I've been burned a few times by the Microsoft Loopback Adapter (MLA).  It's a nice idea to have a loopback adapter, but it appears to me that when a program asks Windows for an adapter (pick an adapter, any adapter) Windows either provides the loopback adapter as the default, or when a program asks for a list of adapters, the MLA is the first adapter in the list.

So what? There is lots of software out there that once it finds a connected adapter, it stops looking for better adapters.  Yeah, I know that isn't the fault of the MLA,  but here's the effect:

  • I've got a program that works well enough.
  • I enable the MLA.
  • Sometime later (maybe months later), I try to use the program again, and it fails.
  • The action I took that caused the problem was to enable the MLA.

Here are some programs that have failed after enabling the MLA:

  • Oracle database server
    • I forget the details.  It was months ago.
  • Belkin USB Network Hub (Model F5L009)
    • "Control Center" can't find the Belkin device.  The list comes up empty.