Issues related to Intel® Wireless Adapters and technologies
The Intel sign-in experience has changed to support enhanced security controls. If you sign in, click here for more information.
6551 Discussions

Windows 10 Creators Update 1703, Intel driver "isn't compatible"


My system motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-X99-Designare EX Rev 1.0. My system device manager cites the following Intel devices as installed:

Dual Band Wireless AC 8260

Ethernet Connection (2) I218-V

I211 Gigabit Network Connection

Trying to update Windows 10 Pro x64 version "1607" to "Creators Update 1703". I have attempted this update repeatedly in a variety of ways: via Windows Update, via an update 1703-specific installer, and via an ISO-based installer.

In every instance, I end up with some form of popup that carries an error message:

"Intel Ethernet driver NETwtw04.sys plus 16 cores present on device

Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10."

I am prompted to uninstall this manually, and "refresh".

I have updated all my Intel networking software to what appears to be the latest/greatest, via the "Intel Driver Update Utility v2.8.2" (which installed wireless driver, bluetooth driver, and something Intel calls the "Intel Network Connection Install Wizard" (which installed ethernet/gigabit driver All of these versions are listed as "latest" on the various relevant Intel driver support/download pages.

There is no change, the problem persists.

Posted this problem on the Windows 10 support forums. Someone responded and asked that I inquire with Intel... so here I am.

This appears to be a show-stopping incompatibility as far as Creators Update 1703 is concerned. I can't proceed with that Windows update, and while it is hard to imagine I am the only person having this problem, I can't find anything definitive about this on the web.

Any help would be appreciated. If this is actually a Windows problem, I need to know in detail what Intel's view of the problem is so I can follow up with that on the Windows forum.


0 Kudos
7 Replies

Hello acapela,



We understand that you're receving an error message while trying to upgrade to the latest Windows® 10 Build. Please keep in mind that the error message you're receiving points towards an issue with your ethernet controller driver, not your wireless. Based on this, you may also want to post to our /community/tech/wired Wired Ethernet Support Community. However, we can still provide some wireless troubleshooting steps just in case.



The first thing we can suggest will be to download and replace our generic drivers with the latest system specific versions provided by your motherboard manufacturer:



- http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-X99-Designare-EX-rev-10# support-dl Downloads for GA-X99-Designare EX* - Under LAN, and WLAN+BT.



You may also want to make sure that you're on the latest BIOS release while you're here.



NOTE: Any links provided for third party tools or sites are offered for your convenience and should not be viewed as an endorsement by Intel® of the content, products, or services offered there. We do not offer support for any third party tool mentioned here.



Once you've downloaded, but not installed, these packages, you may use our clean installation method:



1. Under Programs and Features in the Control Panel, uninstall any instance of the "Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software." When prompted, choose to "discard settings."


2. Go to the Device Manager > Network Adapters > Right click on your Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 and uninstall it. Make sure to select the option to "Delete the driver software for this device."


2. Your Bluetooth drivers are found under Device Manager > Bluetooth* > Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth(R).


3. Clear out your temporary files: Press the Windows* Key + R to open the run box. Type Cleanmgr.exe and press OK. Here you will need to make sure Temporary Files are checked, you may uncheck everything else, then press OK.


4. Install the drivers from your motherboard manufacturer.



Do let us know if this helps.



Best regards,


Carlos A.

This did not help. The most recent drivers from my motherboard manufacturer (I have a Gigabyte GA-X99-Designare EX (rev. 1.0) motherboard) are dated mid-2016 (i.e. about a year old).

Posted this problem with Gigabyte technical support. No response (been about a week).

So, my current situation: intractable driver incompatibility, can't update Windows 10 (and additional Windows 10 updates are now backing up behind Creators Update 1703), and none of Microsoft, Intel, or Gigabyte is prepared to address this problem.

Very unfortunate.


Hello acapela,

Based on your error, I can recommend for you to post to our /community/tech/wired Wired Ethernet Support Community. Or for a more personal interaction, you may also contact ourhttps://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support.html support team for assistance.

"Intel Ethernet driver NETwtw04.sys plus 16 cores present on device


Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10."



Keeping in mind that your error is outside of my area of support, you may try the following:

1. Uninstall the suspected drivers from device manager. Windows* will then install their generic drivers automatically to fill in.


2. Run the Update.


3. If the update completes successfully, re-install our latest drivers afterwards. (https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005634.html wireless, https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/22283/Intel-Ethernet-Adapter-Connections-CD wired)

I'm suggesting this because I'm aware that our latest wireless drivers are Creators Update certified, and as far as I understand, so are our 22.3+ Ethernet drivers.

