DHCP: The server database should be functional and free of errors

Updated: February 15, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

This topic is intended to address a specific issue identified by a Best Practices Analyzer scan. You should apply the information in this topic only to computers that have had the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Best Practices Analyzer run against them and are experiencing the issue addressed by this topic. For more information about best practices and scans, see Best Practices Analyzer (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=122786).

Operating System

Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)






The DHCP server failed to open the database.


If the DHCP server database reports an error while opening the database, the DHCP service will shut down.


Restore the last successfully backed up copy of the DHCP database from the backup directory.

Whenever the DHCP service shuts down correctly, it makes a backup copy of both the database file (Dhcp.mdb) and the registry key. The backup information from the registry is contained in the file Dhcpcfg. If the DHCP database becomes corrupted, it should be restored from the backup copy.

To perform this procedure you must be a member of the Administrators group or the DHCP Administrators group on the DHCP server

To restore the DHCP database

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools and then click DHCP.

  2. On the Action menu click Restore

  3. In the Browse For Folder dialog box, select the folder that contains the backup DHCP database, and then click OK.


  • Only DHCP database backed up from the same Windows server version can be restored. Restoring DHCP database from a different Windows server version is not supported. To migrate DHCP database across Windows server versions, use netsh export/import command.

  • Only DHCP databases from the same language version can be restored. For example, a DHCP database from DHCP server running an English language version of the operating system cannot be restored to a DHCP server running a Japanese language version of the operating system.

  • To restore the DHCP database, the DHCP service is temporarily stopped. When it is stopped, DHCP clients are unable to contact the DHCP server and obtain IP addresses.

Additional references

For updated detailed IT pro information about DHCP, see the Windows Server 2008 R2 documentation on the Microsoft TechNet Web site.