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Installing the Microsoft Loopback Adapter in Windows XP

Some server applications require a network connection to function. Adenium Systems DFS is an online planroom that needs to see a network for full functionality. Normally, this isn’t a problem when your connected to a large network at work, but if you have a laptop on the road, you’ll need to create a network connection.

This can be done by hardwiring a loopback adapter, or using the one implemented by software in Windows XP. The Microsoft Loopback Adapter is primarily a testing tool for creating a virtual network for your computer. It’s not obvious how it can be installed, so I’ve outlined it in the following steps.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Select Add Hardware and click Next.
  3. Select Yes, I have already connected the hardware and click Next.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Installed hardware list and select Add a new hardware device. Click Next.
  5. Select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced), and click Next.
  6. Scroll down Common hardware types and select Network adapters. Click Next.
  7. Select Microsoft from the Manufacture, and then select Microsoft Loopback Adapter from the Network adapter list. Click Next.
  8. A message will be displayed that your about to install the loopback adapter. Click Next.
  9. The driver is then installed. Press Finish to complete the process.

That’s it! This is quite a few steps to install but worth the effort. You may see the network icon with a warning symbol appear in your system tray. This is just indicating limited or no connectivity. It’s nothing to worry about.

What you might want to do next is open your Network Connections (it’s normally on the desktop) and edit loopback adapter name. It will be given a default name, such as Local Area Connection 3. You can right click on it and rename it Microsoft Loopback Adapter. This is just for easily identifying it among other network drivers that are installed.

6 Responses to Installing the Microsoft Loopback Adapter in Windows XP

  1. Sebastian says:

    Thanks…it was very helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Johan says:

    I’m glad you found it useful. This information isn’t easy to find on the Internet.

  3. Michael says:

    Thanks very much for pulling this together! One tip: As you mentioned, the loopback adapter will generally put a warning flag in the system tray stating that the connection has “limited connectivity”. This is harmless as you mentioned, but you can disable this warning if you wish. Open up ‘Network Connections’ and double-click on the loopback adapter. Click the ‘properties’ button and in this window, clear the checkmark that says “Notify me when this connection has limited or no connectivity”.

    Voila! No more warning message!

  4. Johan says:

    This is a good way to have less annoying icons in the system tray. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. David says:

    Great info! Now, how can you uninstall a Microsoft Loopback adapter in WIN XP?

  6. Johan says:

    To uninstall the loopback adapter, do the following steps:

    1. Open Control Panel.
    2. Right click on the loopback adapter network icon and select properties.
    3. Press the Configure button.
    4. Go to the Driver tab.
    5. Press the Uninstall button and press the OK button.

    The loopback adapter will then be uninstalled. Don’t you enjoy doing all these steps to do simple tasks in Windows? ๐Ÿ™‚

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