Trouble with Virtual Server 2005 (R2) Standard Edition and Network Cards

I was having trouble with Virtual Server 2005 recognizing my host network cards.  After many tries of uninstall/reinstall, add/remove virtual network machines from NIC cards, and other various config changes I finally figured out my situation.


  • Goto Virtual Server Admin website
  • Goto Server Properties
  • Goto Physical Computer Properties
  • I could not see any network cards

You may also have problem seeing new network cards or if you reconfigured your network card order.


Unfortunately the only resolution I found was to completely remove Virtual Server.   Removing Virtual Server required more than just uninstall through add/remove programs.

Here is the steps to perform

  • Backup all your VMC and VHD files (be safe rather than sorry!)
  • Stop the Virtual Helper and Virtual Server services
  • Goto add/remove programs and uninstall Virtual Server
  • Delete the directory and all files in the direcotry

    • C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Virtual Machine Helper
    • C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Virtual Server
    • C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Virtual Server Webapp
    • C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Shared Virtual Machines
    • C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Shared Virtual Networks
    • C:\Document and Settings\<your user name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Virtual Server

  • Reinstall Virtual Server 2005

Comments (18)

  1. Nick says:

    The symptoms that I was experiencing were very similar – NICs that were added after I installed VS2005R2 were not being detected by guest OS’s or by the VS2005R2 interface.  I found that the "internal" NIC which no physical driver assoicated with it could be changed to the new physical adapter, where as the new physcial adapter was not present in the New Network configuration wizard.  So what I ended up doing was chaning the configuration of the internal network, to use the new physical adapter, and then re-adding a new Internal network…  More details are available here if you’re interested:

  2. SilkRoad says:

    I had the same problem when installing a loop back nic after Virtual Server was installed. I was able to just stop and restart the Virtual Server service to get the Virtual Server Admin web-app to recognize the new nic.

  3. Eric says:

    Thanks for the tip! I had a related issue resolved by following your procedure. Situation was that I’d setup virtual server on a dual NIC host before bridging the connections. For the life of me.. I couldn’t get the newly created bridged adaptor to appear in the available list of network connections untill after the reinstall. Thanks again.

  4. John Green says:

    I’m having issues along in the same vein.  Bottom line is that the system’s single physical ethernet adapter doesn’t show up within VS Administration (Virtual Networks, Physical Network adapter), so I can’t configure virtual machines with a connection to the external network.  

    I’m running VS2005R2x64 under XP Pro x64.  After changing domain membership for this system, I had authenticationi issues which I was unable to resolve.  So I’ve uninstalled VS, deleted the directories in “user” and “All Users” noted above, altered the path for all virtual machine configuration files (.vmc, .vsv and .vhd files), verified that the Program FilesVirtual Server was gone, and even deleted the Local area connection for the Ethernet adapter, allowing XP to recreate it after the next reboot.  

    After I reinstalled VS, it starts with the error message:

    Virtual Server could not open its emulated Ethernet switch driver. To fix this problem, re-enable the Virtual Server Emulated Ethernet Switch service on one or more Ethernet adapters or reinstall Virtual Server.

    Local Area connection properties show “Virtual Machine Network Services” is installed and enabled.  An “Emulated Ethernet Switch service” is not present, and not available.  

    I’ve tried uninstalling / reinstalling the “VM Network Services”, with no impact.  

    VS has worked on this system in the past.  It seems there must be some “tracks” left from previous installations that are impacting the reinstallation.  

    Anyone have any ideas?  

  5. Trevor Brawn says:

    I’m having a slightly different problem in that the Virtual Server (x64bit)host’s network is fully functional until a virtual (32bit) client is started. The virtual client’s network seems to take over the host’s NIC entirely. It has full network connectivity, can access the internet, LAN, etc. I can load another virtual client and it’s network is also fully operational. Only after shutting down the virtual clients, does the host’s network become available again.

    I have updated the Broadcom 5708c NIC with the x64 bit driver and re-installed Virtual Server R5 Enterprise a number of times, all with the same result.

    I have the same virtual clients on an XP Pro SP2 host also with a Broadcom NetXtrem 57xx 32-bit driver, which functions as expected – the host and the virtual clients all utilise the single physical NIC.

    Any ideas on how to resolve the issue?

  6. Lance says:

    A MUCH simpler fix…

    Look at the properties for the problem NIC or any NIC if none are working.  Look for the ‘Virtual Machines Network Service’.  If you don’t see it then click install, choose service, have disk, then browse to the folder where you installed virtual server Example: C:Program FilesMicrosoft Virtual ServerDriversVMNetSv  do to the driversVMnetSv folder and choose one of the inf files.  Install it and restart your virtual server service.  Your problem should be solved.  

    It solved mine.

  7. Fernando says:

    I had a similar issue with my host server being an IBM Blade,  I solved the problem by updating to the latest driver version in my case BCM5708S from Dec 2006.  Thanks for the hints

  8. We have problems similar to a number of these posts; we have a Dell PowerEdge 2950 with:

    *Broadcom BCM5708C NetXtreme II GigE (NDIS) dual NIC (not teamed),

    *PERC 5/i RAID with a RAID 10 subsystem (SAS drives),

    *ATI ES1000 video,

    *Windows Server 2003 R2 (32 bit for now),

    *Virtual Server Enterprise 2005 R2 with a single VM at this point, running Exchange 2003 SP2.  

    The physical server’s network connection will lose connectivity to several hosts on the office subnet (including the default gateway), but it still has connectivity to some hosts.  

    The odd thing is that the virtual machine’s network connection (using the flaky physical connection) is stable! The route table looks fine.  Moving the virtual server to an older SuperMicro (X6DHR-8G) with Intel NIC’s has solved the problem for now, but I really need to get the new Dell working!

    I’m going to try adding a non-Broadcom NIC to the Dell and test again.

  9. Trev says:

    Had the same problem on 3 dell 2950s

    With virtual server 2005 R2

    Lost network on both host and guest after starting guest on prod nic.

    Downloaded latest drivers from broadcom.

    Here is a link to broadcoms article.


  10. Julia says:

    I have a Dell 2950 2003 sp2 with two Nic’s same problem one Nic loses connection will reestablish after repair for an unspeciifed amount of time. Tried other TCP/Ip parameter fixes no luck.

    Thanks for the Broadcom tip, will look there.

  11. Nash says:

    Have the same problem with clustered DELL 1950.

    I lost connection to Host when dedicating a physical NIC to Virtual Machine.

    I already have the latest driver version for BCM5708C.

    It seems to be a problem between these NIC’s and virtual server emulated switch service, when I deactivate this service on concerned NIC, I did not lose the connection but guest can’t get through neither …

  12. Nash says:

    I fixed that issue using this link:

    installed DELL’s Drivers pack for Broadcom’s NIC.

    and Windows2k3 patch (if you’re not using a 32bit version, browse : )

  13. BK says:

    Had the same with Marvell Yukon 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller on VS 2005 R2, the NIC was not on the list when trying to create new virtual network, followed the procedure and it helped! thanks for the tip.

  14. AKa says:

    This solution resolved my problems. Thanks!

  15. Tukaz says:

    thaks man your post was so helpful !

  16. James says:

    Are we supposed to load the Broadcom nic driver inside the Virtual server?  It show up as an intel nic inside the virtual server.  I can’t get connectivity at ALL.  Can someone educate me.  I have 16 Dell 2950 server that need virtual servers in them.  PLEASE Help!!!

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