Migrating DHCP from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 R2

I guarantee you will love the DHCP from 2008 R2 server. It has new features and plus it works great. But what can you do with the old one that is running on a 2003 server ? You don’t want to lose all the reservations and scope options. The resolution to this problem is to migrate the DHCP database to the new server. The process is straight forward and does not take hours. You will be done in a couple of minutes. Log on to the 2003 DHCP server, open a terminal and issue this command

netsh dhcp server export C:\dhcp.txt all

This will create a text file on the root of your C drive called dhcp.txt, that will contain all the DHCP settings. Now you need to stop the DHCP service on this server.

net stop dhcp server


The following assumes that you already installed the DHCP service on the 2008 R2 server; if not here is an article on how to do it. Now copy that .txt file to the 2008 R2 DHCP server, open a terminal and issue the following command:

netsh dhcp server import c:\dhcp.txt all

If the command completed successfully, you should have all the scopes, leases and reservations from the 2003 DHCP server imported on the 2008 R2 server.


The next step is to authorize the new DHCP server. Right click the server name in the console and choose Authorize. Hit refresh, and the arrow should turn green.


Now disable the 2003 DHCP server. Open the console, right-click the server name and choose Unauthorize.

Open the services console and disable the DHCP server service. Leave it disable for a couple of days to see how the new one works. If you don’t have any problems, decommission the old one.

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