Fixing broken virtual networking

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