A series of unfortunate miniports

by Mike Jericho Ntamoulakis

Well talking about miniports arent the easiest of things.

They're usually hidden in the device manager, are almost impossible to uninstall, twice harder to reinstall and if finally shows theirselves are followed by a provocative yellow exclamation.

That's because windows network stack uses the miniports to handle the layers of the network and if somehow breaks, cause VPN and possibly other network level services not to work properly.

Of course all it takes to fix them is uninstalling and re-installing the non-working miniports, but unfortunately there is no easy way to do it.

Miniports can’t be deleted nor uninstalled, and their drivers are hidden from the -everyday- user, so even

re-installing them could be proved difficult.

A format of course could be solve the problem but it takes time plus there's always the possibility to forget that small piece of data that you needed so much and now is gone, plus freshly windows builds need some working hours before starts running smoothly again so I use the format as a last resort.

Uninstall the miniports

There's no normal way to uninstall a non-working miniports, if you try simply to uninstall it through device manager they will just flash for a second and they'll remain intact (even if you check the remove driver box).

What you've to do instead is to write down the miniports with the exclamation (cause we'll need it afterwords) and do the following:

Right click on the non-working miniport, update driver / browse my computer and let me pick driver from a list.

Uncheck show compatible hardware and from the Manufacturer list, Microsoft / Network Adapter select MAC Bridge Miniport.

That way the miniport it will refresh in the device manager as MAC Bridge Miniport, and can be easily deleted as any other device with ease.

When you're done and before doing anything else restart the pc, its very important, miniports drivers are nothing like common installation, they never automatically installed by windows, they are hidden and they aren'n meant to installed by home users either.

The Devcon factor

The device console (devcon.exe) is a command-line utility that allows you enable, disable, restart, update, remove, and query individual devices or groups of devices.

You can find it in the Microsoft windows drivers kit (WDK)

There are different versions of device console (one for each platform and architecture ×86, ×64 / Intel, Amd) and of course you need the right one cause it ain't gonna work otherwise.

Installing the mini ports

After obtaining the correct device console, open a command line with administrative privileges and for each miniport that you have previously uninstalled, execute the command outlined below.

Do not run any of the commands twice, cause it will create a second version of the existing mini port (meaning that you will still have the same problem) and ignore any driver report failure.

IKEv2

devcon.exe install c:\Windows\inf\netavpna.inf MS_AgileVpnMiniport

IP:

devcon.exe install c:\Windows\inf\netrasa.inf MS_NdisWanIp

IPv6:

devcon.exe install c:\Windows\inf\netrasa.inf MS_NdisWanIpv6

Network Monitor:

devcon.exe install c:\Windows\inf\netrasa.inf MS_NdisWanBh

L2TP:

devcon.exe install c:\Windows\inf\netrasa.inf MS_L2tpMiniport

PPPoE:

devcon.exe install c:\Windows\inf\netrasa.inf MS_PppoeMiniport

PPTP:

devcon.exe install c:\Windows\inf\netrasa.inf MS_PptpMiniport

SSTP:

devcon.exe install c:\Windows\inf\netsstpa.inf MS_SstpMiniport

Once done, reboot and you are good to go :)