Migrate DHCP from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 R2

This article explains how to move a DHCP database from a Windows 2003 server to a Windows 2008 R2 server.

It is assume that you are a domain admin and that you have installed the DHCP role on the Windows 2008 R2 server.

Export DHCP database

  • On the Windows 2003 server open a command prompt and enter the command:

netsh dhcp server export C:\dhcp.txt all

  • This will create a text file containing the DHCP settings for the windows 2003 server. Note that above I have called the text file server212-dhcp.txt
  • You may want to stop the DHCP service on the windows 2003 server at this point.

Import the DHCP database

  • Copy the file created above onto the Windows 2008 R2 server.
  • Open an elevated command prompt

  • Then enter the command

netsh dhcp server import c:\dhcp.txt all

Setup DHCP on Windows 2008R2 server

  • I suggest opening the DHCP management console on the Windows 2008R2 server and checking that all info has come over. If you haven’t already you will need to authorise the Windows 2008 R2 server for DHCP.

  • After a short while you should see a green tick next to IPv4 as shown below.

  • I suggest testing this on a client PC to make sure that all is now working.

Disable DHCP on Windows 2003 server

  • On the windows 2003 server I recommend removing authorisation for DHCP.

  • You can then either uninstall DHCP from add/remove programs or stop and disable the service.


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