I was having trouble renaming my single Ethernet adapter because I had added and removed the NIC a few times during VM testing. The name of the NIC in Network and Sharing Center was “Ethernet 2” and I wanted it to be named “Ethernet”. I like things neat.
When I tried to rename the adapter I got an error stating that there was already an adapter with that name. I knew I only had one virtual NIC attached to this VM so I knew it had to be a leftover somewhere.
I tried to use PowerShell to rename the adapter but had no luck – it also indicated that “Ethernet” was already in use.
I did a search on the registry for “Ethernet” and after some digging found what I was looking for:
In a subkey of the Network key I found “Ethernet” and deleted it. Then I rebooted and was able to rename my “Ethernet 2” to “Ethernet”.