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A DHCP NAK is a negative acknowledgment from the DHCP server. The server will send a DHCP NAK in the following scenarios:

  • Requested address from possibly the same subnet but not in the address pool of the server. This can be the failover scenario in which 2 DHCP servers are serving the same subnet so that when one goes down, the other should not NAK to clients which got an IP from the first server.
  • Requested address is on a different subnet.
  • Requested address is already in use by another client.
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