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Suggest I have two switches with two links to eachother, is there a way to manually set the non-designated port ? (apart from changing the speed on the port)

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Increase the cost metric on the port, instead of allowing it to be automatically set by the speed of the port. This will cause the port to be selected as alternate.

interface g0/0
 spantree cost 65535
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