Legacy Network Adapter in Hyper-V

Legacy Network Adapter in Hyper-V

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I spent a few hours this week at the New Horizons Computer Learning Center in Salt Lake City.  They had asked if I would come and spend some time talking to some of their local techies about virtualization, and specifically about Hyper-V.  We talked for more than 2 hours, and the discussion was excellent.  One of the students asked a question for which I did not know the answer.  So I told him I would find the answer and post it here. 

Question: When using the legacy network adapter in Hyper-v what hardware is actually being emulated?  And what are its capabilities and limitations?

I had to search TechNet for a few minutes before I found the answer.  It is actually contain in the additional comments section of the Step by Step Guide to getting started with Hyper-V   The guide is worth reading as it has some really good info about setting up Hyper-V.

"A legacy network adapter works without installing a virtual machine driver because the driver is already available on most operating systems. The legacy network adapter emulates a physical network adapter, multiport DEC 21140 10/100TX 100 MB. A legacy network adapter also supports network-based installations because it includes the ability to boot to the Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE). The legacy network adapter is not supported in the 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2003 or the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition."

So there you have it.  The nitty-gritty on Legacy Network Card in Hyper-V. 

For more information on Hyper-V please visit


  • Cool stuff, bye bye to VMWare :)

  • I always wonder how we picked that adaptor.

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