JSI Tip 7254. How do I to build and configure a new Windows Server 2003 DHCP server in a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory domain?

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Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q323360 contains:



This step-by-step article describes how to build and configure a new Windows Server 2003-based Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server in a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory domain. The Windows Server 2003-based DHCP service provides clients with IP addresses and information, such as the location of their default gateway, Domain Name System (DNS) servers, and Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) servers.

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Installing the DHCP Service

You can install DHCP either during or after the initial installation of Windows Server 2003, although there must be a working DNS server in the environment. To validate your DNS server, click Start, click Run , type cmd, press ENTER, type ping DNS server name, and then press ENTER. An unsuccessful reply generates an "Unknown Host My DNS server name" message.

To install the DHCP Service on an existing Windows Server 2003-based computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add or Remove Programs, and then click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  3. In the Windows Component Wizard, click Networking Services in the Components box, and then click Details.
  4. Click to select the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) check box if it is not already selected, and then click OK.
  5. In the Windows Components Wizard, click Next to start Windows Server 2003 Setup. Insert the Windows Server 2003 Advanced Server CD-ROM into your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so. Setup copies the DHCP server and tool files to your computer.
  6. When Setup is complete, click Finish.
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Configuring the DHCP Service

After you install and start the DHCP service, you must create a scope (a range of valid IP addresses that are available for lease to the DHCP clients). Each DHCP server in your environment should have at least one scope that does not overlap with any other DHCP server scope in your environment. In Windows Server 2003, DHCP servers in an Active Directory domain must be authorized to prevent rogue DHCP servers from coming online and authorizing a DHCP server.

When you install and configure the DHCP service on a domain controller, the server is typically authorized the first time that you add it to the DHCP console. However, when you install and configure the DHCP service on a member server or stand-alone server, you must authorize the DHCP server.

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Authorize a DHCP Server

  1. Click Start, click Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click DHCP.

    NOTE: You must be logged on to the server with an account that is a member of the Enterprise Administrators group.
  2. In the console tree of the DHCP snap-in, select the new DHCP server. If there is a red arrow in the lower-right corner of the server object, the server has not yet been authorized.
  3. Right-click the server, and then click Authorize.
  4. After a few moments, right-click the server again, and then click Refresh.

    There should be a green arrow in the lower-right corner to indicate that the server has been authorized.
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Create a New Scope

  1. Click Start, click Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DHCP.
  2. In the console tree, right-click the DHCP server on which you want to create the new DHCP scope, and then click New Scope.
  3. In the New Scope Wizard, click Next, and then type a name and description for the scope. This can be any name that you choose, but it should be descriptive enough to identify the purpose of the scope on your network. For example, you might use Administration Building Client Addresses. Click Next.
  4. Type the range of addresses that can be leased as part of this scope. For example, you might use a starting IP address of and an ending address of Because these addresses are given to clients, they should all be valid addresses for your network and not currently in use.
  5. The subnet mask is automatically generated. If you want to use a different subnet mask, type the new subnet mask. Click Next. For additional information how to configure subnets in Windows Server 2003 Active Directory, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    323349 Configure Subnets in Windows Server 2003 Active Directory

  6. Type any IP addresses that you want to exclude from the range that you entered. This includes any addresses that may have already been statically assigned to various computers in your organization. Click Next.
  7. Type the number of days, hours, and minutes before an IP address lease from this scope expires. This determines the length of time that a client can hold a leased address without renewing it. Click Next.
  8. Click Yes, I want to configure these options now, and then click Next if you want to extend the wizard to configure settings for the most common DHCP options.
  9. Type the IP address for the default gateway that should be used by clients that obtain an IP address from this scope. Click Add to add the default gateway address to the list, and then click Next.
  10. If DNS servers already exist on your network, type your organization's domain name in the Parent domain box. Type the name of your DNS server, and then click Resolve to make sure that your DHCP server can contact the DNS server and determine its address. Then, click Add to include that server in the list of DNS servers that are assigned to the DHCP clients. Click Next.
  11. In the WINS Servers dialog box, type the server name and server IP addresses for your WINS server if you are using WINS. Click Next.
  12. Click Yes, I want to activate this scope now to activate the scope and allow clients to obtain leases from it. Click Next, and then click Finish.
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  • Clients cannot obtain an IP address:

    If a DHCP client does not have a configured IP address, it generally means that the client has not been able to contact a DHCP server. This is either because of a network problem or because the DHCP server is unavailable. If the DHCP server has started and other clients have been able to obtain a valid address, verify that the client has a valid network connection and that all related client hardware devices (including cables and network adapters) are working properly.
  • The DHCP server is unavailable :

    When a DHCP server does not provide leased addresses to clients, it is frequently because the DHCP service has not started. If this is the case, the server may not have been authorized to operate on the network. If you were previously able to start the DHCP service, but it has since stopped, use event viewer to check the system log for any entries that may explain the cause.

    NOTE: To restart the DHCP service, follow these steps: ECHO is off.
    1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd , and then press ENTER.
    2. Type net stop dhcpserver, and then press ENTER.
    3. Type net start dhcpserver, and then press ENTER.
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For additional information about TCP/IP addresses and configuring a subnet, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

142863 Valid IP Addressing for a Private Network

164015 Understanding TCP/IP Addressing and Subnetting Basics

323349 HOW TO: Configure Subnets in Windows Server 2003 Active Directory

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