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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Device is not same device?

    I have a USB to Ethernet dongle that I use strictly to configure new router units that use the netboot protocol to download their initial configurations.

    When I plug the dongle in for the first time on a Windows compuer, it shows up as something like "Local Connection 2." I set it to the static IP address needed for netboot to work, and rename it to something more meaningful. All is well for weeks to months.

    At some point, Windows suddenly decides that this dongle is no longer "the same" dongle that it was previously. It comes up as "Local Connection 3" or the like. Since the canned IP address isn't there, netinstalls suddenly stop working, halting our workflow. I have to reconfigure this "new" device with the same IP address. I also rename it, but can't give it the same name as I did before, because that one is now "used" and there doesn't seem to be any easy way to tell Windows to forget it.

    Weeks to months later: lather, rinse, repeat.

    This is physically the same dongle, and it even gets plugged into the same physical USB port every time. I don't understand why Windows suddenly decides the dongle is a different device that it was the day before; or, having done so, why it can remember that it is the same device for the next few weeks or months. It's like having a computer that suffers from Capgras syndrome.

    All enlightenment on this issue will be very appreciated.

    Also, if anyone knows an easy way to flush Windows' memory of all those old device names (that it will never activate again) so that they can be re-used, I'd be interested in learning that as well.

  2. #2
    jwoods
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    In Device Manager, under Network Adapters, uninstall the corresponding entries.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Doesn't do the job.

    First off, Device Manager only shows things that are active. Even if you choose "Show Hidden Devices," the old instances won't show up. Windows will never activate the old device instances because... well, that's the whole problem I'm complaining about.

    You have to do this dance to see all the old instances. I do this, and they do in fact appear. I delete them all.

    The system demands a reboot, after which I check to make sure they are all gone (they are). I plug in the dongle. It comes up (today, at least) as "Local Area Connection 9."

    When I try to rename this to the usual name we use for this dongle, Windows complains, "Cannot rename this connection. A connection with the name you specified already exists. Specify a different name."

    Clearly, there is a storehouse of these used names which is independent of the Device Manager and is not being cleared out. This is what I would like to clear out. I've researched this on the web, and the only procedures I have come across are incredibly complicated and risky. I tried one of them, and it didn't solve the problem. I thought someone might know a simpler solution, or at the very least, an arcane one that actually works.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Have you tried Device Cleanup Tool?

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    No, I was unaware of the existence of this tool. It looks like a handy tool, but it doesn't address the problem.

    The header line informs me that it shows only non-present devices. When I have the dongle plugged in, it shows no devices of that type. When I unplug the dongle, it shows one device of that type (because it is not present). This seems proper operation, as far as it goes. It seems mostly to do exactly what Device Manager does when you ask it to show hidden devices the "long form" way, just easier to use.

    The problem here is that these leftover "connection names" seem to have nothing to do with the device table proper. They are being stored in some other subsystem, so manipulating the device table doesn't clear them out.

  6. #6
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    While you've done the first bit of this tutorial, see what deleting the INFCACHE.1 file does for you.

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...-problems.html

  7. #7
    jwoods
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    Going forward, you might consider setting up a virtual machine to do the configs.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    I'll try the INFCACHE.1 deletion next time I do this task, but I don't think it will solve the issue. I don't think the "old name" problem is in the device manager subsystem, I think it's in the network connection subsystem.

    As for the virtual machine idea, it sounds like a lot of extra work. I'm running Windows in a virtual machine already (on a Mac), so I really don't want to get too deep into my own navel.

  9. #9
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    Well, it has to go through Device Manager initially for its driver to load and if that file is corrupt, who knows what that will lead to.

    Opening Network and Sharing Center/Manage Wireless networks - what is listed in there or Change adapter settings ?
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2015-11-23 at 18:09.

  10. #10
    jwoods
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    Someone here might work up a batch script for you that uses netsh to configure and remove connections.

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