Sam Hooke

Network adapter disappears after reboot

At some point recently my Windows 10 computer developed an issue where the Ethernet network adapter would seemingly disappear after waking up from sleep. I would then have no network connection until restarting the machine.

The symptom of this issue was that after waking from sleep, “Network Connections” would be empty:

Windows 10 Network Connections with no devices present
Usually the Ethernet interface would be listed here.

Looking in “Device Manager” would show that the physical device does indeed still exist, but that it has been unable to start:

Windows 10 Device Manager showing Ethernet interface with message 'This device cannot start'
Apparently 'This device does not exist'.

While there are various suggestions online, the one that worked for me was disabling hibernation mode, by opening a command prompt as administrator and running:

powercfg -h off

I found this solution following this comment on reddit, which mentions that a recent Windows update made “hybrid shutdown (half sleep/half shutdown)” the default, which prompted a search leading to this answer.

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