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Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

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  • Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.


    First of all I am so, so sorry if this has been asked before and I would greatly appreatiate it if somebody would direct me into the correct forum thread where the question was asked and aswered.
    But as it is, I have searched through the forum for a while and I couldn't find the "correct" question or answer that I have been looking for.

    ..onto the quesition, but first I have some background to tell in order to clear a few things out:

    Next week I am having an exam. This exam will last for the whole week where on Monday I will write a plan of what to do the other four days.
    On Tuesday (or monday if there is time) I will begin the exercise.

    The exam is about Computers (obviously), but I don't know what it will be about in detail. All I know is what I've heard from previous participants. The exam is changed all the time though, so what I am about to write next is based on fact I have heard and the average exam content I've collected from these facts.

    Setup a server. - I am going to use Windows Server 2003 as this is what I have available.
    Setup two clients. - I am going to use Windows XP for this.
    Clients must not be able to see each other. - I was originally planning on setting up VLans, but we didn't have any switches with vlan support available. So now the only other option I can think of is to use two network cards.

    This is basically the information that you need in order to understand some of the history behind this post.

    I got to know of only yesterday, and I have learned very much about Server 2003 during that one day.
    You may wonder, and I will answer: I have never used Windows Server 2003 before.

    Because of the exam I am going to have next week, I feel very stressed about this stuff. And I would really like to learn as much as possible during the time I have left. Initially, any type of help is allowed during the exam, so I may just about visit from time to time next week and ask questions (or give Bill Gates a call, hahaha. (and that was a joke)).

    Anyway, you are probably confused now. I'll have to read this through and edit it later.. probably.

    But my questions are (finally):

    * I don't have access to a switch with VLan support, so I was thinking that maybe I could use a server with two network cards to separate the two clients. Or is there a different "easier" way than this?
    * How would I setup DNS/AD and DHCP so that it will accept the two separate networks but still store the information on the same location? Will I have to set it up just like I would with one network card (I learned that from this website ) two times, one time on each card. or is there some other way?

    Thank you for your time reading this, and again if this HAS been asked before, then I am really sorry but I couldn't find it.

    Sincerely, Lukas W.

  • #2
    Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

    I think... waaay too complicated. Let's just keep things nice and simple: One server, one switch, no vlan required, one NIC on each machine, two XP computers.

    That way, your brain does not explode with thinking about too much stuff.

    The XP computers will not be able to "see" each other's resources (files, folders, printers) if you do not turn on any file or printer sharing. If that is what you mean by "see".

    They may well be able to ping each other, so can you define precisely what "see" means in this context?

    The XP computers will only be able to access the server's resources. And, you setup two user accounts on the server and have the XP computers log onto the domain (I presume you will promote the Server2003 to a domain controller? The wizard makes it easy). Consequently, the XP computers have no user rights over each other (unless you configure them to do so). DHCP and DNS will need no complex setup - just plain simple settings, no problem.

    So, in case I am missing something, can you clarify why you would think about VLan or 2 NICs ?
    Best wishes,
    MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008


    • #3
      Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

      First of, yes I am promoting it to a domain controller.

      I don't know how much in detail the exam goes, for example if it is valid for the computers to ping eachother. But I am guessing that they should not have permission to Remotely log on, access any of the drives, or even send messages to one another. I guess this is what i mean by "see".

      So Paul, you are saying that this will be possible with only one NIC (on the server) and one switch?
      I guess it makes sense, I just need to setup Permissions and stuff.

      My reason for suggesting a vlan was because of my own experience with it.
      For example when I was going to ghost a computer on a different vlan than the ghost server, it wasn't possible.
      So I made a guess that by using vlans I would prevent the computers from "seeing" eachother.

      And a friend told me about the idea to be using two Network cards on the server and two switches (one for each company/clients), but I guess he's never tried it out as he didn't know how to set it up.

      Anyway, thanks for the feedback.


      • #4
        Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

        Yes, I am suggesting that you do not need 2 NICs. Make sure you do not enable file or print sharing on the XP PCs. Make sure the windows firewall is setup as default on the client XP PCs. That way, you are producing a valid "textbook" setup with no extra complications to deal with and it'll be as secure as reasonably possible. I believe that within those parameters, you can safely say that the two computers cannot SEE each other.

