We have HP laptops with a Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet card. For some reason, it is possible to 'safely remove' the network card from Windows. Obviously this disconnects the machine from the network.

Even worse, removing the network cable from the laptop (e.g. to move it to another room) automatically 'safely removes' the NIC. The machine cannot be reconnected to the network until Windows is rebooted!

I haven't been able to find any settings on the network adapter in Device Manager that changes this behaviour.

Does anyone know how to stop Windows from listing this device as hardware that can be removed?

5 Answers 5


Disable LAN Power Save in BIOS.

Look here: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Hardware/ethernet-card-disables-when-unplugging-power-cable/td-p/104485



A quick fix would be to "always hide" the icon. right click on the system tray, go to Properties->Customize, then find the 'Safely Remove Hardware' icon and hide. I'm going to try to find a registry hack for you. I think this is the only way around it.


Here you go. The answer is at the bottom of the discussion. You may want to test it on a dummy machine that isn't very important first. Good luck. The answer is at techrepublic

  • 4
    It'd be preferable to include the answer itself in your response, instead of linking to the answer
    – Orihara
    May 27, 2009 at 15:04
  • Sorry, I just didn't know if copy/pasting was tolerated :D.
    – Jacob
    May 28, 2009 at 13:26
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services[your network adaptors keys]. Check under the Enum key, make sure it is a PCI and not USB entry. Under each network adaptor key, create a DWORD DisableRemovable with data value of 1. This doesn't stop the NIC from being removed but it does reconnect it properly.
    – Alex Angas
    Jun 2, 2009 at 11:28
  • -1 - copy pasting isn't great, but it is preferable to linking to something that could move or be deleted at any time. Update your answer to get voted up.
    – dunxd
    Jan 20, 2012 at 14:15
  • And now the techrepublic link is broken, so marking unanswered.
    – Alex Angas
    Jul 3, 2012 at 1:22

I recall an issue like this on Dell Latitudes and they eventually came out with a driver patch. Will this only happen while the machine is on Battery, or plugged in too?


  • Happens whether it is plugged in, on battery, or on a docking station.
    – Alex Angas
    Jun 1, 2009 at 12:37

go to Device Manager, right click on the NIC and select the Power Management tab. You will have an option called

Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power

Uncheck the option

  • That's actually not the solution to this particular problem, even if it is probably a good idea anyhow. Oct 11, 2012 at 5:40

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