Ekahau ESS, Windows 8.1, VMware and NIC-300 USB

I run Windows 8.1 in VMware Fusion on a MacBook Pro.

Recently made the switch from AirMagnet to Ekahau ESS, I was distraught to discover that on first run after installation Ekahau ESS was not detecting my NIC-300 USB adaptor.

Ekahau no adaptor

device manager

Windows Device Manager acknowledged the adaptor, even claiming the device was working properly.

The behavior of the NIC-300 USB was unusual, the LED was constantly on when inserted, after a few minutes the LED would go off and stay off.

I fought with this for a good few hours believing it to be driver related…

It turned out not to be a driver issue, when I plugged the NIC-300 USB adaptor into my Mac, VMware identified it as a USB 2.0 WLAN device.

USB 2.0 device

This issue was resolved by manually setting the USB compatibility from USB 3.0 (default) to USB 2.0.

USB 2.0 setting

As soon as this setting was changed, when inserted, the adaptor LED flashed in a reassuring way and Ekahau ESS instantly reported the presence of the adaptor.

adaptor working

I hope this post has been of use!

When struggling with this I searched Google for a good few hours with strings such as :

10 thoughts on “Ekahau ESS, Windows 8.1, VMware and NIC-300 USB

  1. Frank

    Thanks for writing this up, I was in a very similar scenario. Found this, and it fixed my issue.


  2. romain

    I had exactly this issue and all my colleagues looking for mac failures had a good occasion to tell me “ok, you’re using a mac, what do you expect ;)”… now it’s fixed. For your info, I opened a ticket at ekahau and they are aware of this very useful post. May them fix the issue, I will put a comment ! thanks a lot for the fix, I was looking for many solutions but didn’t think of that tricky one 🙂


    1. Hello Romain, you are very welcome! I am very happy to hear that this helped you out.
      Thank you for the feedback.


  3. Hi,
    I have the same issue with Win8.1, any suggestion?



    1. Hello, the USB NIC is recognised within Windows, yes?
      Under VMware options have you selected USB 2.0 compatibility.


      1. Hi,
        I’ve found the solution:
        from a cmd executed as administrator I’ve started ekaprot6 service:
        net start ekaprot6
        So, I’ve restarted Ekahau Site Survey and now every NIC 300 is detected.

        Thank you



      2. Excellent to hear!
        Thank you for replying with your findings, fingers crossed this will help others if they come across the same issue.


  4. Bob Bagheri

    I have the same problem with Win7, HP EliteBook. Looks good in Windows, Ekahau support checked remotely, I disabled McAfee, and still nothing. When I launch ESS, I don’t see the NIC-300’s. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


    1. Hello Bob,
      Which version of Ekahau are you running?
      Is it a fresh install, or an upgraded version?


      1. Bob Bagheri

        8.5.2. I also removed and re-installed the drivers from the actual local drive\folder. Still no luck.



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