Configuring DHCP on Windows 2003

Posted On 2008-03-20 by FortyPoundHead
Tags: Networking Tutorial Windows Server 2003
Views: 1614

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and it is designed for minimizing the Administration of the IP addresses in a big network. DHCP server can be setup with the appropriate and required settings in a computer network. A DHCP server can assign the IP address, gateway, DNS, DHCP, subnet mask, Router, Proxy server’s IP address from its predefined pool of the addresses. Once DHCP server has been configured, it automatically assigns the IP addresses to the client computers.

DHCP server holds a database of the IP addresses for a leased duration. Manual settings and changes in an enterprise network can be a nightmare. DHCP provides centralized control and management of your computer network.

Before your implement DHCP server in your network you need to review security issues, identify the range of the IP addresses, which you want to assign, determine the correct subnet mask, decide the duration of the leased addresses, identify the IP address of the router, gateway computer, DNS and WINS. This article will help you to setup and configure DHCP server in Windows 2003 Server.

In this Administrative tools of the Windows 2003 Sever perform the following actions.


  • Click DHCP in the Administrative Tools or in the “Manager Your Servers” Window.

  • In the Scope window, enter the scope name and description and click next.

  • In the next window, you will be asked to define the range of the IP addresses that the scope will distribute to the network computers.

  • Enter the start IP address, end IP address, length and subnet mask and click next.

  • In the next Window, you will need to add exclusions i.e. you can add any IP addresses that you don’t want to be distributed to the network computers. After adding the range of the exclusive IP addresses click next. (You can assign the exclusive IP address manually to the company’s router, gateway or any other device. These IP addresses will not be distributed to the network computers.)

  • In the next window, you need to enter the lease duration. It is recommended that you add longer lease duration for the fixed computer networks and the shorter leased time for the remote connections and Laptops.

  • On the next screen, you will be given the choice to configure these options for the DHCP scope now or later. Check “Yes I want to configure these options now” and click next.

  • On the next screen, you need to enter the Router’s IP address from the exclusive list, which we defined on the above steps. After you add the router’s address click next.

  • In the next window, DNS settings can be entered i.e. IP address, domain name and server name.

  • On the screen next to DNS, WINS server settings can be entered.

  • On the next window, you need to activate the scope. Click “Yes I want to activate the scope now”.

That’s all. You have successfully setup the DHCP in your Windows 2003 Server.


After you have successfully setup the DHCP server, you may need to configure the multiple options based up the requirements of your network. For configuring the Exclusions after setting up the DHCP server, please follow the below steps.

In the DCHP main windows right click the Address Pool on the left side and click “Add Exclusions”. Here you can define the range of the IP addresses which you don’t want to distribute among the network computers.

If you want to reserve an IP address for a client computer, you can configure it by the following steps. For reserving the IP addresses for client computer, you need to know the MAC address of that client.

In the DHCP main window, right click Reservations in the left side. Provide the required parameters for fixing the IP addresses for the client computers.

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