How to configure your DHCP server scope


The following information is supplied to help explain what the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is, how to configure the DHCP server and enable a Windows NT as well as Windows for Workgroups DHCP client.


Implementing DHCP eliminates some of the configuration problems associated with manually configuring TCP/IP. DHCP centralizes TCP/IP configurations and manages the allocation of TCP/IP configuration information by automatically assigning IP addresses to computers configured to use DHCP.

DHCP Requirements

The following requirements need to be met by the DHCP server:

  • The DHCP server service is running on a Windows NT Server on at least one computer within the TCP/IP internetwork.NOTE: Your IP routers must support RFC 1542, otherwise you need a DHCP server or a DHCP Relay agent on each subnet.
  • A DHCP scope exists on the DHCP server.A DHCP scope consists of a pool of IP addresses the DHCP server can assign or lease to DHCP clients. For example:xxx.107.3.51 through xxx.107.3.200where xxx is any valid number for the first octet of the IP address.

The following requirements need to be met by the DHCP client:

  • The client computer has a DHCP supported operating system. The following operating systems are capable of being a DHCP client with DHCP enabled at the client:- Windows NT Server 3.5, 3.51, and 4.0
    – Windows NT Workstation 3.5, 3.51, and 4.0
    – Windows 95
    – Windows for Workgroups 3.11 with the Microsoft TCP/IP-32 for Windows for Workgroups installed
    – MS Network Client 3.0 for MS-DOS with the real mode TCP/IP driver installed
    – LAN Manager 2.2c

Installing the DHCP Server Service

Prior to installing the DHCP service, you must log on as administrator from the primary domain controller. To install the DHCP Server service, follow these steps:

  1. Run Control Panel and choose Network.
  2. Choose Add Software.
  3. In the Add Network Software dialog box, select TCP/IP Protocol And Related Components, and then choose Continue.The Windows NT TCP/IP Installation Options dialog box appears, displaying the TCP/IP components available to be installed.
  4. Select DHCP Server Service, and then choose Continue.The Windows NT setup box appears, prompting you for the full path of the Windows NT distribution files.NOTE: You may be prompted with the following message:At least one of your adapters has automatic DHCP configuration enabled. In order to correctly install the DHCP server, setup will disable automatic DHCP configuration. Are you sure you want to install the DHCP Server?Choose Continue.
  5. Type the path to the location of Windows NT Server distribution files, and choose Continue.If you install from compact disc, the path is under the \I386 directory.The TCP/IP configuration Box appears.
  6. Enter the static IP address of the DHCP Server as well as the subnet mask and the default gateway. If you use Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), add the primary and secondary WINS addresses here.The appropriate files are copied to your server, and then the Network Settings dialog box appears.
  7. Choose OK.A Network Settings Change dialog box appears, indicating that the system must be restarted to initialize the new configuration.
  8. Save any unsaved work in other windows and choose Restart Now to restart Windows NT Server.
  9. Log on as Administrator.

Configuring a DHCP Scope

Be sure to install and initialize the DHCP Server before completing the next step.

To configure the DHCP scope, you must log on as administrator. Configuring the DHCP scope supplies the DHCP client with the range of IP addresses from which the server draws from and a subnet mask to be assigned to clients.

The DHCP Server provides:

  • Default gateway address
  • Domain Name
  • Service server addresses
  • WINS server addresses
  • NETBIOS name resolution type.

For additional information, please see the following article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

TITLE : DHCP Options Supported by Clients

  1. From the Network Administration group, start DHCP Manager.The DHCP Manager window appears.
  2. Under DHCP Servers, select *Local Machine*Local Machine indicates that you are configuring the local DHCP server, and not a remote DHCP server.
  3. From the Scope menu, choose Create.The Create Scope dialog box appears.
  4. Complete the scope configuration.The DHCP server cannot be a DHCP client. It must have a static IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway address. You also have the option of assigning an exclusion range or specific excluded addresses as well as lease duration and a name.
  5. Choose OK when done.
  6. Choose Yes to activate the scope.The DHCP Manager window appears with the new scope added. Notice the yellow light bulb next to the IP address. This indicates an active scope.
  7. Close the DHCP Manager.

Enabling DHCP at the Client

To enable the Windows NT DHCP client, you must log on as administrator at the Windows NT client.

Normally, you enable DHCP as part of the installation procedure for Microsoft TCP/IP, however, you can use this procedure if you have manually configured TCP/IP:

  1. Run Control Panel and choose Network.The Network Settings dialog box appears.
  2. Under Installed Network Software, select TCP/IP Protocol and then choose configure.The TCP/IP configuration dialog box appears.
  3. Select Enable Automatic DHCP Configuration.A Microsoft (MS) TCP/IP message appears, indicating that the DHCP Protocol attempts to configure the server automatically during system initialization.
  4. Choose Yes.A MS TCP/IP Configuration dialog box appears, displaying current TCP/IP configuration parameters. The IP Address and Subnet Mask boxes are not available (grayed out) and the manually configured values are no longer displayed.
  5. Choose OK to return to the Network Settings dialog box.
  6. Choose OK again.
  7. Shut down and restart the computer.


To enable DHCP on a Windows for Workgroups client if TCP/IP is not installed yet:

  1. Use Network Setup to install the MS TCP/IP-32 3.11 protocol.
  2. In the MS TCP/IP Configuration dialog box, select the Enable Automatic DHCP Configuration check box, and choose Continue.
  3. Restart the computer to initialize TCP/IP using DHCP.

To enable DHCP on a Windows for Workgroups client if TCP/IP is installed:

  1. To access the Network Drivers dialog box, run Network Setup.
  2. Select Microsoft TCP/IP-32 3.11, and then choose Setup.
  3. In the MS TCP/IP Configuration dialog box, select the Enable Automatic DHCP Configuration check box, and choose continue.A message box appears indicating that the configuration of DHCP overrides any values established locally.
  4. Choose Yes.
  5. To initialize TCP/IP using DHCP information, restart the computer.


Applies to

Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5, Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows for Workgroups 3.11a, Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows for Workgroups 3.11b, Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.2