Device Manager may seem to hang while uninstalling a NIC

[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Damian Leibaschoff]

Under certain conditions, in Windows Server 2008 (including SBS 2008) when you try to uninstall a network interface card (NIC) from device manager, the process will appear to hang and the uninstall will not complete.

When this happens, the “Confirm Device Uninstall” window will appear and never complete.


The reason for this problem is being investigated and a potential long term fix considered.

To work around this, you can do the following (either before the uninstall attempt, or while the dialog is still hanging, it is important to not reboot or terminate the hanging process):

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the server (including the registry) before you proceed.

  1. Copy Sysinternal’s PSEXEC to the affected server.

    1. You can get the latest version from here

  2. Launch an elevated command prompt by right-clicking on “Command Prompt” and choosing ‘Run as administrator’ from within the Start menu.

  3. Change directories to the location where you saved PSEXEC.EXE

  4. Run the following command (Please type the command instead of Copying&Pasting from the blog text):

    1. Psexec -s -I regedit.exe

  5. Once the registry editor has opened go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services

  6. You should notice a few entries close to the top of the Services that are GUID based (E.g.:  {44E0D2B9-BB83-4E19-96B8-7328665BE080}) 

  7. We will have to repeat the following steps for each of the GUIDs present.

    1. Expand the GUID, expand Parameters and then select TCPIP 

    2. Right click on top of TCPIP and select Permissions, then click Advanced.

    3. Make sure that the “Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent” is checked, if it not, then check it.
      (This is a sample where it is NOT checked) 

    4. As mentioned before, if the check if missing, put the check and click OK twice.

    5. If you have performed this on the GUID of the NIC that you were trying to uninstall you might see this error that can be ignored. 
      This is due to device manager completing the uninstall process while the registry editor still has focus on what is now a deleted registry key.

    6. Repeat the steps above for each GUID.

Once you correct the permissions inheritance on the affected GUID, device manager will complete and the NIC will be properly uninstalled.

 To prevent this issue, please install the following update before adding a NIC:

Device Manager or the application stops responding when you use Device

Manager or an application to uninstall the driver for a network adapter

on a computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008:;en-us;975755