        Imagine if your friend was right and you did have to use 2 NICs and two switches - how would a company with 20 PCs work? 20 NICs in each server? 20 switches? Definitely not. And, this company would certainly not want private info on the MD's computer visible from any other XP box on the LAN, so no, you don't need multipe NICs and Microsoft have a perfectly simple way to setup client XP boxes without any of them being able to see each other.

        I too am a big fan of VLANs, also I am a big fan of keeping things simple. MS stuff actualy works very well out of the box, with no need for much in the way of "extras" or wierd configurations.

        The very best of luck to you in the exam - hope it goes well, and don't get too stressed! Keep it simple, you'll be fine.
        Best wishes,
        MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008


        • #5
          Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

          Thank you very much Paul, I feel more confident now.

          There are just a few more things that I have to experiment with before I can feel that I actually have a chance of passing.

          When I have looked through these things I certainly hope that the exam is nothing more than what I've been through these days.

          I have never installed a server before, neither setting up all the "modules" for the server.
          But I have used a windows server 2003, and know quite a lot about AD, Ghost and other simple stuff, like log on scripts.
          So once I get the network up and running my instinct will hopefully handle the rest.

          And then there was the documentation part.
          How do I write a documentation about this stuff? (only joking haha).

          Thanks again.


          • #6
            Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

            Golden rule of thumb for you with Server 2003:

            Use the wizards provided by "Manage Your Server"

            No need to setup anything by hand, the wizards are very good at taking care of things. So, look through the "Add or Remove a Role" part of "Manage your server" (click Start and it's there at the top). Using these wizards, you can even make a plain ordinary server into a Domain Controller without doing anything by hand! Neat. Also helps prevent mistakes.
            Best wishes,
            MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008


            • #7
              Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

              Hi Noid,
              I don't know if you'll have time or if it might just be too much at this stage but you can download a trial version of Microsoft Server 2003 and play around with it.
              Maybe installing it might help you see what you are in for. It is pretty straight forward really and very similar to any Windows install.
              I don't know anything about (you or your) computers.
              Research/test for yourself when listening to free advice.


              • #8
                Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

                Thanks for the tip, but unfortunately (or fortunately) during the weekend I brought three computers with me home and practiced setting up the server and clients, using a valid Standard Edition of Server 2003 (I was allowed to bring equipment home from school/work and practice with it).

                I have my exam now (since monday) and so far, so good

                I would just like to point out that in the exam task it says:
                "The server must have internet connection, two networks that are not able to see eachother (again here is 'see' but there is no definition of what 'see' is) and one of the two networks must have internet access. It must also be possible to access the system from anywhere in the world."
                (very short summary, the exam task is about two pages long :S )

                What I did to solve this: (remember, I don't have any switch with VLan support, so I had to do it this way)
                * Setup a server with three network cards.
                * NIC1 = Internet Connection
                * NIC2 = Open Network (Should have internet connection, but I haven't figured out how to route it through NIC1 yet)
                * NIC3 = Closed Network (Does not have internet connection)

                And, I have some new questions (I didn't want to start a new thread for this):

                Q1) Would it be possible to use Remote Desktop to "access the system from anywhere in the world"? If so, could somebody link me to a "how to" page? :/

                Q2) How would I go about routing NIC2 through NIC1 so that computers connected to NIC2 will get internet connection?

                I haven't had time to look at Q1 properly yet, so the main reason I'm posting is because I needed an answer to Q2. But I figured why not ask about Q1 at the same time?

                after a quick search I found an article on how to install rdp web connection [link].
                This is not my main priority at the moment though, but I will have a look at this when I get time.
                Sorry for asking without looking first :/

                By the way:
                For Q2, I think I will need to give more information:

                The server is setup in my school where it is connected to the school network.
                So in order for my server to connect to the internet, I have given it an IP of (250 is not in the DHCP scope on this vlan).
                That IP adress then is routed to our main server, which is then routed somewhere else (I don't know where) and then translated to the ISP IP Adress.. probably.

