Moving DHCP to a different server

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Hi All,
I have an ageing Windows 2003 server which is providing DHCP which needs decomissioning.  I wish to move DHCP to a Windows 2008 R2 server.  The Windows 2008 server already has DHCP configured and is providing half the scope already the Windows 2003 server provides the other half.  The network is one subnet is it as simple as turn off dhcp on the Windows 2003 box and let the clinets get the IP from the remaining 2008 box once the lease exspires?

The 2003 box is also a DNS and DC server if that is relevent but those services are for another day.

The 2008 R2 box is a DC and DNS server


John H.
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Firmin FrederickSenior IT Consultant
I'd go with yes with just turn off, it may take a little bit of time for clients to redirect to your 2008 box but remember you may need to add another DHCP range in your 2008 scope to account for the addresses your 2003 used to issue out.
Yes turn off DHCP service from OLD server and ones lease get over clients will connect to new server and get the IP.
TimotiStDatacenter Technician
Top Expert 2012
The official microsoft way usually advises to move the DHCP database from one server to the other, but it's kind of a black-magic and for a small network like that, it's completely unnecessary.
If you had some reservations on the 2003 server, make sure to create them on the 2008 too.

Senior Solutions Architect
Do you have any DHCP reservations configured?
If yes, then rather move the database...
otherwise I agree, you can simply switch off the other server.
Although I would suggest the following process to reduce the risk:

1. Reduce the DHCP lease duration on the Windows 2003 server. 2 or 3 days would be enough.
2. Deactivate the scope and unauthorize the DHCP server on Windows 2003.
3. DCPROMO the Windows 2003 server.

I would also like to added that Importing and exporting your DHCP database is not a difficult task. 

Regarding the DNS move, you don't need to do anything if your DNS Zones are Active Directory-integrated as the database is then stored in AD and will copy to the configured DNS servers on your DC's.

Just be sure to cleanup your DHCP scopes to remove references to the Windows 2003 DC.
e.g. Primary WINS, DNS server settings

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