Windows Server 2003 R2 Domain Controller NIC replacement

Posted on 2007-08-02
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hello, first I just wanted to say that I have seen the other similar articles on this website but I have some more detailed questions.

I have a Windows Server 2003 R2 Domain controller which is the only DC in the domain.  This server also provides the following services: DHCP, DNS, and WINS.  The current network card for this server is the onboard card which is a 10/100 card.  I am going to be permanently disabling this card in the BIOS and putting in a PCI Gigabit network card because I am upgrading my network to Gb.  I have checked all over the web including the Microsoft website and cant seem to find out what the steps should be.

I would humbly like to ask the following:
What are the correct steps are to replace the NIC?
In the other articles regarding similiar questions to mine, no one mentioned stopping any services, with the services my server provides shouldn't I be doing this before the NIC change?
Does Windows/DHCP/DNS/Active Directory associate the NIC with anything other than IP (for example: MAC address, Hardware ID, etc)?
Do you have any links with any further information or that would be a helpful reference?

Thanks in advance,

Question by:tryferos
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    You don't need to stop any services because I believe you would have your server switched off (!!) when replacing the NIC.

    Do not disable the old NIC just yet. Install and configure the new NIC giving it a new IP. Swap the network cable over to the new NIC and test if it is working properly. You can either change all records pointing to the old NIC to this new NIC (i.e. DNS, WINS, etc) or give the old IP address to the new NIC.

    If you decided to use the existing IP address, then you have to disable the old NIC and remove its DNS record, also make sure you update your DHCP if you have any reserved IP for the old NIC (using its MAC address). GIve the IP to the new NIC and restart the server.

    Check if you can ping clients from the server and visa versa (by using both names and IPs). You probably need to flush the DNS cache for all clients. Command is "ipconfig /flushdns" and run it on each client.

    It shouldn't take more than 30 mins so it is kind of a smal job :)
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    The first step is to use Device Manager to remove the existing device - if you don't and just disable it then it will retain the IP and when you try and set the same IP on the new card Windows will object because there is already a device (all be it diabled) that has that IP.

    You then need to power down the server, re-boot and enter the BIOS, diable the on-board NIC in the BIOS, save the BIOS changes and power down.

    You then need to install the new NIC and boot into windows - you may get a 'At least one device failed to load' message and it may take a while to boot the first time. If necessary - and it probably will be - install the new drivers for the new NIC. You can then assign the TCP/IP settings.

    At this point it is best to re-boot the machine again so that the services that failed to load because a network card was not present can now do so.

    Its then just a matter of checking all is well.

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