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Article ID: 839013 - Last Review: April 22, 2004 - Revision: 3.1

For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 236869  ( ) .

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The Microsoft Loopback adapter is a testing tool for a virtual network environment where network access is not available. Also, you must use the Loopback adapter if there are conflicts with a network adapter or with a network adapter driver. You can bind network clients, protocols, and other network configuration items to the Loopback adapter, and you can install the network adapter driver or network adapter later while retaining the network configuration information. You can also install the Loopback adapter during the unattended installation process.

Manual installation

To manually install the Microsoft Loopback adapter in Windows XP, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. If you are in Classic view, click Switch to Category View under Control Panel in the left pane.
  3. Double-click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Next.
  4. Under See Also in the left pane, click Add Hardware,and then click Next.
  5. Click Yes, I have already connected the hardware, and then click Next.
  6. At the bottom of the list, click Add a new hardware device, and then click Next.
  7. Click Install the hardware that I manually select from a list, and then click Next.
  8. Click Network adapters, and then click Next.
  9. In the Manufacturer box, click Microsoft.
  10. In the Network Adapter box, click Microsoft Loopback Adapter, and then click Next.
  11. Click Finish.
After the adapter is installed successfully, you can manually configure its options, as with any other adapter. If the TCP/IP properties are configured to use DHCP, the adapter will eventually use an autonet address (169.254.x.x/16) because the adapter is not actually connected to any physical media.

Note By default, TCP/IP properties are configured to use DHCP.

Unattended installation

To install the Microsoft Loopback adapter, use the following sample Unattend.txt file as a model for your Unattend.txt file:

; Microsoft Loopback Adapter
ConnectionName ="MS Loopback Adapter"

; TCP/IP parameters
; Use parameter values specific to your network

; Adapter Specific TCP/IP parameters
; Use parameter values specific to your network



For more information, see the Windows XP Preinstallation Reference Help file in the Support\Tools\ folder on your Windows XP CD-ROM.

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
kbnetwork kbhowto KB839013
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