Friday, 7 September 2012

Installing and configuring DHCP Server on Windows 2008 R2

Installing and configuring DHCP Server on Windows 2008 R2


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a core infrastructure service on any network that provides IP addressing and DNS server information to PC clients and any other device. DHCP is used so that you do not have to statically assign IP addresses to every device on your network and manage the issues that static IP addressing can create. More and more, DHCP is being expanded to fit into new network services like the Windows Health Service and Network Access Protection (NAP).

However, before you can use it for more advanced services, you need to first install it and configure the basics. Let’s learn how to do that.

Installing Windows Server 2008 DHCP Server

Installing Windows Server 2008 DCHP Server is easy. DHCP Server is now a “role” of Windows Server 2008 – not a windows component as it was in the past. 

To do this, you will need a Windows Server 2008 system already installed and configured with a static IP address. You will need to know your network’s IP address range, the range of IP addresses you will want to hand out to your PC clients, your DNS server IP addresses, and your default gateway. Additionally, you will want to have a plan for all subnets involved, what scopes you will want to define, and what exclusions you will want to create.

IMP NOTE: DHCP Server will require you to already have a AD and a DNS in place. You can read the How-TO article on each by clicking on the links below:

To start the DHCP installation process, you can click Add Roles from the Initial Configuration Tasks window or from Server Manager >> Roles >> Add Roles. 

When the Add Roles Wizard comes up, you can click Next on that screen.
Next, select that you want to add the DHCP Server Role, and click Next.

Review the DHCP Serer requirements and click Next to proceed

NOTE: If you do not have a static IP address assigned on your server, you will get a warning that you should not install DHCP with a dynamic IP address.

At this point, you will begin being prompted for IP network information, scope information, and DNS information. If you only want to install DHCP server with no configured scopes or settings, you can just click Next through these questions and proceed with the installation.

On the other hand, you can optionally configure your DHCP Server during this part of the installation.

In my case, I chose to take this opportunity to configure some basic IP settings and configure my first DHCP Scope.

I was shown my network connection binding and asked to verify it, like this:

What the wizard is asking is, “what interface do you want to provide DHCP services on?” I took the default and clicked Next.

Next, I entered my Parent Domain, Primary DNS Server, and Alternate DNS Server (as you see below) and clicked Next.

I opted NOT to use WINS on my network and I clicked Next.

NOTE: The Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) enables machines to resolve NetBIOS names of hosts on remote networks. Machines configured as WINS clients register their names with the WINS server. WINS clients are also able to send name queries to a WINS server to resolve the names to IP addresses. 

Windows clients can send a broadcast to the local network to resolve NetBIOS names, but when hosts are located on remote networks (networks that are on different network segments or NetBIOS broadcast domains), the broadcasts for name resolutions fail. The only solution is a WINS server.

Then, I was promoted to configure a DHCP scope for the new DHCP Server. I have opted to configure an IP address range of to cover the 20+ PC Clients on my local network. To do this, I clicked Add to add a new scope.

As you see below, I named the Scope cloudLab, configured the starting and ending IP addresses of, subnet mask of, default gateway of, type of subnet (wired), and activated the scope.

Back in the Add Scope screen, I clicked Next to add the new scope (once the DHCP Server is installed).

I chose to Disable DHCPv6 stateless mode for this server and clicked Next.

You maybe prompted to authorize your  DHCP Server if you have an Active Directory installed on your system as well. In that case, provide your DOMAIN Administrator username and password as shown. Click Next once done

Then, I confirmed my DHCP Installation Selections (on the screen below) and clicked Install

The Role will take about 1/2 minute to install [Can vary depending on your Server's configuration]

Once installed, you will see the Installation Results. Click Close when done.

Like the installation, managing Windows Server 2008 DHCP Server is also easy. Back in my Windows Server 2008 Server Manager, under Roles, I clicked on the new DHCP Server entry.

In this article, you learned how to install and configure DHCP Server in Windows Server 2008. During that process, you learned what DHCP Server is, how it can help you, how to install it, how to manage the server, and how to configure DHCP server specific settings like DHCP Server scopes. 

Good luck configuring your Windows Server 2008 DHCP Server!

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