Microsoft KB Archive/168711

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How To Move a DHCP DB from WinNT 3.51 to new WinNT 4.0 Computer

Article ID: 168711

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q168711


This article explains how to move a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) database from a Windows NT 3.51 server computer to a new Windows NT 4.0 server computer.


WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system- wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

From the Windows NT 3.51 source server:

  1. In Control Panel, double-click the Services icon. On the Services tab, select the Microsoft DHCP Server, and then click Stop. This stops the DHCP Server service.
  2. Select the Microsoft DHCP Server, and then click Startup. Change the value to Disabled, and then click OK. This prevents the DHCP Server service from running after you restart the computer.
  3. Copy the DHCP directory tree (%SystemRoot%\System32\Dhcp) to a temporary location on the new (destination) Windows NT 4.0 DHCP server computer. For example, copy the directory tree to C:\Temp\System32\Dhcp.

NOTE: The following two steps are optional on the source server. You may want to wait until the new Windows NT 4.0 DHCP server is functional before completing these steps.

  1. Remove the DHCP directory (%SystemRoot%\System32\Dhcp).
  2. In Control Panel, double-click the Network icon, and then click the Services tab. Remove the DHCP Server service.

On the new Windows NT 4.0 DHCP server computer:

  1. In Control Panel, double-click the Network icon. Click the Services tab, and add the Microsoft DHCP server. Click OK, and then restart the computer when prompted.
  2. Once you have restarted, open Control Panel, and then double-click on the Services icon. Stop the DHCP Server service.
  3. Rename the %SystemRoot%\System32\Dhcp directory to %SystemRoot%\System32\Dhcporiginal. (once the below steps are completed, and the DHCP server is running, this directory may be deleted)
  4. Create a new DHCP directory on the Windows NT 4.0 DHCP server computer, and then copy the DHCP directory tree from the temporary directory to %SystemRoot%\System32\Dhcp (to replace the DHCP directory that was renamed in the previous step).
  5. Delete the System.mdb file.
  6. Start Windows NT Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  7. From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree, go to the following key:

  8. Click Configuration.
  9. From the Registry menu, click Restore.
  10. Select %SystemRoot%\System32\Dhcp\Backup\Dhcpcfg.
  11. When the warning appears, click Yes.
  12. Exit Registry Editor.
  13. Start the DHCP service.
  14. Start the DHCP Manager.

NOTE: After you restart the DHCP server computer you will receive a message that the database needs to be updated. You will then be asked if you want to update. Once the update is complete you will not be able to use this database file on the Windows NT 3.51 computer again.

Additional query words: update upgrading migrate ntdhcp

Keywords: kbnetwork KB168711