Host-only adapter disappeared over night

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Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby pmaniW » 17. Mar 2021, 19:48

My "VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter" has gone missing from one day to the next and can't be restored.
I don't remember doing anything out of the ordinary that day, but now my VMs have been unusable for over a month. I have tried all kinds of solutions offered online, but so far nothing has been able to restore the adapter. I realize this seems to be a rather common occurence, but after weeks of attempting to fix it I have no idea what else could work. Everything worked fine for years, without me changing anything.

Proposed solutions I have tried so far:
  • Uninstalling, then running installer as admin
  • Running VBox as admin, then add the host-only adapter through GUI
  • Running "VBoxManage.exe hostonlyif create" in elevated command prompt
  • Deactivating other network adapters before installation
  • Searching for hidden network adapters
  • Uninstalling other programs that could interfere with network adapters (e.g. VPN)
  • Checking that HyperV is off
  • Installing different versions of VirtualBox (6.1.18, 6.1.16, 6.0.4, 5.1.38, 5.0.40, 4.3.40, 4.3.36 and older)
  • Installing with NDIS5 (w/ "-msiparams NETWORKTYPE=NDIS5")
  • Updating Windows (Win10 Education 1909)
  • Updating network drivers
  • Cleaning driver caches
  • Cleaning all kinds of caches (w/ Win10 & CCleaner)
  • Cleaning up remnant registry entries after uninstall (w/ CCleaner)
  • Removing old VirtualBox Preferences between installs (delete Users\Username\.VirtualBox)
  • Deleting Oracle Certificates, then reinstall
  • Deselecting "Host-Only Networking" during installation, then trying to add it afterwards (GUI and cmd)
  • Installing in default location and main drive
  • Installing the extension pack (haven't used it before)
  • Turning antivirus off completely in any of these steps (Comodo)
  • Disabling my internet connection during any of these steps
  • Rebooting between any steps (also w/ complete shutdown)
And some more random solutions that I already forgot about

The only thing I haven't tried yet is completely reinstalling Windows, which I obviously really want to avoid.

Here is the main error message when trying to create the adapter:
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
Progress state: E_FAIL
VBoxManage.exe: error: Failed to create the host-only adapter
VBoxManage.exe: error: Querying NetCfgInstanceId failed (0x00000002)
VBoxManage.exe: error: Details: code E_FAIL (0x80004005), component HostNetworkInterfaceWrap, interface IHostNetworkInterface
VBoxManage.exe: error: Context: "enum RTEXITCODE __cdecl handleCreate(struct HandlerArg *)" at line 95 of file VBoxManageHostonly.cpp


When I keep open Device Manager while installing (or while manually adding host-only networking) I can see the adapter appear with a yellow exclamation mark, then disappear after a few seconds. This repeats three times. If I check the properties of the adapter during the time it exists, in the events tab I can also see it having been repeatedly added and deleted hundreds of times over the past weeks.

Also a small curiosity, don't know if it helps:
The oldest VBox version I can get to run is 4.3.40. With older versions (for example 4.3.36) the adapter is installed, but stays in a disfunctional state with a yellow exclamation mark ("This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)").
These older versions of VBox are not functional for me though (don't even load UI), so they're not usable.
After rebooting, the driver is renamed with an appended "#4" and is now shown as working properly (no "!"). When upgrading (or uninstall->install) to a newer version (4.3.40 and up) the old adapter (with "#4") gets ignored and it tries (and subsequently fails) to install a new one. I didn't manage to get newer versions to use this remnant adapter.

I know there is a multitude of help requests concerning malfunctioning host-only adapters, but I feel like I've tried every recommended solution that applies and I'm at my wit's end.
pmaniW
 
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby Th3On3 » 24. Mar 2021, 13:01

Hi there.

I have the same problem in 2 laptops. The problem begins when i updated windows 10 (january update). I am now with windows 10 20H2 (build 19042.804). I found this problem when installing docker toolbox (needs to create Host only adapter).
I searched all the tickets on bugtracker and tried all the solutions, but with no luck. I inspected the windows 10 driver install log and found some problems with driver installation, but i think the problem starts with some inconsistency with the keys on regedit.

I am trying now to get some help on IRC's channel #vbox (freenode server).

Best regards.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby pmaniW » 24. Mar 2021, 15:16

Hey, thanks for the reply.

I am suspecting a Win10 update in January as the culprit, too. I also recently tried to manually update to version 20H2, but unfortunatly that version doesn't seem to be ready for my system yet (bluescreens during the update process, apparently also a common occurrence?).
I guess it's helpful to know that simply updating to 20H2 doesn't seem to fix the issue after all, so I can stop trying to force that.

If you find a solution that works for you, it would be nice if you'd share your findings with me. I really don't know what else to try at the moment.
pmaniW
 
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby Th3On3 » 24. Mar 2021, 16:21

Hi.

The windows update 20H2 did not solve the problem, and the problem started on the update before 20H2. I am supending the last update for more 1 week, because of the problems that are happening with the last update (printer stuff giving BSODs).

I will post here if i find a solution.

Thank you.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby Th3On3 » 25. Mar 2021, 12:22

Hi there.

