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I have two windows servers each with two nics. They are both connected to a slow domain network and a fast workgroup network. But when I copy files, or ping from one to the other, it uses the slow domain network. How can I configure them to use the workgroup nic first?
The slower network has a default gateway, the faster one does not.
The default gateway is automatically assigned the lowest metric. After that the IP range for the faster network has the next lowest metric.

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    Right now your question isn't really possible to answer. A network diagram would help. It would help if you told us how IP addresses and subnets assigned. You should also consider explaining why you have two separate interfaces. Are they connected to different switches/VLANs, or what? – Zoredache Apr 20 '11 at 22:55
  • Like Zoredache said. If they're on different IP networks, your routing table will dictate what interface is used. – gravyface Apr 20 '11 at 23:09
  • @Zoredache I don't have enough rep to post an image. They are connected to different switches. The workgroup is 10GbE, has DHCP. The domain is 100Mb and has DHCP. – Josh Apr 20 '11 at 23:11
  • if you post the link the image, we'll edit it in to the post correctly. – Chris S Apr 21 '11 at 15:57
  • Network diagram - link – Josh Apr 21 '11 at 16:50
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Set the Metric on the network controllers; say 10 for the faster NICs and 20 for the slower. Windows should be doing this automatically if the NICs are faster/slower speeds. A network diagram would be really helpful as Zoredache mentioned.

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  • +1 . you should also show an example of using the route command, but +1 nonetheless :) – pepoluan Apr 20 '11 at 23:55
  • Is there a cache I need to clear to have the changes take effect? The names still resolve to the slower network after I add a default gateway for the faster one and set the metric lower – Josh Apr 21 '11 at 15:23
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It was the dns name resolution that was causing problems. Found the answer here: How to configure DNS on Windows with multiple NICs?

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If the only route out to the networks that the NICs are not directly connected to is via the slower link, because the default gateway is there, then that is the way the traffic will go. Why not just have the default gateway on the faster network then most of the traffic will go that way?

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  • The faster network is an isolated workgroup, while the slower one goes out to the internet. – Josh Apr 21 '11 at 15:13
  • Perhaps then you should just put a static route that points to the faster network for all the networks that you want them to send local traffic over for file transfers etc. A static route should (and does in routers & *nix, I am not 100% sure with Windows) always have a better metric than default or dynamically learnt routes. – blankabout Apr 21 '11 at 15:25

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