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I'm wanting to directly connect two machines, both running Windows 7. I'm wondering whether I will need a cross-over cable for this or not. As I understand it, I will need one unless both machines support Auto-MDIX.

What I don't know is whether Auto-MDIX is a function of the NIC, the O/S, or both. Can anyone tell me in advance whether this will work without a cross-over cable?

I'm at work and the machines are at home. Just trying to determine whether I should buy a cross-over cable today in order to progress with my project tonight.

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its a function of the NiC, and yes youll need one in this instance if its not supported – Sirex Sep 9 '10 at 10:04
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Most modern NIC's don't need cross-over cables, since they use auto sensing to find out which cable you plugged in. So use a cross-over or a normal cat5 or cat6 cable, either way you should be good.

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OK, I'll risk it and hope that it works. Thanks. – Kent Boogaart Sep 9 '10 at 8:44
@Kent Boogart: There is nothing to risk. Even if it did not auto-sense (which it most probably will), all that would happen is that it would not work. – paradroid Sep 9 '10 at 8:51
@jason404: I am in a rush, so I risk losing a night's work ;) I might have to resort to MaGuyver'ing a cross-over cable if a straight doesn't work. – Kent Boogaart Sep 9 '10 at 8:59

Auto-MDIX is a function of the NIC. It's a required part of gigabit, so you're guaranteed to have it there. If 10/100, you may or may not have it depending on the vendor. Note that gigabit technically requires cat5e or better. Regular cat5 doesn't meet specs (but will typically work anyways if the run is short enough).

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Ahah! thanks. I couldn't see any confirmation that all gigabit cards have auto-mdix, and the gigabit cards I saw didn't specify. This is useful. – isaaclw Jan 9 '14 at 20:43

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