corrupted, hidden, wireless network adapter from “Network Connections” in Windows 7

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The issue is that when I install a wireless network adapter on my Windows 7 Professional machine I have no connectivity, the system tray icon has a red X.

First, I tried the obvious, install updated drivers from the manufacturer. When I did this, the Network Connections icon had gray bars and there was no connectivity. So I tried installing the network adapter on a different computer on the same network and I verified that it does work with no issues.

Next, I ran scan disk with no issues. Next, I ran sfc as admin with no issues. At this point I turned to the router and turned SSID broadcast on but that didn’t help. I turned MAC address filtering off at the router but that didn’t help. Whenever I installed the original network adapter (a wireless N usb adapter with WPA2 TKIP+AES) it showed up as “Wireless Network Connection 2” with a grayed out icon and no connectivity.

Lastly, I tried installing two different “verified working” usb wireless adapters on to the Windows 7 Pro machine. The results were the same “Wireless Network Connection 2” that had a green bar icon but no connectivity. I installed the manufacturers software and it indicated the NIC was not there even thought the driver installed successfully in Device Manager.

I guess I should mention, I first tried (insanely in vain) to use the (worthless) Windows Network troubleshooter. The results were….drumroll please… There is a problem with the network adapter… well No Duh! Also, during all of this the network adapter is always showing as “Working Properly” in the properties dialogue of Device Manager for the wireless NIC. I checked for hidden devices in Device Manager but there were none.

Here is my fundamental question that I’ve tried to find in the Windows 7 support center with no luck. How do I remove/delete/uninstall network adapters from the Windows 7 registry? In particular hidden, corrupted network adapters, that used to be working.


Open up your Device Manager (or run: devmgmt.msc). Under View, click Show Hidden Devices. Browse through the device tree until you find your NIC. Right-click, remove, also select Delete the driver software for this device. Reboot. Let it reinstall it. See if that works

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