Moving DHCP database to a new server

Periodically system administrators may need to upgrade or decommission the DHCP server. They can use the backup and restore procedure to move the DHCP database to a new server during such situations.

Follow these steps to configure a new DHCP server and move the current DHCP database from the old server to the new server.

  1. Start by installing the DHCP Server service on the destination server and then restart the server.
  2. When the server restarts, log on, and at the command prompt type net stop "dhcp server" to stop the DHCP Server service.
  3. Remove the contents of the %SystemRoot%System32Dhcp folder on this server.
  4. Now log on to the original (source) server, and at the command prompt type net stop "dhcp server" to stop the DHCP Server service.
  5. In the Services node of Computer Management, disable the DHCP Server service so that it can no longer be started, then copy the entire contents of the %SystemRoot%System32Dhcp folder to the %SystemRoot% System32Dhcp folder on the destination server.
  6. Once all the necessary files are on the destination server, type net start "dhcp server" to start the DHCP Server service on the destination server, which completes the migration.

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This was first published in July 2006

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