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Migrating DHCP Part 1: Installing a DHCP Server on a Windows 2012/2012R2 Server

Although Microsoft Windows Server 2003R2 went end-of-life on July 14, 2015, many business are still mid-process of upgrading to newer operating systems. Similar to installing 2003/R2 and 2008/R2, a 2012 or 2012R2 installation is fairly straight forward. This article explains how to install the DHCP role on a Windows 2012 / Windows 2012R2 and is the first in a two-part series on migrating DHCP from an old environment to a new environment.

Installing the DHCP Server Role

The very first step in installing a server with the DHCP role is to make sure that a static IP address has been assigned to the server to be used. Although the IP address can be changed after DHCP has been installed and authorized, I recommend installing the role after the server has been configured at the final destination. Additionally, although it is not necessary, I typically join the server to the domain prior to installing the role.

I typically install all core domain functions with the Domain Administrator account to avoid any permissions issues, so once an IP has been assigned, the DHCP server role can be installed. This can be accomplished by opening Server Manager; one way to access this tool is to navigate toControl Panel > Administrative Tools > Server Manager.

Note: Since DHCP is typically paired with either DNS or a combination of Active Directory and DNS, I am installing the Active Directory Domain Services and DNS Server role as well.

follow my screenshot installation steps and go straight to the DHCP Server window. At this stage, Microsoft is prompting some items to be aware of when installing the DHCP server role, such as:

  • You should configure at least one static IP address on this computer
  • Before you install DHCP Server, you should plan your subnets, scopes, exclusions. Store the plan in a safe place for later reference.

On the next screen, the wizard gives a quick explanation of DNS:

Once the installation has been confirmed, open up Server Manager and click on the flag with the warning sign to complete the installation.

click on Complete DHCP configuration. In the example below, the configuration was completed with the Domain Administrator account.

Another wizard will appear prompting if the server can be authorized as a DHCP Server. If the server has not had a static IP address assigned or joined to the domain, these steps should be completed prior to completing this portion of the wizard.

If DHCP is being migrated to a server that is going to “reuse” an IP address of an existing DHCP server, wait to perform this step until the old server has been unauthorized.


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