How can I move a DHCP database from one server to another?

A. Perform the steps below on the server that currently hosts the DHCP Server service. Be warned that while doing this no DHCP clients will be able to start TCP/IP so this should be done outside working hours.

  1. Log on as an Administrator and stop DHCP (Start - Settings - Control Panel - Services - Microsoft DHCP server - Stop).
  2. You also need to stop DHCP from starting again after a reboot so start the Services Control Panel applet and select Microsoft DHCP Server and click Startup. From the startup choose disabled and click OK.
  3. Copy the DHCP directory tree %systemroot%\system32\DHCP to a temporary storage area for use later.
  4. Start the registry editor (regedt32.exe)
  5. Move to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DHCPServer \Configuration
  6. From the Registry menu, click Save Key. Create a name for this key, for example dhcpcfg.bck
  7. Close the registry editor

Optionally if you want to remove DHCP from the source machine totally delete the DHCP directory (%systemroot%\system32\dhcp) and then delete the DHCP Service (Start - Settings - Network - Services - Microsoft DHCP Server - Remove)

On the new DHCP server perform the following

  1. Log on as an Administrator
  2. If the server does not have the DHCP server service installed, install it (Start - Settings - Control Panel - Network - Services - Add - DHCP Server)
  3. Stop the DHCP service (Start - Settings - Control Panel - Services - Microsoft DHCP server - Stop).
  4. Delete the contents of %systemroot%\system32\dhcp
  5. Copy the backed up DHCP directory tree from the storage area to %systemroot%/system32/dhcp, but rename the file system.mdb to system.src. You may not have this file if you are using NT 4.0, skip this step.
  6. Start the registry editor (regedt32.exe)
  7. Move to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DHCPServer\Configuration and select it
  8. From the registry menu select restore
  9. Located the file dhcpcgf.bck you saved from the original machine and click open
  10. Click Yes to the warning
  11. Close the registry editor
  12. Reboot the machine

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