Ed

  • Great tip Darren. The registry key on my Vista Ultimate RTM (MSDN edition) was also wrong. Changes c:\inf to c:\windows\inf and now it works.

    Now on earth did you find this out?

  • I found the following setting in the registry:

    HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VPCNetS2\ImagePath

    system32\DRIVERS\VMNetSrv.sys

    and changed it to:

    %SystemRoot%\System32\DRIVERS\VMNetSrv.sys

    After trying all of the above to no avail, this registry change *finally* solved the problem for me (XP Pro SP2, corporate domain user with local admin rights).

  • I'm having the same problem as above.  I've tried several ways to get networking going but nothing works.  NONE of the above works.

    In Virtual Machine Network Services properties all driver fields are blank.

    I'm running XPPro SP2.

  • I ran into the same issues reported by others here.  I am also complicating matters vby running it on Vista Enterprise 64 and had already had some Virtual Server related files installed.

    Here's what fixed it for me:

    Manually copied the 2 INF files from the utility folder in

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Virtual PC\Utility\VMNetSrv\x64

    to c:\windows\inf

    I copied the remaining dll, sys, and cat file to c:\widnows\system32.  I think the DLL was already there so I skipped it and allowed the others to copy.

    The next time I opened it it had the usual complaint and I selected Yes.

    When it aked for the location of the vmnetsrv.dll I aimed it at system32 instead of the utility folder.

    This time it actually prompted me for permission to allow the unsigned driver to install and it worked fine.

    Not sure which part in the chain of events fixed it or why, but it seems ok now.

  • Second solution failed after clicking "Add..." button and showing very informative error message 0x800FFFFF. After searching the internet i have found alot of topics on this error. Most common solution was:

    Number 3.

    1. Uninstall Windows.

    2. Install Linux/UNIX/DOS etc.

    Works in 100% of cases

    P.S.: I think it is great idea that you cant manually create new ethernet lan connections. Superb idea!

    P.P.S: It is also great that you actually cant download virtual pc for vista from ms site in normal way. Only virtual pc for win 7. NICE!

  • Thank you very much, you saved my life

  • I have a same trouble. After Install VirtualBox, and install Virtual PC... Then I uninstall VBox, and reinstall VPC. When I launch VPC next time, I receive message "Virtual PC could not open..." I delete all (VPC), and install VBox, then VPC. I have not a trouble now!! Sorry for me broken language.

  • I tried both solutions and neither fixed the problem. What finally worked was  selecting the actual connected network card - not the "Connected Network Card" option - in the dropdown box.

    I posted more details at suncat-csharp.blogspot.com/.../mobile-device-emulator-error-on-windows.html.

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