networking - How to get rid of auto-generated sequence number in network's device name in Windows?

  • Piotr Dobrogost

    Every time one plugs in the same usb wireless adapter in a new usb port, Windows creates new network device with auto-generated sequence number which looks like this
    Wireless-N USB Network Adapter #2, Wireless-N USB Network Adapter #3, ...
    The name of a device is being displayed as part of network's information in Control Panel|Network Connections. network's name and network's device name

    How can I get rid of this sequence number?

    I found out device name which is displayed in network's information is kept in the FriendlyName REG_SZ value under
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\USB\VID_[device specific string]\[usb port specific string] FriendlyName of network device However when I try to modify this value I get error

    Cannot edit FriendlyName: Error writing the value's new contents.

    I tried to delete extra keys under
    but got Cannot delete KEY NAME: Error while deleting key. error. Trying to solve this problem I followed this answer but trying to change owner with Replace owner on subcontainers and objects option checked I got this error - Registry Editor could not set owner on the currently selected, or some of its subkeys. To find out which subkey is the source of problem I tried changing owner of each subkey. After successfully changing owner of Properites subkey I saw it has subkeys which were previously hidden. Hidden subkeys of Properties key

    Now trying to change owner of these subkeys looks like this:

    Permisions... Windows Security warning Windows Security error

    Any idea how to delete these keys?

  • Answers
  • grawity

    USB devices are identified either by their serial number, or by the USB port. If a device doesn't provide its serial number, the OS must use the port for identification, otherwise there would be trouble if two identical adapters were plugged in.

    If your device has no S/N, it will be treated as different devices when plugged to different ports, and there isn't anything you can do to change this behavior.

    See also: Why does Windows not recognize my USB device as the same device if I plug it into a different port? on The Old New Thing.

  • Windos
    1. Open the Network and Sharing Center.
    2. Click Manage network connections.
    3. Right click the connection and choose Rename.
    4. Enter your desired name and hit Enter

    Win7 Network Connection Rename

    n.b. Yes, the screenshot is for Windows 7 but the instructions are for Windows Vista. The name cannot contain: \ / : * ? < > |

    Edit: Before trying this export the parent key so you can restore it if need be.

    Try deleting from the registry the devices (keys) with the other names (no number, #1 & #2) the try renaming your current one. The error you mention in your question may be because it already "knows" of a device called that.

  • slhck

    Try this. It worked for me.

    1. Open regedit, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Network\
    2. search for Descriptions in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Network\{big long hex number}\Descriptions. There will be a few hex numbers after \Network\ but it'll be the one with the "Descriptions" branch.
    3. Under this branch you'll see all the numbering strings with your network card as key. Just delete the ones you want to reset. In my case, I will delete "Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller"
    4. In Device Manager, delete the device and select "Scan for Hardware Changes" to reinstall the driver.
  • Peachy

    No need to go into the Registry. You may have the same device installed twice, but in the Device Manager, it is only shown as one with #2(#3,#4).

    First, you need to show hidden devices by going to View > Show hidden devices in the Device Manager window.

    Second, go to this site and follow it's instructions to remove old device drivers and make sure hidden devices are shown (because if you just click on "View" in Device Manager and "Show hidden devices", it will not work).

    Then in Device Manager click on device with "#2" and click uninstall (do not tick the checkbox with delete driver, just leave it empty). When un-installation is complete, scan for hardware changes and install your device again.

    This is good tool for removing old drivers for devices you have in past like cameras, USB sticks, keyboards, mices and so. Hope this helps you.

  • Related Question

    networking - How do you check the current duplex value of a network card set to Auto negotiate in Windows?
  • Scott Markwell

    I would like to know what duplex (half or full) my network card has negotiated with a switch when they are both set to auto configuration in Windows.

  • Related Answers
  • SiegeX

    Without looking at the switch, the only way it seems possible is if the windows driver for your NIC reports this information. To see if it does, go to Control Panel --> Administrator Tools --> Event Viewer. You then want to look at the System logs (in Windows7 this is under the Windows Logs tree). Once you found the System logs, click on Source at the top to use as the sorting criteria. Now look for your NIC driver, mine for example is b57nd60a. Scroll through all the entries that your NIC driver has made and if you're lucky you'll see what speed it negotiated at in the event report.

  • Dave M

    Some cards (Intel for example) have a diagnostic suite that shows this information. This software is often not installed. Usually just the driver is installed and the diagnostic/management app is not. I believe the Intel app is called ProSet

  • William Hilsum

    The easiest way I can think of is to get a switch that has lights on the front or a management interface and simply take a look.

    Other than that, I am not really aware of any software able to tell you.

  • yhw42

    There is no software-way to report the duplex mode negotiated(especially with a switch) because all of those things happen on the physical layer.

    You will need some kind of measurement device to diagnose that electronically.

  • David

    This works in Windows 7, not sure about lower versions:

    1. Right click on the network card in Network Connections in the Control Panel
    2. Click Configure
    3. Click the Link Speed Tab
    4. Look at the Link status Window.

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