We hope this information helps.

Best regards,


Carlos A.

Intel Ethernet driver NETwtw04.sys supplied by 16251 is the wrong file for a Wireless-AC 8260 adapter.

Intel's latest 8260 driver download supplies NETwtw06.sys and NETwtw06.dat instead. Windows Update 16251 changed drivers to its older, incorrect NETwtw04.sys and NETwtw04.dat files.



For me, these had earlier caused green screen crashes citing NETwtw04.sys SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED.



They had also broken Window Update itself with "We couldn't uninstall these apps ... Intel Ethernet driver NETwtw04.sys plus 16 cores present on device" until I used the control panel to "uninstall and delete" the device and its older driver software while using a cabled connection.

After 16251 completed I was able to select Intel's installation from a list of appropriate drivers.

Note that the error calling this an "Intel Ethernet driver" obscures the fact that it is indeed for a wireless adapter.


The company that build my system (Puget Systems; Auburn, WA USA) appears to have identified a workaround to this problem. They have documented the workaround in a "help" article posted on their website:


Recap: Windows 10 Creators Update 1703 would not install on my Intel X99-based system, which uses a Gigabyte GA-X99-Designare EX (rev. 1.0) motherboard, with the following error message generated during installation:

"Intel Ethernet driver NETwtw04.sys plus 16 cores present on device

Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10."

A potential source of confusion: my processor only has 10 cores to begin with, so the notion that 16 cores is some sort of magic maximum is mistaken. Out of an abundance of caution, I reduced my system to 6 cores (out of 10).

1) followed the instructions in the online help article:

installed Intel Wireless driver v19.70.0 ("vanilla" version from Intel)

did nothing to the bluetooth driver

disabled 4 cores (to run on the remaining 6 cores)

Windows 10 Creators Update 1703 installed without controversy

this constitutes "success", with the original problem

2) "restored" the system:

re-installed the Gigabye wireless and bluetooth drivers

re-enabled my 4 cores (back to the phystical total of 10)

re-started Windows 10

Windows 10 immediately blue-screened, on startup, with the following error:


What failed: Netwtw04.sys

3) restarted again, system was stable for perhaps 60 seconds, then blue-screened again, with an identical error

4) "troubleshot" system, making incremental changes until stability was achieved

disabled 1 core (to run on the remaining 9 cores)

installed Intel Wireless driver v19.70.0 ("vanilla" version from Intel)

re-enabled my 1 core (back to the phystical total of 10)

system appears stable (has not crashed since, will update with more troubleshooting if it does crash)

Of note: there is that pesky file again, Netwtw04.sys... this is perhaps why Windows 10 Creators Update 1703 was refusing to install, Microsoft knew something we did not, but they were clumsy/not-very-informative about it. I am going to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt.

This would seem to isolate the version of the wireless networking driver provided for use with this motherboard by the motherboard manufacturer, Gigabyte.

Conclusion: Something about Gigabyte's (Intel) wireless networking driver is not compatible with Windows 10 Creators Update 1703. The driver supplied by Gigabyte is an older version of the driver. Somewhat mysterious is the fact that installing v19.70.0 direct from Intel did not rectify this problem, can't explain this.

Note to Intel: I never touched any of the "wired" driver components in the course of applying this workaround. The problem would seem to be in the wireless driver after all, albeit not the latest/greatest version of that driver from Intel.

Endless and profuse thanks to Puget Systems for tackling this. They really went the extra mile.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for your reply. This begins to make sense.

Installing Intel v19.70.0 under Windows 1607 (i.e. pre Creators Update 1703) did not successfully get rid of NETwtw04.sys, which prevented Creators Update 1703 from proceeding.

Reducing the number of processor cores worked around the NETwtw04.sys SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED problem, which Creators Update 1703 knew would be there, so Creators Update 1703 could proceed, delete NETwtw04.sys, and finish updating successfully.

Re-installing the faulty/dated Gigabyte driver under Creators Update 1703 re-introduced the problem. Replacing this with v19.70.0 (again) cleared the problem.

Anyway, both Windows 10 Creators Update 1703 and Intel v19.70.0 seem happy together, on a full manifest of 10 cores (for my particular model of processor). Apparently I had to get Creators Update 1703 to complete first though, by disabling cores.


Hello acapela, scottaswenson,



Thank you for sharing your troubleshooting information and the workaround that finally resolved the issue. I'm sure other users running into this unhelpful error message will appreciate it as well.



If there's anything else we can help you with, please don't hessitate to contact us again.



Best regards,


Carlos A.