[Users] Virtio NIC in Windows failing at boot

Allen Belletti allen at ggc.edu
Thu Dec 12 04:06:26 UTC 2013

Hi All,

Ever since moving from oVirt 3.1 (with Fedora image-based nodes) to oVirt 3.3 (and now 3.3.1) with CentOS 6.4 (now 6.5) nodes, I've been having a serious problem with our Windows guests.  To my knowledge, none of the Linux guests have ever been affected.

The problem appears when a Windows guest is rebooted.  Occasionally this happens during maintenance work but more often as a result of Microsoft updates which require a reboot.  The most recent batch of these that we allowed resulted in something like 35 of 40 Windows guests losing networking.

What we see is that the VirtIO Ethernet Adapter is enabled but shows no evidence of actually being connected to the network.  The MAC never appears in our switches, etc.  The solution is to connect to the guest via console and manually disable, then enable, the NIC.  Problem solved.

I've found at least two other references to this issue:

http://forum.proxmox.com/threads/11160-Windows-2008-R2-Server-Standard-Edition-VIRTIO-NIC-Drivers-dont-work-on-boot (exactly our issue)

http://forum.proxmox.com/threads/16550-Windows-server-2012-blue-screen-virtio-win-ethernet-card (similar, though we never see a crash)

Needless to say, this is super annoying.  Right now it seems my options seem to be:

1.  Implement a script to reset the NIC as suggested in the first link.

2.  Revert to e1000 but not sure how much that will hurt performance and/or whether it will limit us to 1 Gbps throughput.

Has anyone experienced this?  Would I likely have better luck on the VirtIO list?  We've been running VirtIO Ethernet from virtio-win-0.1-65.iso but I just now found included in virtio-win-0.1-74.iso.  Perhaps that will help although I don't see anything relevant in the changelog.


Allen Belletti
AVP Ed. Tech Engineering Innovation
Georgia Gwinnett College
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