Transferring DHCP from Windows 2003 server to Windows 2008 server.

By | December 7, 2011

If you used the DHCP Server GUI to backup and restore the DHCP database accross 2003 / 2008 servers you’ll eventually run into problems, Although the DHCP Server service will start and everything looks okay, after a few days (or less) weird things that to happen (clients getting DHCP Access denied errors!). I suspect its because the database schema is different?

Solution is available at

Export the DHCP database from Windows 2003:

1.                   On the Windows 2003 DHCP server, navigate to a command prompt

2.                   Type the following Command: netsh

3.                   Type the following Command: DHCP

4.                   Type the following Command: server <\\Name or IP Address>

5.                   Type the following Command: export c:\w2k3DHCPdb all

Note You must have local administrator permissions to export the data.

Import the DHCP database

1.       Copy the exported DHCP database file to the local hard disk of the Windows Server 2008-based computer.

2.       Install the DHCP Role on the server.

3.       Stop the DHCP server service on the server.  To do this, follow these steps:

a.       Log on to the target DHCP server by using an account that is a member of the local Administrators group.

b.      Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.

c.       At the command prompt, type net stop DHCPserver , and then press ENTER. You receive a “The Microsoft DHCP Server service is stopping. The Microsoft DHCP Server service was stopped successfully” message.

d.      Type exit, and then press ENTER.

4.       Delete the DHCP.mdb file under c:\windows\system32\DHCP folder.

5.       Start the DHCP server service.

6.       Right-click on the Command Prompt (cmd) and select run as administrator, to open the cmd prompt using elevated privileges.

Note You must have local administrator permissions to import the data.

7.       Type the following Command: netsh

8.       Type the following Command: DHCP

9.       Type the following Command: server <\\Name or IP Address>

10.   Type the following Command: import c:\w2k3DHCPdb

11.   Restart DHCP and verify the database has moved over properly.