Yesterday i found by myself a dirty workarround. You can try, its not perfect, but it works.

You can go to device manager and add a legacy hw, then you choose from disk and select the oracle driver 'VBoxNetAdp6.inf' and choose 'Virtualbox Host-only adapter'. It will last one couple of minutes, then the adapter will appear on device manager with a question mark. If you reboot the system, the adapter will be fine. You can add this way the number of adapters you want, one at a time.

Best reguards.
Th3On3
 
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby pmaniW » 25. Mar 2021, 16:25

Thank you for getting back to me. Great to hear that you solved your issue!

Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. Adding VBoxNetAdp6.inf as legacy hardware resulted in the following error message:

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
The following hardware was not installed: VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter
An error occurred during the installation of the device.
This operation returned because the timeout period expired.

The adapter showed up during installation (as usual), but afterwards it disappeared again with the above error message. After rebooting it was still gone.

Thank you anyways for your help, I guess the search continues.
pmaniW
 
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby scottgus1 » 25. Mar 2021, 17:57

Just want you all to know that we're not ignoring this topic, only I personally don't know how to fix it.

A web-search with "site:forums.virtualbox.org" added to the search terms might help if this has happened before.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby JoeDiesel » 14. Apr 2021, 22:41

I certainly hope this can get fixed soon. I can no longer use Genymotion because of this, and that´s where I have an android emulator with my google authenticator used for plenty of important stuff... :(
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby Th3On3 » 15. Apr 2021, 13:10

It is important that we have feedback of the users that are affected by this issue. I think there are alot of people that do not manifest himselfs about this issue.

pmaniW: I forget to mention that strangely and maybe could it be the culprit, i have comodo fw / avira av free editions on both computers.

JoeDiesel: What is your system ? (Windows version, AV software if any, FW software if any)

Thank you.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby fth0 » 15. Apr 2021, 15:41

On the Windows host, did you try Start > Settings > Network > Network reset, which is supposed to remove all network related installations? The host is automatically rebooted afterwards, followed by an automatic network detection just like when installing Windows for the first time, and then you'd have to reinstall networking related software again.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby Th3On3 » 16. Apr 2021, 15:33

fth0 wrote:On the Windows host, did you try Start > Settings > Network > Network reset, which is supposed to remove all network related installations? The host is automatically rebooted afterwards, followed by an automatic network detection just like when installing Windows for the first time, and then you'd have to reinstall networking related software again.


Hi fth0.

Yes, i uninstalled VPN software, Virtualbox, then i reseted network -> automatic reboot -> installed VPN sw + Virtualbox -> reboot again and same problem.

Just to clarify that i tested all the points of the author first post.

Best regards.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby fth0 » 16. Apr 2021, 16:41

Th3On3 wrote:Just to clarify that i tested all the points of the author first post.

FWIW, the suggested Network reset is supposed to be stronger than anything the OP mentioned in their initial post, but easier than a full Windows installation.

So-called security software (e.g. AV software) is always a good candidate for creating problems. For a test, you could uninstall that and reboot, then install the VirtualBox network drivers, test VirtualBox, and re-install the security software later on if necessary.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby pmaniW » 19. Apr 2021, 16:19

The suggested network reset above did not change anything for me.

I have now also successfully upgraded to win10 version 20H2, but no luck here, too. I retried all old proposed solutions again as well, just to be sure.

Previously I had only disabled my security/av software (Comodo). I now also tried completely uninstalling it, as suggested. Again, the host-only adapter still can't be restored/created.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby fth0 » 19. Apr 2021, 20:14

Running out of easy ideas, you could resort to more elaborate means, if you either have the necessary background knowledge or are capable of acquiring it (your initial post indicates that this may very well be the case :)). For example:

You could use Process Monitor to capture all file and registry events during a failing installation of the VirtualBox network drivers, and do the same inside a working Windows VM for comparison. Note that this can be a lot of work and quickly take hours, including the necessary research inside the Windows documentation available online.
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Re: Host-only adapter disappeared over night

Postby JoeDiesel » 20. Apr 2021, 00:49

Th3On3 wrote:It is important that we have feedback of the users that are affected by this issue. I think there are alot of people that do not manifest himselfs about this issue.

pmaniW: I forget to mention that strangely and maybe could it be the culprit, i have comodo fw / avira av free editions on both computers.

JoeDiesel: What is your system ? (Windows version, AV software if any, FW software if any)

Thank you.


Sorry, I should have provided more details.

OS:

Windows 10 Pro
20H2
19042.928
Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.551.0

Antivirus etc. is Comodo, but I can see that another user here tried completely uninstalling it (I only disabled it) with no luck, so I´ll skip that step.

Other than that, I have tried both latest and older versions of Virtualbox with the same result. Every time I uninstalled the old version first, and reinstalled the new one. I´ve looked for whether if the virtualbox component was missing in the network properties of Windows for the adapter used by virtualbox, but it was enabled as it should be.
So yes, there´s an adapter there, but something seems to not be right about it, since I can´t run Genymotion, which is what made me try to manually create a new host-only adapter with virtualbox, and got the error message in the first post of this thread.
Is there perhaps a log of virtualbox where some details regarding the problem can be found?
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