All the information I can find on this issue tells me basically not to do it. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond my control dictate that I must find a way to have DHCP disabled and all SBS services happy on this server.

What are the ramifications of doing this? Is this possible? What is the exact procedure?


DHCP Server can safely be disabled on SBS 2008. See this article from one of the Microsoft SBS Team members for details of how to turn it off and disable the alerts.

Do I absolutely have to run DHCP on SBS 2008?

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  • I'd just disable the scope. It looks like it would be faster to do than that procedure. >smile< – Evan Anderson Jul 10 '09 at 15:48
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    If you disable the scope, and the SBS server detects another DHCP server on the network, then the SBS DHCP Server will shut down and produce regular alerts and event log errors. That said it wouldn't cause any problems other than the alerts to annoy you. – JS. Jul 10 '09 at 16:39
  • This seems to have worked. Thanks. Whoever said "I know, lets get an SBS server for this project!" should be slapped. – moshen Jul 12 '09 at 19:59

You can certainly disable DHCP on SBS 2008. I'd probably just deactivate the DHCP scope created by all the "wizard" garbage. That ought to keep the "health check" functionality and such happy, but won't actually allow the server to hand out IPs.

Just be sure that whatever does hand out IP addresses hands out the proper DNS server addresses (ideally the SBS server if this is a small single-server environment).

It's probably slightly inefficient to have the DHCP Server service sitting there running w/o actually doing any work, but I'd rather do that than chance that some of the idiotic "helpful" functionality in SBS gets in a huff that it sees the DHCP Server service not running.

(You can tell that I don't think too much of all the "handholding" in SBS... >smile< For me, the SBS products are just a way to get an inexpensive Exchange license bundled w/ Windows. I admin them like "normal" servers and try to ignore the extra junk that comes with them...)


You probably ought to set the group policy setting to allow client computers to register their own PTR records into DNS. By default, the DHCP Server service does this for client computers (and I have no idea why Microsoft designed it that way, so don't ask... >shrug<). The setting is under "Computer Settings" / "Administrative Templates" / "Network" / "DNS Client" / "Register PTR Records", and you want to set the "Register PTR Records" drop-down to either "Register" or "Register only if A record registration succeeds".

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    Well the hand-holding is mostly replacing the same scripts or procedures one would create anyway, but with other defaults that might seem very annoying at first... but trying to administer an SBS where someone has "manually managed" it before can result in so much pain due to inconsistent SBS system states ;p – Oskar Duveborn Jul 10 '09 at 15:44
  • I suppose that, being low-cost and target at "small business", SBS would attract a certan element of admin who lacks the skill to set aside the silly "hand holding", but who has the incompetence and ego to try and do it anyway. Fortunately, I am not that admin. >smile< – Evan Anderson Jul 10 '09 at 15:54

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