Monday, June 15, 2009

Installing Windows Server 2008 on a Dell Poweredge 2650 server

I didn't think much of it until it came time to upgrade this server (late at night) that it only has a cdrom drive! Unfortunately Windows Server 2008 only comes on dvd, so this created a problem.


If you don't have an OS on the server already, you'll need to reinstall it. I chose to reinstall server 2003 after wiping the drive and finding out I couldn't boot from the dvd. Perhaps you wiped the server not realizing the problem you'll run into. Or you just want a clean install before upgrading.

Download the Dell systems build and update utility cd iso, version 5.5 from here and burn it to cd.

After reinstalling server 2003;
I shared the dvd in another computer and copied the files over the network to a folder on the hard drive.

I downloaded the server 2008 perc3di scsi raid drivers from the dell support website, extracted the files into a folder on the hard drive named c:\$WinPEDriver$. This way server 2008 will find the drivers and find your hard drive upon install.

I then ran the setup.exe for server 2008, which I previously copied into a folder on the c: drive and stepped through a normal install of server 2008. It worked just like it should.