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I have a sad network left behind by some careless admins - I am in process of figuring out exactly what services are running where, not excluding the possibility that some services are running from two places at once, which is tons of fun. There are 2 Windows 2003 servers, one Windows 2008 server with Exchange 2010 on it and a SonicWall TZ210 between the LAN and the WAN. Computers connected via DHCP reveal the gateway IP that corresponds to the SonicWall unit, however it doesn't have DHCP enabled.

Anyone have any ideas as to where and how I might discover what IS running DHCP so I could administer it? I am also concerned about internal DNS and Windows domain services as there appears to be confusing information on the network that conflicts with itself.

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4 Answers

ipconfig /all will show you the location of your DHCP server. There's a line item that says "DHCP Server"

If you want to use ninja skills, you can use the command ipconfig /all | find /i "DHCP Server"

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Found the DHCP server - it's running on one of the Windows 2003 servers. Wonder if it would be safe for me to move that service to the SonicWall instead. I am trying to eventually create conditions to be able to remove the 2 WIndows 2003 servers... –  Manca Weeks Jul 24 '11 at 14:56
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Personally I don't know why you would move the DHCP to the SonicWall. I run DHCP on my Domain Controllers - it's not exactly resource intensive, and it just works™ without any real drama. Is there a compelling reason you have to move it to the SonicWall? –  Ben Pilbrow Jul 24 '11 at 15:11
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What's the function of the OS-X server in this network? It doesn't seem like a good fit. –  Joe Internet Jul 24 '11 at 16:45
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@Manca - This whole thing sounds like really bad plan. If you're keeping Exchange, you probably want to keep Active Directory. And if you want to keep Active Directory, you want Active Directory to also be both the dhcp and the dns server, so that computers joined to the Active Directory domain will do name resolution correctly. If you really want to convert to an OS X-based environment (and if you have any number of windows PCs, this is a questionable move), you should ditch exchange as well and use the OS X's mail server. –  Joel Coel Jul 24 '11 at 18:58
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@Joel if you're planning on keeping Exchange you don't "probably want to keep Active Directory", Active Directory is required. If you take Active Directory away from Exchange (or try to move it on to the Exchange server for that matter) it will burst into flames. –  Ben Pilbrow Jul 24 '11 at 19:02
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I moved the DHCP server from my sole Windows server to my router. I just configured DHCP on the router then that night turned it off on Windows and on on the router. No problems.

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On Windows-based networks, the dhcp server is almost never on the gateway and almost always on the domain controller(s). What you're describing sounds like a perfectly normal network setup to me.

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Your gateway is not always the same thing (server, firewall, proxy, whatever) as your DHCP server. To find your DHCP server, go to the status of your network connection and go to the details and find the "DHCP Server" address.

Chances are good that it's a Windows DHCP server, so if you open up the DHCP MMC snapin and click on Action => Managed authorised DHCP servers it should hopefully list the DHCP servers that are authorised in Active Directory. You can then manage the DHCP server(s) from that same console and see what scopes and options you have defined.

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