Windows Server 2012 on PowerEdge 2800

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Windows Server 2012 on PowerEdge 2800

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I have a PowerEdge 2800 with a  PERC 4e/Di that I use as a lab computer.  It had Windows Server 2008 R2 installed (which is x64), and today I wiped it and attempted to install Windows Server 2012 RTM.  Guess what?  There's no driver support for this system with 2012 RTM.  As I recall, driver support was included with 2008 R2.  After some digging around, I was able to download the Windows Server 2003 x64 driver from the Dell website, and now I've got 2012 installing.  Seriously, how lame is that?

It wouldn't have taken much effort for MS to include driver support for the PE 2800 and similar older, but very capable systems, especially since the drivers already exist in most cases.  FWIW, it doesn't look like 2012 supports the PE 2900 either, which is hardly a dinosaur.  Or how about Dell extending the life of these systems with some driver updates?

Getting up to speed on a major new OS is a very big undertaking on many levels.  Do we have to go buy all new hardware too, just for a lab eval?  There are thousands of IT shops with older, but very capable systems, which we've spent lots of $$$ on.  Making a new OS accessible to these systems lets people like myself get learning and testing the new OS with virtually no cash outlay.  It's a win-win.  Unfortunately, vendors are very shortsighted in this area.

Anyway, if you're looking to get 2012 running on the PE 2800, try the W2K3 driver.

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  • 2008 (non-R2) had native drivers for the PERC 4e/Di, but 2008 R2 did not (Microsoft removed native support for SCSIport devices - going forward, these devices will not be supported out-of-the-box by Microsoft).  

    Dell is not yet selling Server 2012 and they have yet to publish any needed drivers for it, but the 2008 R2 drivers should work better:

    www.dell.com/.../poweredge-2800

    More information - it is currently validated internally on 9G systems and newer, but drivers have not yet been published; unclear whether they intend to support it on 8G (that doesn't necessarily mean it won't work):

    en.community.dell.com/.../3492.windows-server-2012-inbox-driver-support-on-dell-poweredge-servers.aspx

  • flash, thank you for the informative post!  I upgraded the driver, looking good.  I'm not ready to throw the PE 2800 under the MS bus just yet.  :)

  • Hmm strange, I can't get 2012 to install on my Poweredge 2800 with Perc 4e/Di with the 2003 x64 driver. I also have a 2800 I use for testing with a Perc 4e/di and am trying to install 2012 standard. I downloaded the 2003 x64 driver and after loading it during install cannot see any storage.

    Am i missing something obvious? How were you able to install with the 2003 x64 driver?`

  • I used the 2003 driver during install, then upgraded it to the 2008 driver later after the OS was installed.  

  • Why not use the 2008 R2 driver?

  • Its the 1st thing I tried. I load the driver successfully but there's no available storage. I think theres an issue with the RAID controller on this server. During the lengthy POST, I get some type of BMC error and have to press f1 to continue

  • "some type of BMC error"

    What type?  What exactly does it say?  Is the LCD amber and scrolling a message, or is it blue?

  • i'm getting 0x0000005D "your system needs to reboot, press power button" error when trying to install 2012 standard onto my PowerEdge 2800.  Any clues?

  • At what point during the install?

    I have not yet tried 2012 on my 2850's, but according to a Google search, Execute Disable must be enabled in the BIOS and is only supported on the following processors:

    ark.intel.com/.../27078,27094,27101,27083,27084,27086,27087,27089,27103,27091,27092,27097,27202,27220,27222,29748,29750

    Also, version A02 is the version that added support AND enabled this setting (may not be user-editable in the BIOS Setup), so make sure your BIOS is at least A02 - A07 would be strongly recommended (and possibly required).

  • One other thing to try that worked for me was to load the 2008R2 driver then delete the old partition, create a new one letting the OS create the 'System' partition that is about 350 MB, then reboot, load the 2008 R2 driver once more and it let me install WS 2012 on my PE1850 with the PERC 4e/Si. The error message I was receiving was "Windows is unable to install to the selected location." Then when clicking details it gives error 0x80300001.

  • Yes, 2008R2 dropped native support for the PERC 4, so loading a driver will be required ... Dell does not support 2012 on the PERC 4, so there will be no specific drivers for 2012 on these systems - the next best thing (which should work fine) is 2008R2 drivers for any devices needing drivers.

  • You could install vmware's ESX 3.5, it's free and then you can install 2012 or any OS on top of that. Then you would only need to worry about drivers for the VM and not for the 2800.

  • While you can run 3.5 on a 2800, the 2800's processors do not support VT, so 64-bit VM's (2008R2, 2012) are not possible.

  • FWIW, I just tried to install Server 2012 Standard on a PE6850 with a PERC4e/Di and got the message indicating no storage/no driver. I went to the following Dell page and downloaded the hard disk selection, extracted it and copied the contents to the root of a USB drive, prompted the install to search for the driver and it found and installed it and I could see all of the storage. Here is the link:

     

    http://tinyurl.com/PERC4eDi-server2012

     

    I would not assume that this driver will work with any PERC other than the PERC4e/Di.  ">

     

    Make a great day!

    Roger

    Roger Faucher

    Network Administrator

     

  • Glad you got it installed Roger.

    For those that do not trust tinyurls, use the direct link I posted above.