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One dual-boot PC: 2 NIC cards = "illusion" of 2 PC's?

Last response: in Networking
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November 28, 2011 4:40:15 AM

I have a PC that dual-boots between Vista Ultimate x64 and Win7 Ultimate x64. From a networking perspective, would adding a second NIC card to my PC, and then configuring Vista to use one of them, and 7 to use the other, give the "illusion" of each OS belonging to a unique PC? I realize this sounds goofy and is likely an over-simplification. I'm far from understanding the core principles of networking.

My reasoning is that each OS, while being housed on the same physical PC, will technically "report" a unique and separate MAC address - not only to my Netgear WNDR3700 router (which will finally solve the problem of setting up port-forwarding for the same service on separate OS's), but to an application like SugarSync, which I use to sync folders and files across multiple devices (SugarSync's servers will see each OS I run as a separate PC with its own unique NIC MAC address) - and, as such, each OS can have a different computer name, which will allow simplified port-forwarding-rule creations in my router's admin section, not to mention running SugarSync on each OS w/o there being syncing conflicts with certain folders.

My main desire to see if this would even work comes from the fact that each OS I run - while existing on the same PC - would have the same user-profile-folder locations. In other words, the "My Documents" folder for each OS would technically be located at the same address ("C:\<user-profile-name>\My Documents"), but the contents of said folders would be different. This would (presumably) cause SugarSync to over-write the contents of Vista's "My Documents" folder whenever I logged into Win7, and vice-versa.

Again, I suspect I'm way over-simplifying things with this theory, so try not to laugh too hard if I'm spewing nothing but malarkey here. Of course, I suppose one major caveat of this proposed solution would be that my ISP wouldn't allow an internet connection on one of the OS's, as they almost always allow just one MAC address per account when using the NIC MAC as the identifier. If they used the router's MAC as the identifier, I suppose there wouldn't be an issue there. BTW - SugarSync customer support didn't have much to say about running their service on both OS's in a dual-boot system, except that it "might" work, but troubleshooting would be impossible if it didn't. Thanks in advance for any replies.
November 28, 2011 10:10:04 PM

It should work just fine. Just disable the other nic on each OS and you'll have your two computers with two different mac addresses.
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