When a device goes missing from the Device Manager, it means that either the BIOS or the operating system is not enumerating the device for some reason. Check for another device in Device Manager that may be the Ethernet controller, but not labeled as such. It may be called “Unknown Device” or “Network Controller.” If such a device exists, you can usually right-click on that device and click Update Driver, and the problem will resolve itself from there.
If there is nothing at all indicating the existence of the Ethernet device, then the device may have been disabled in the BIOS. If you have recently made changes in the BIOS, then this would be worth checking. It’s usually a reasonably obvious setting, such as “Enable onboard LAN” that has been unchecked. If you have not changed anything in the BIOS, check with your machine or mainboard manufacturer to make sure that you are using the most up to date version of the BIOS available.
If you have ruled out the above, you may be able to uninstall and reinstall the drivers for the device by following these steps:
- Download the latest Killer Control Center installer.
Windows 10 1803+, Killer E3100, Killer E3000, Killer E2600, Killer E2500, Killer E2400, Killer E2200, Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650, Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1675, Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX500, Killer Wireless-AC 1550, Killer Wireless-AC 1535, Killer Wireless-AC 1435, Killer Wireless-AC 1525, Killer Wireless-N 1202
- Right-click Start and click Apps and Features
- Find any “Killer” entry and uninstall it, including “Killer Drivers” or “Killer Performance Suite” or any variation.
- Restart the machine by clicking Start > Power > Restart
- Once the computer has booted back up, right-click start and click Device Manager
- Click View and click Show hidden devices
- Hopefully, the missing adapter will show up, albeit grayed out. Right click on it, and click Uninstall Device.
- Check the box for Delete the driver software for this device, if it exists, then click Uninstall.
- Click the light blue Scan for hardware changes icon at the top of Device Manager.
- If the adapter reappears, close the Device Manager and run the installer for the latest Killer Control Center. If it does not, restart the computer.
If the adapter still does not appear, then try updating all of the drivers available from your mainboard or machine manufacturer. The chipset driver is especially important. Uninstalling the most recent Windows Updates may also help, especially if you first noticed the issue after a Windows Update. Sometimes, uninstalling and reinstalling the Windows Update in question will result in a more successful outcome, with a working Ethernet adapter.
If none of the above does the trick, you may need to discharge the machine to reset the CMOS and force it to re-enumerate its devices. Click here for our guide on discharging your computer to clear the CMOS.