Recently I’ve wanted to change a network connection name to one that previously existed, but was prevented from doing it due to the device still being present somewhere in the registery. To do this you need to see the hidden, non-present device in the device manager.
1) Run command prompt with administrator privilege.
2) type “set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1”
3) type “start devmgmt.msc” to start device manager MMC snap-in.
4) Click “Show hidden devices” on the View menu in Device Managers, open network adapters. The non-present devices will be greyed out.
5) remove the old NIC form network adapters category.
6) You can now rename the Network Adapters to the previous names.