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Removing scopes

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Removing scopes

When a subnet is no longer in use, or any other time you want to remove an existing scope, you can remove it at the DHCP console. In most cases, scopes are removed only when you need to renumber your network to use a different IP address range.

To retire a current scope and renumber your network to use a different scope, be sure to do the following first:

  1. Create the new scope using a different range of addresses.

  2. Configure options for the new scope.

  3. Activate the new scope and deactivate the old scope.

  4. When all clients are no longer using the old scope, remove the old scope.

Scope migration strategies

To remove old scopes without disrupting DHCP service to clients on the subnet, use the following suggestions to design your scope migration strategy:

  • Activate a new replacement scope for the subnet before the old scope is deactivated. You can create a replacement scope on a different DHCP server or on the same server.

  • Deactivate a scope before removing it. After a scope is deactivated, it does not acknowledge lease or renewal requests. DHCP clients will be unable to renew their leases from the deactivated scope and the original server, so the clients will seek new leases from an available DHCP server.

  • Superscopes, reservations, and exclusion ranges can be used individually or together to provide a smooth migration of clients from one scope to another. For example, you can create a superscope that contains both a new scope and the original scope that has been targeted for deactivation. If you create an exclusion range on the original scope, clients with leases that fall within the exclusion range are unable to renew their leases and are assigned leases from the new scope instead. Or, if you create reservations for clients in the new scope, when a client attempts to renew its lease from the original scope, the client is instead assigned the address for which a reservation has been configured.


  • When manually reconfiguring Windows XP-based client computers, you can use the commands ipconfig /release and ipconfig /renew at the command prompt to release an old IP address and acquire a new lease from a replacement scope.

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