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[This post comes to us courtesy of Rituraj Choudhary from Microsoft Commercial Technical Support]
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is enabled to run on a network with the DHCP Server service running on the router. This blog post describes the method to configure DHCP Role on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials, if you prefer so.
The first step in this process is to assign a Static IP to the server.
At this point, stop and disable the DHCP Server service running at the existing computer or device. Please note that during the process of migration the network clients will not be able to obtain IP address; if you have business critical servers on the domain, assign them a Static IP.
Let’s now install the DHCP Server role on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
Once the installation is complete, the same is notified under the Notification icon on the menu bar of the Server Manager window. If the installation went fine, you will get a successful message as:
To complete the DHCP deployment, click on Complete DHCP configuration on the Post-deployment Configuration under the Notification icon.
The DHCP Post-Install configuration wizard is quite straight forward.
Here is the final status that you should see on the Server Manager.
It is now time to configure the DHCP Server.
Your server is now ready to lease out new DHCP addresses to the network clients.
There is a service named as Windows Server LAN Configuration that gets installed on a computer when it joins Windows Server 2012 Essentials. The purpose of this service is to detect the presence of the Windows Server 2012 Essentials, which by default, has a DHCP Server assigned IP.
To explain, let’s say you have a laptop which is joined to a Windows Server 2012 Essentials domain. When this laptop is taken to a different network, it gets a new IP assigned by the new network’s DHCP Server to connect to this network and the internet. When the laptop comes back into its home domain, it again gets a new IP from the DHCP Server (Router) on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials domain. The Windows Server LAN Configuration service now comes to play; it detects the presence of Windows Server 2012 Essentials on the domain, obtains the IP of the server, and overwrites the DHCP Server assigned DNS Server address for the client, which helps this laptop resolve Active Directory.
After rehoming the DHCP Server at the Windows Server 2012 Essentials, it would have a Static IP. This DHCP Server IPv4 Scope Options would also carry the DNS Server information (which is the Static IP of the Windows Server 2012 Essentials). At this point, the services of Windows Server LAN Configuration is not required, and may be turned off. Leaving it turned on does not harm either.
Why even create the service Windows Server LAN Configuration and not use the server to be a DHCP server? I can remember since NT 4.0 MCSE certifications that you should always have the server be a DHCP server and not a router. I don't understand the new Microsoft thinking that a router should perform critical functions like a DHCP server when Windows has been doing it for many years without issues and many more configurable features then a off the shelf router.
Recommended is you should have a world class router as essentials doesn't provide that out of the box. Yet , if you prefer so , after reading the product doc and buying the router and configuring everything on router , "if you prefer so" ? Well , thanks for the pictures though we never knew how to set up DHCP :-)
What if you do all this, then in dhcp without the network cable connected you see your server and set up scope and all is fine. When then network cable is connected to the unmanaged switch and router, all static ips are fine on the server, but the dhcp shows 169.254.236.126 instead of the server name. The scope is all still there like it is the server. Help. I just have am building a small network with server and 6 xppro sp3 clients. Having trouble connecting the client because dhcp is not identifying the server properly and then on client I get "can't find network path"
Sounds lime you haven't configured DNS
I am using Windows Server 2012 R2 (!) Essentials. I need to use static IPs for my clients so that they can still run if the server is down for some reason. Unfortunately, if I set the IPv4 DNS servers on the clients these always get cleared, probably by
the server connector. But on 2012 R2 there is no Windows Server LAN Configuration service to turn off. Any advice is welcome.