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PowerEdge 2850


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PowerEdge 2850

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I had a mishap with our PE 2850. Seems a drive got taken out and even though put back now it does not want to acknowledge the logical drive.  At any rate I was hoping to upgrade the bios and the OS. Now with this new issue I just need to load an OS period.

My issue is that this unit only appears to have a cd drive and not a dvd.  Is there a way to do what I am attempting from cd or even usb stick?  I have my OS on a stick drive which works fine on everything but this one server. 

Bios rev A01 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • The PowerEdge 2850 DOES boot to USB, but your BIOS version is really old, and I'm not sure if updating it (which needs to be done regardless) will make any difference in booting to USB. 

    To boot to USB, make sure that USB is "On With BIOS Support" in the BIOS Setup (F2) under Integrated Devices, then turn off the server, insert the USB, power on, boot to the BIOS Setup (F2), and move USB to the top of the boot sequence (may be in hard drive sequence).  You will ONLY have this option if the USB is plugged in when the server is powered on.

    Like I said, a 2850 will boot to USB - I have dozens of these and that is the only way I ever install the OS (usually 2008R2) on them, but if this doesn't work, then you may want to get the firmware updated before trying again.

    Remember to update ALL your system firmware (BIOS, ESM, DRAC, PERC, HDD) when updating the BIOS.

    What OS are you attempting to install?

  • Apparently my account doesn't recognize me.  Any way.....

    2008r2 is what I intend to install. 

  • The CD/DVD bay on the PE2850 is a generic IDE (PATA) device. If you have any old small-form-factor Dell Optiplex lying around, you can pull the DVD drive out of one of those, and put it into the mounting bracket for the PE2850 CDROM drive.

    (You may need a jeweler's screwdriver to remove the CD drive from the PE2850 mounting bracket. Don't touch the drive interface or cable pins, and touch/hold the server metal chassis frequently to dissipate static electricity. Laptop DVD drives usually do not work in desktops/servers because their front bezel is customized for the shape of whatever laptop it is used with. The BIOS will still refer to a DVD drive as a "CD drive" but it will boot from a Server 2008 R2 or 64-bit Windows 7 install DVD just fine.)


    The 2800/2850 uses a 64-bit processor, so Windows Server 2008 R2 runs fine on it.  I have used two 2850's as domain controllers for the past three years, with no problems. Just make sure to meet the memory requirements. 4 GB has worked well for me.


    Although Server 2008 R2 can be installed in as little as 10 gig of disk space, this is getting extremely tight now due to all the Windows Updates that Microsoft likes to archive forever. My 3-year old PE2850 domain controllers (1000-user/device domain) have about 30-40 gig in use.

    Ancient 36 gb SCSI drives work fine for 2008 R2, though for these you should definitely have at least a 3-drive RAID5 to pull up to a 72gb logical drive. and also have a hotspare drive for rapid fail-over protection of such old drives. (I run with two hotspares actually, since these tiny SCSI drives are basically obsolete and have no value for any other purpose.)

    For 72 gb SCSI, a 2-drive RAID mirror works well for a small domain controller, though again I recommend that 1 or 2 hotspares should be used with it, just due to the drive ages.