Installing Windows Server 2003

By kyle.baker ·
I'm an intern for a health care facility in their IT department. As part of the hands on learning experience i've been tasked with setting up one of the new servers. We have 3 windows server 2003 discs. One basic, one with SP1 slipstreamed, and one with SP2 slipstreamed. Now the problem is none of these are based off of R2. They're all original release.

The problem stems from the hardware of the server it's self. It's a Power Edge 2900 from Dell. It's using the PERC 6 raid controller card that was originally designed for Windows Server 2008 and then made backwards compatible for Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2.

Dell had me try using their System Build Updates Utility for the install trying each of our different disks. With and without OpenManage being part of the install process. They had me try each of the disks stand alone using raid drivers from a floppy disk for the install and each time it blue screened when it tried to boot to windows to complete the install.

Dell gave us a list of 3 options. We could downgrade to a PERC 5 controller which wasn't listed as compatible for our older discs so it's not even a guaranteed fix. We could buy a retail version of windows server 2003 R2 SP2. Or we could upgrade to windows server 2008.

I was informed none of those options were suitable at the moment. And was told to see if I could find a work around. After trying a few things such as attempting to download the cd images and use our volume license without success i've run out of ideas.

So if anyone knows of a viable work around to help me get this server up and running it'd be much appreciated.

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All Answers

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what type of RAID array are you trying to create and what type of HDDs?

by CG IT In reply to Installing Windows Server ...


and what is the blue screen error message?

If you go into the BIOS do you see the RAID array in the list of bootable devices?

You can create a RAID array without using the Dell discs and install the Windows software without using the Dell discs but.... you won't have the options of creating a RAID 5 with different partitions that the Dell discs provides.

At best you'll get is a RAID 0 striped with parity using the PERC onboard controller to create the RAID array.

Boot to the Windows CD and press F6 to install the mass storage device drivers from floppy. then during Windows setup, see if it sees the RAID array to install to.

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Installed but have a new problem

by kyle.baker In reply to what type of RAID array a ...

When I tried to get it to replicate the blue screen so that I could write it down for you it asked me if I wanted to repair my install. I did so and it finished installing.

So actually installing the OS is no longer a problem. However it's defaulted to a non-existent domain. Even though during setup I instructed it be in a work group, as we were not wanting it to go on the domain just yet. Now I can't log into it because it just gives me "The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted" and there's no option to select a domain at the log in screen as there normally is.

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was there an existing install?

by CG IT In reply to Installed but have a new ...

because it sounds like there was an existing Windows install.

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by kyle.baker In reply to was there an existing ins ...

It was clean when we started. As I stated it blue screened during install multiple times. But when I booted it up this time to try to get it to replicate the blue screen it made me repair the previous attempt and then continued on with the install.

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well I'd start over by deleting the RAID array

by CG IT In reply to No

format the individual hdds, create a new RAID array, then install the O/S.

What you describe sounds like there was an existing installation of Windows.

RAID arrays are logical groupings of drives and the RAID controller controls that logical grouping.

You can delete the RAID array as a logical grouping of drives in the RAID array controller software, but that does not delete the contents of the drive. That just deleted the RAID array from the controller. When you create a RAID array and make it bootable using the RAID array controller software, that's all your doing. If there is an existing operating system and you haven't changed the drive order, the existing operating system will boot.

your repair might simply be repairing an existing installation.

unless you individually format hdds to wipe contents, chances are there was an existing operating system installation.

you did say the server was given to you as a method of practice as part of your internship. Chances are they gave you one with a Windows installlation on it.

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I assure you

by kyle.baker In reply to well I'd start over by de ...

It was clean when I got my hands on it.
The server was bought from dell clean. No pre-existing install. The IT director at the company i'm interning for just didn't have time to get around to setting it up himself since it came with outdated firmware that I had to update and such. He figured it'd be a good learning experience for me to set it up from scratch and sort my way through it. It had a clean slate when I started.

When I brought the problem of it not letting me login to the user account I set up during the install because it defaulted to a non-existent domain when I set it for workgroup and not domain, he mentioned he'd encountered it the last time they had to set up a server but couldn't remember the work around and told me to search around and see if I could find it. Googling led me to a bunch of similar errored articles but none actually directly relating to my specific problem. Hence why i'm asking here to see if anyone can help me sort out how to get it to let me log in.

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