Monday, February 14, 2011

Removing old hardware in Windows VM's

If you P2V (physical to virtual) a system, or even when you create a VM on your VMWare workstation and move that to an ESX host (V2V, virtual to virtual), old hardware is "left behind" in Windows. The goal of a VM is to make it use as little resources as possible, so it is best you clean that up. Secondly, if the hardware in question is an old network interface, the IP address on that interface still exists, so Windows starts moaning there's a duplicate IP address.

There's a relatively simple way of fixing that: First, open up a command prompt and type

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

Next, type: devmgmt.msc

The device manager will start up. In there, go to the menu "View" and click on "Show hidden devices". Now all sorts of previously hidden hardware will show up. Right mouseclick on the old hardware you want to remove (the icons that are of a lighter color than the existing hardware).

Now in Windows 2008/2008R2, if you do the same with a command prompt, you will get nothing. Fix that issue by running the command prompt as an administrator.

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