NIC Teaming on Windows 8.1 (really)

So there is a way to get NIC Teaming to work in Windows 8.1. WS2012 R2 has dead-easy way to team any two nics (effectively giving you 2 gigabit eithernet if the other end also has at least 2 gigabit capacity). And during the Windows 8 developer preview, Microsoft had forgotten to turn off NIC Teaming, so there are a ton of (outdated) articles explaining how to turn it on. The retail version of Win 8 did not ship with this feature, nor did the retail version of 8.1, not even Pro or Enterprise.

As it turns out, Intel includes NIC Teaming in the PRO version of all their Ethernet cards. Intel pretty much owns the server Ethernet card market so they’re both cheap and plentiful. The driver-level (as opposed to Microsoft’s OS-level NIC Teaming) teaming works between any two Intel PRO Ethernet cards (I think) and, more importantly, works on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (and more than likely, someday, Windows 9). For your convenience, Intel makes dual gigabit Ethernet cards for less than fifty bucks which is awfully nice of them. The new version runs about $150, but supports VT-c which is greatly improved for boxes hosting lots of virtual machines, it allows direct hardware pass-through to the VM improving performance and also power consumption/heat.

So how do you get this $50 wonder card to work with Windows 8.1? I’m glad you asked, someone wrote-up this how-to, and that’s what I’m here to share

To enable NIC Teaming in Windows 8.1

  1. Install the latest Windows 8.1 PROSet drivers.
  2. Under Network Connections, right-click on the first ethernet port of the Intel PRO/1000 PT card and click on the Configure button.
  3. Click on the Drivers tab.
  4. Click Update Driver.
  5. Click Browse my computer…
  6. Click the option – Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  7. Uncheck the Show compatible hardware box.
  8. Locate Intel in the left-hand box
  9. Locate the Intel (R) Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T2 option.
  10. Click Next until the process is complete.
  11. Repeat this on the secondary ethernet port.
  12. When done, right-click on the primary ethernet port again and click on theConfigure button.
  13. You should now see a tab called Teaming.

You can create a new team from the two ethernet ports via this tab.

 

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7 Responses to NIC Teaming on Windows 8.1 (really)

  1. Steve says:

    Hi, how did you install the ProSet drivers? It won’t allow me to install them on 8.1. Cheers!

  2. Antoinette says:

    Finally i quit my day job, now i earn decent money
    on-line you should try too, just type in google – bluehand roulette system

  3. Timothy says:

    I had the issue also where it says in windows 8.1 that it could not install because there was not any intel hardware. The resolution i found was to update the driver in device manager for both intel nics drivers on the dual pt server adapter from windows updates then the intel proset package recognized them and installed after that.

  4. drSHLEFF says:

    Thank you. I have successfully created a team, but a new network adapter (Team #0) is Disabled and turn it on impossible. In the Setting tab of the team adapter in front of each network card in the Status column indicate: Unknown. Status –> Unknown((
    How to fix this issue?

  5. Erick says:

    hi, thanks so much for this blog! but i also just ran into the same problem drSHLEFF has.

    Did you get to fix this issue?

  6. Masa says:

    Hi,Erick.
    I’m writing from Japan.

    I have same trouble,too.
    But,I found found the solution.
    Flow URL:
    http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/689565-intel-quad-gig-nic-teaming-intel-server-adaptor-l340-t4-hp-procurve-1810-24g

    Try after uninstall VirtualBOX,install Proset and set team#0.
    Good Luck!

  7. Tobias says:

    @Steve and Timothy, i had the exact same Problem with a PRO/1000 Quad Server Adapter, installation of PROSet didn’t work, but i finally fixed it.
    You just have to install Intel (R) Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T2 driver for one of the ports BEFORE installing PROSet Drivers.

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