                So on my exam network, the routing will be:
                Local (192.168.0.x) -> NIC2 on Local Server ( -> NIC1 on Local Server ( -> School Server ( -> Don't know where (IP adress unknown).
                Last edited by n0id; 8th August 2007, 12:10.


                • #9
                  Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

                  Hi Noid,
                  This sounds like a pretty involved test; they want you to build a pretty complex scenario, some sort of DMZ configuration by the looks of it.

                  Question 1: You seem to have what you need but the basics of Remote Desktop and doing it Over the HTTP might help.

                  Question 2:You will have to enable Routing and Remote Access and set up Static Routes between the two network cards/interfaces.
                  You may want to set the default gateway/default route as the IP of the Schools Server on the Internet facing nic. (If I understand the network layout)
                  Next you'll have to configure some sort of redirect from the School Server or the School Router whatever device has the external IP address(es). This redirect may have to go through a few of the school subnets/networks/routers and may need additional configuration along the way all depending on the setup there. This redirect should route traffic to the port you configured for Question 1 so that external users/admins can actually connect to what you've configured.

                  Can I ask is this an internal exam or?
                  I don't know anything about (you or your) computers.
                  Research/test for yourself when listening to free advice.


                  • #10
                    Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

                    Hi, sorry for bringing an old topic back to life, but I feel that I should give the solution to this. Atleast the solution that I have found after I failed the exam miserably.

                    After I failed the exam, I started to practise even more and I learned very many things about Server 2003. As I said in my first post (or maybe I didn't) I had only been using Windows Server 2003 for a week, while I had two years to prepare myself. haha. Well anyway, It's been a month now or so, and yesterday I started with the new exam.

                    I'm not posting because I need help, I think I can manage myself this time, as I know loads more than what I did back when I first started this topic.

                    Your tip helped me to get in the right direction, but unfortunately I was to late to implement it into the system back then.
                    Also, I had no clue what you were talking about
                    Now that I understand how it is accomplished, your post make so much more sense to me.

                    Can I ask is this an internal exam or?
                    What did you mean?
                    It is an exam to see if I am qualified to become a computer administrator.
                    I've been studying ICT one year in school, and been working here at this school as a computer administrator trainee for two years.
                    After these two years, an exam is made to see if I am qualified to "start working".

                    Anyway, here is the solution that I came up with after the exam was over, and I had practised using the server 2003 OS for some weeks:

                    NIC 1 is connected to the school LAN / Internet.
                    NIC 1 have static IP adress that match the schools LAN. (This way the server have access to the internet)

                    The School LAN that I am/was hooked up to was "10.4.103.X" and so I gave NIC1 the IP:

                    NIC 2, and its lan, must have access to internet as well.
                    This is done by installing Routing and Remote Access on the server with NAT properties (using the wizard).
                    In Static Routes, I added a new route:
                    Interface: NIC 2
                    Destination (the lan that NIC 1 is connected to / school lan)
                    Subnet Mask:
                    Gateway: (the ip adress of NIC 1)

                    NIC 2 will now have access to internet.

                    In the task, I was supposed to make the two lans (NIC 2 lan, and NIC 3 lan) unable to "see" eachother. (The definition of "see" is "not being able to connect to".)

                    So what I have done here is setup the server with a DNS of "". This is the IP adress of NIC 3.
                    NIC 2 clients will have "" as the router as the option in its DHCP scope.
                    This will cause NIC 2 to only access LAN and LAN 10.4.103.X / Internet.
                    While NIC 3 will only have access to LAN

                    I'm not sure if I got all information down properly, and in order, But at least the theory is here.

                    So thanks everyone for the support I got.
                    This week, as I said I have the exam again, I will OWN the exam!
                    (It is not the same task obviously).

                    I'll let you know what happens by the end of the week

                    If somebody is reading this that have the same problem I had, contact me (post here) and I'll be happy to apply a full tutorial of how to "make two lans unable to see eachoter" and how to "connect to the internet through a different nic".
                    Obviously it would have to be some time next week.
                    Last edited by n0id; 18th September 2007, 12:29.


                    • #11
                      Re: Help - Setting up Windows Server 2003 with two network cards.

                      Good luck with it.
                      I don't know anything about (you or your) computers.
                      Research/test for yourself when listening to free advice.