Problems running DHCP on VMWare ESX 3.0?

Last week, our team had a hard task solving an urgent problem on an VMWare ESX 3.0 we had running at one of our clients. For some unexplainable reason, the DHCP server running on one Microsoft Windows Server 2003 did not seem to work. On closer inspection, the service was still running on the server, but for some reason DHCP functionality was not reaching clients. Looking further into the DHCP server settings, we found out that although the DHCP server was authorized in the Active Directory and the defined scopes all worked correctly, the binding of the DHCP server to the only available virtual network adapter was disabled. We enabled it, but we quickly found out this setting was not saved when clicking OK, so no DHCP requests were accepted and responded to.

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After hours of useless fiddling, with limited internet access, I found this possible solution, while my colleague figured the same thing through another means: deleting the virtual network adapter from the server, rebooting the server and letting the OS detect a ‘new’ virtual network adapter. The Bindings page checkbox was active again, and DHCP services were restored.

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