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I just bought some consumer-grade McCheap PCI-E NICs (and this was a bad idea). They both have the same MAC address. When I google it, it seems like every card of that company has the same address: 00:50:43:00:45:3e.

Shouldn't they be unique?

According to lspci it's a Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 20). Is there a way to permanently flash a new address?

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If MAC is same, you should never bought such equipment.Try other manufacturer. – user106666 Oct 26 '12 at 19:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

ip link set address will let you change that mac. Depending on your distribution you can set this during boot. But make sure that these addresses are unique across your network.

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Yeah just change you MAC in software. There are only a finite number of MAC addresses in the world, this isn't super rare. I have seen it before. I don't agree, but how many MACs do you thing are on NICs in the bottom of land fills and skips! Cheeky but has to be done some times. – jwbensley Oct 26 '12 at 20:55
@javano What is it you do not agree to? – Nils Oct 27 '12 at 20:19
sorry I wasn't being clear enough. I meant "I don't agree that its always acceptable to just work around it in software changing the MAC in the OS, but at least it is a workaround" – jwbensley Oct 28 '12 at 16:10

The succinct answer as to why everybody who bought that card has the same MAC address is because the company who made it screwed up. Bad. I've heard of companies occasionally created a duplicate or two, or screwing up a batch of cards, but all of them? That's just horrible. Don't buy anything else from them.

MAC addresses are supposed to be unique, yes, and can sometimes be changed by flashing the NIC with a new one, but in this case, I don't see anyone who's figured out the procedure to do so for that particular card. It's supposed to be burned into ROM, so it's not a trivial procedure to do, generally.

So your best best is to use the command @Nils gave you on your Linux box, and if you put in a Windows machine, you'd want to change the Locally Administered Address, which you can find under the Client for Microsoft Networks.

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