Windows NT may not recognize NIC after upgrading to ESX 4.x
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Windows NT may not recognize NIC after upgrading to ESX 4.x


Article ID: 309926


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


  • Windows NT cannot recognize a NIC as an E1000 compatible device
  • You do not see any errors in the virtual machine
  • This issue occurs under the following circumstances:
    • You have upgraded to ESX 4.x
    • You have a legacy Windows NT Guest Operating System
    • You have installed VMware Tools
    • You upgraded the virtual hardware to version 7.


VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable


This issue occurs because Windows NT is a legacy Operating System and does not supply e1000 drivers. It is necessary to download these drivers from Intel to use this driver.
To workaround this issue and continue to use the E1000 NIC, you can download and install an Intel driver.
To install the Intel driver:
  1. Ensure that your Virtual Hardware NIC on your virtual machine is set to E1000 and is enabled in your Network Adapters Properties.
  2. Download the Windows NT driver PRONT4.EXE from Intel at
  3. Place this driver file on either CDROM or an ISO image. For more information, consult the vendor of your CDROM creation software.
  4. Attach the ISO or CDROM to the affected virtual machine by right-clicking the virtual machine, then clicking Edit Settings > CDROM/DVD Device, and modifying the appropriate settings.
  5. Login to the console of your Windows NT system and navigate to My Computer > CD-ROM Drive. Browse the CDROM and double-click the PRONT4.exe.
  6. Follow the prompts, and take all default settings.
  7. Reboot the virtual machine after installing the driver. The NIC is now recognized as an E1000 device.

    Note: Windows NT is not plug and play. You must reboot the virtual machine after installing the driver to make sure the card is recognized.