Yet another multiple NIC question


Mar 18, 2004
I'm having trouble setting up bridging in Win2k.
I've got 4 comps attached to a switch via 100mbps NICs, but 2 of them also have onboard gigabit controllers, and are connected to each other via crossover, as well as to the switch.
Basically, the giglan doesnt work if the pcs are also plugged into the switch via the 100mbps (gig runs at 100mbps through the switch when other NIC is disabled).
I've never tried setting up anything like this before, and any pointers, or ideas where to google would be very helpful.


Feb 2, 2004
I believe gigabit controllers have ports that auto-sense whether they are connecting to a straight port or a crossover port. When I plug my two gigabit NICs together with a normal cable (both are Linksys EG1032 v2) they communicate just fine.

I'd guess you need to not bridge the gigabit ports with the 100 megabit ports. Assign the gigabit cards static private IP addresses that are not in the same subnet as the rest of your network (like 10.1.1.x vs. 192.168.1.x), and plug them together. Then plug those two computers' 100 megabit ports to the 100 megabit switch. Disable Microsoft Networking Client for the 100 megabit cards unless you need the other two computers to be able to talk to them, it'll make it easier because there won't be a 100 megabit route through MS networking so you won't have to trust the computers to choose the gigabit route. Or when you access the computers through MS networking, you could use the alternative IP addresses (say you gave the gigabit NICs 10.1.1.x, access them by typing in '\\\stuffdir\mp3\' instead of '\\compname\stuffdir\mp3\')

My guess is that there is a network bridge set up between the gigabit and 100 megabit NICs, and since a bridge takes packets in and passes them through, it's impossible to have a bridge with gigabit on one side and 100 megabit on the other, and the computer is adjusting the speeds to compensate.

There's a more sure-fire, less complicated way too - buy a gigabit switch. (not hub, switch...) Then ignore the 100 megabit cards entirely, just plug two computers' gigabit ports in, and two computers' 100 megabit ports in. When the two high-speed PCs talk, they will talk at gigabit speed. When they talk to anything else, they will talk at 100 megabit speed.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by grafixmonkey on 03/22/04 00:18 AM.</EM></FONT></P>