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I can't seem to get Windows installed into this Dell PowerEdge 2950 server (As embarrassing as it is). The server has no floopy and the install needs a RAID driver (Perc 5/i). So far I have tried:

  • A usb floppy drive
  • 2 Thumb drives after turning on floppy emulation for USB in the BIOS for these drives. The drives have the drivers in the root of the drive (no folders).
  • I have a dell disk for a 2850 not a 2950, but that asks for a replication floppy?

Anything else I can try besides building a custom windows install disk?

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Going to try this "Dell USB Key F6 Driver Utility" from the dell website: "The USBKeyPrepF6 Utility is used to prepare USB keys in anticipation of being used to supply mass storage drivers during a Windows Server 2003 installation on Dell servers that do not have a floppy drive. " – Kyle Brandt Mar 2 '10 at 14:27
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Try this:

Or this:

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I'm thinking maybe that CD will take care of other stuff if it works, so going to wait for that to finish downloading and try that instead of the USB floppy thing first. – Kyle Brandt Mar 2 '10 at 14:53
The Server Assistant CD will definitely install the drivers for you. I don't use it that often, except when I'm in your shoes and don't have a floppy drive. :) – joeqwerty Mar 2 '10 at 15:04
You should have received this CD with your server actually. – Le Comte du Merde-fou Mar 2 '10 at 18:24
Yep. Every Dell server ships with a set of installation, management, and documentation CD's. – joeqwerty Mar 2 '10 at 18:32
Ya these were bought before I got here, and I had bunch of those cds, but none for the 2950. I notice the CD uses Windows needs Linux to get installed, oh that pleases my foolish 'linux r0ckz' side :-P – Kyle Brandt Mar 2 '10 at 19:22

You can use nlite to slipstream the RAID drivers into a 2003 disc; should be plenty of docs/support at the nlite site (see below).

Surprised that the USB thumbdrive didn't work -- you sure you enabled/changed the boot order in the BIOS? You can also buy USB-to-Floppy drives -- believe they're meant as a laptop accessory but I know I've used one before for driver disks.

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USB floppy was the first thing I tried... The windows install boots, but when I press S to load the drivers it doesn't find anything.... not sure what the boot order has to do with that? – Kyle Brandt Mar 2 '10 at 14:25
Yeah, you're right: boot order has nothing to do with it; coffee first, then ServerFault. <g>. – gravyface Mar 2 '10 at 14:34

Can you not use Dell's lights-out management (DRAC I think, I'm a HP-man sorry) to mount an .ISO as a floppy or CD?

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