Clean up residual registry entries

When you remove a network adapter from a Windows 2000 computer, the registry entries used by that adapter aren't always deleted automatically. If the adapter were removed by a third-party application, for instance, there can still be residual information about the adapter in the system -- and the adapter may still show up in Network Properties as an icon.

If you try to delete the icon manually and get this error:

Component configuration option value missing in registry.

  • then you need to remove the adapter information from the registry manually.

Caution: Making a mistake when editing the registry can result in an unbootable computer. Make sure to back up and be able to restore the registry file.

  1. Launch REGEDT32 and open the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServices. Look for a subkey under this key that has the name of the adapter in question. Sometimes the name may be a bit cryptic, so look carefully.

  2. To confirm you have the right key, open it and look for a subkey named DisplayName. This should contain a text description of the adapter. If this is the correct adapter, delete the whole key.

  3. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesNWLinkIPX NetConfig and look for any subkeys for the same adapter and delete them as well. (They should have the same names as the key you deleted before.)

  4. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoft and look underneath that

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  1. key for any subkeys that also pertain to the same adapter, and delete them.

  2. Remove any subkeys of the same variety from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMICROSOFTWindowsNTCurrentVersionNetworkCards.

  3. Close REGEDT32 and reboot the computer.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.

This was first published in May 2002

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