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DHCP Clients

Client-side DHCP is largely a hands-free area, but there are some behaviors and configurations that every DHCP administrator should know. Windows 98 and Windows 2000 bring a new feature to the client: IP auto-configuration. There are some valuable tools for client-side DHCP administration that are worth mentioning. In addition, using class-level IP options requires some client-level configuration. These three areas are covered in the following sections.

Auto-configuration

By default, all Windows clients are configured to use DHCP. As was stated earlier, DHCP clients running Windows 2000 can automatically configure themselves with an IP address and a subnet mask if a DHCP server is unavailable. If the client did not have a previous lease, it gives itself an IP address from a class B network reserved by Microsoft: 169.254.0.0, and the subnet mask is 255.255.0.0. The client makes an ARP request for the address it intends to use before taking an address. From that point on, it will use the new address, but will continue to try and contact a DHCP server every five minutes. When a DHCP server responds, it replaces its self-configured address with the one that the DHCP server provides.


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