Connecting Windows Server 2003 VM To External Network In Hyper-V


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The Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 SP1 Virtual Machines on my laptop are connecting just fine to my physical network adapter (wifi) via the External Virtual Switch that I setup in Hyper-V (Windows 8 Pro host). I can connect to the internet to do Windows updates on those VM’s.

Now I have installed Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x64 Edition with SP2 on a new VM. I set up the Network Adapter to use the same virtual switch (“External WiFi”) that I’ve been using for my VM’s. But this time, my Windows Server 2003 VM cannot connect to the network or the internet.

According to the many sources  I found online, I need to add a Legacy Network Adapter to the Windows Server 2003 VM. Hint: You need a little more than that.

These two posts were really helpful in setting up the legacy network adapter:

Go ahead and read those. But I have summarized the steps below:

Adding the Legacy Network Adapter Device to the VM

Add a Legacy Network Adapter Hardware to the Windows Server 2003 VM via Hyper-V Manager (Hyper-V Manager > {MyVMhere} > Setting)

Adding a Legacy Network Adapter to a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

Then connect that to the Virtual Switch:

Connecting a Legacy Network Adapter to an External Virtual Switch in Hyper-V

Installing the Adapter to the VM

We need to copy some NIC driver files from an existing x64 machine — files from Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Sp1 worked just fine:

1. Create a floppy disk from the Hyper-V Manager. Mount that to an existing VM. Here’s how to create and use a Virtual Floppy Disk.

2. On the existing VM, copy the files from %windir%\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\dc21x4vm.inf_amd64_aaa5f1eb8c006024 into the floppy disk. Then, dismount/unmount the floppy disk.

Files needed to install Legacy Network Adapter to a Windows Server 2003 VM in Hyper-V

3. Mount the same floppy disk to the Windows Server 2003 x64 VM.

4. Then install the Legacy Network Adapter to the Windows Server 2003 x64 VM.

Installing Legacy Network Adapter to Windows Server 2003 x64 VM in Hyper-V

You should now be able to do your Windows Server 2003 x64 Updates.

Legacy Network Adapter in Windows Server 2003 x64 in Hyper-V

I hope that saves you some time.

Author: Marlon Ribunal

I'm here to learn and share things about data and the technologies around data.


  1. Hi,

    I took the drivers from windows 10 pro and used it to install in windows server 2003 standard edition. Unfortunately I am not able to connect. Are there any other steps that I have to follow to enable internet connectivity?

  2. hi

    we are using server 2003 os its running into hyper v ( ms 2012),& we are using 300 hp thin client (T5740e) now day we are unable connect new thin client to server 2003 anybody help me ..
    give solution ….please

  3. Nice All Information.

    when i installed windows server 2003 r2 64 bit, and also installed Legacy Network Adapter. its work fine, but when i handed over this machine to our Data Base Section for testing, but they complaint that network running is very slow, i read this artical and many other, there also mentioned that network speed issue in Legacy Network Adapter…

    please any suggestion!

    Thanks & Regards

  4. Thanks a million !!!!

    Had exactly that problem and I have try every solution that I could find on net …

    This one helped me !

    Thanks again

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