29 August 2011

Dell PowerEdge 1850 vs. Windows Server 2008 R2

Installing 2008 R2 on Dell PowerEdge 1850 server can be tricky, but can be done .

Installation Media.
The 1850 era of server all shipped with CD-ROM drives.  So you cannot even boot of the 2008 R2 installation DVD.  You need to create a bootable USB flash drive.

Download the Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool from http://images2.store.microsoft.com/prod/clustera/framework/w7udt/1.0/en-us/Windows7-USB-DVD-tool.exe  Select your Server 2008 R2 ISO and select the USB drive as the destination.

You need to configure the BIOS so that you can boot from the USB drive.  Inser you USB drive into the 1850 and start up.  At boot Time Press F2 till it indicates Entering Setup.

  • Set USB Flash Drive Emulation type to "Hard disk"
  • Change the Hard Disk Drive Boot Sequence so that the USB is above the PERC4xx adapter.

During The POST phase you will see a section to configure the LSI PERC  or Power Edge Expandable Raid Controller
Press Ctrl + M - to enter the setup.

This is where you configure the drives that will be presented to the OS.  Start a new configuration and either select to create a  RAID 1  redundant disk or a spanned RAID 0 to maximise the available disk space across the two internal drives.

After you configured the drives you need to Initialise the disk.

OS Install
The storage drivers for the PERC 4/SC & PERC 4e/Si SCSI RAID controllers were included in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008x64.  In Windows Server 2008 R2 however this driver was deprecated and removed.  This leads to a problem when trying to install as no drives are available.

After long and hard searching the answer is rather simple.  Use the Windows Server 2003 x64 version of the driver.

Available directly from Dell.  

  • Open http://support.dell.com
  • Select "Start Here" form the Support for Small Businesses
  • Click Drivers & Downloads
  • Click Select Model
  • Select Servers and Storage
  • Select PowerEdge Server
  • Select 1850
  • Confirm
  • For the Operating System Select Windows Server 2003 x64
  • Expand SCSI RAID Controllers
  • Download LSI Logic Driver (Version 6.46.64)

During the install you will have to select drives.  At this point you need to load the storage driver you downloaded and extracted.  After loading you should see the adapter and then the drives available for deployment.

It might take a little bit of doing but you can breath new life into and old machine if you know what to do.  This allows you to sweat you old asset for a while longer while being on the latest and greatest OS.   


Anonymous said...

This article was right on the money. You saved me some aggravation and a whole lot of time. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Thank You!!! This post saved me a lot of headache.

Anonymous said...

Here's an official Dell PERC 4 driver for Windows 2008 R2.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you! I've been trying to get Windows server 2008 R2 on an old 1850 for the past few weeks, for a local test server, finally getting somewhere after reading this!

Anonymous said...

That driver is for the 4e/DC. It DOES NOT work for the 4/DC or 4/SC.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to reinstall an old Dell PowerEdge 830 with a PERC 4/SC controller.
Googled on [driver "perc 4/sc" "windows 2008 R2"] and came on this page.
Downloaded the driver and put it on a floppy disk (yes, yes a floppy disk!).
Windows Server 2008 R2 is now installing.

Thanks for the great tip and the link to the driver!

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how much I appreciate your post. I've been trying to get the raid drivers to work for sometime now and the information you provided was spot on. Kudos to you!!!!

Edward Gonzalez said...

Hello that such I download the driver you mentioned and put it in my USB Pendriver and the copied files in the \ \ System32 \ etc. I have a DVD drive and boot from there on my 1850 but when I tell search 4e/Si Perc drivers disk not get them, and I have Windows 2003 R2 installed, that way I'm missing?

Anonymous said...

Bravo, sir. Extremely helpful, and to the point. Took a 3 hour job, and changed it into a 10 minute job. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Rock solid. The RAID driver workaround saved my bacon on a Win08R2-SP1 Install.

Andrew Bullock said...

There is not a single chance I would have ever figured these steps out. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Dell PE1850: I have set the Raid to Raid 1 and initialized the disks with ctrl+m command.
Rebooted the system booted from my Server 2008 R2 DVD disk with an USB external DVD drive. Came to the section where you select your hard drive to install and installed the provider PERC drives as given, installed the driver and started the installation of Server 2008 R2 , everything is still 100% so far
But while windows is installing I get the following error :
Windows cannot install the required files. The files may be corrupted or missing. Make sure all the required files for the installation are available and restart the installation error code: 0x80070017

Please help

Etienne Liebetrau said...

Try creating a USB flash drive to install from. In theory it should be the same but have seen odd issues with optical disks over the years.

Anonymous said...

Etienne thanks i installed from a USB flash drive and it worked 100% awesome
Any take on the video drives as i can only set the resolution too 800x600

Anonymous said...

Hi Etienne
Thanks installed it from USB and it works 100% awesome stuff guys thanks for the help , oh and if anyone has a video driver problem here is the solution.

Driver Updates

The default graphics driver installed by Windows only supports screen resolutions for up to 800×600. For higher resolutions, an updated driver for the embedded ATI 7000M graphics card needs to be installed.

At the time of this writing, the most recent driver appears to be ATI_Radeon-7000M_A00_R177829.exe from the Dell FTP site, supporting resolutions up to 1600×1200.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! The 2008 R2 Driver link posted above worked for me on a Dell Poweredge 2850 w/Perc 4.

Anonymous said...

As Charlie Brown would say, Arrrgghhhhh. It took me a week of testing and searching (without finding this article) to come up with this same solution. One small note, Windows 2008 reboots several times during installation, after the first go back into the BIOS to change the HD boot order back or you may continually boot to the USB drive.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone get the BSOD while 2008 was loading? Can't get by that and the description of the problem is vague, hardware driver, change shadowing, etc. We have updated all possible firmware to the latest per Dell's SUU.

James said...

Thank you for this! I've been fighting with this box for a few hours now trying to figure out why it wouldn't boot from the USB drive.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this!

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