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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoft and look underneath that
- key for any subkeys that also pertain to the same adapter, and delete them.
- Remove any subkeys of the same variety from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMICROSOFTWindowsNTCurrentVersionNetworkCards.
- 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