Just picked up a Dell PowerEdge R720. I created a virtual disk with the PERC H710 Mini BIOS Configuration Utility 4.03-0002 and configured it for RAID 1.
When I then go to try to install Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit the virtual disk I just created fails to show up and it doesn't show any drives in which to install Windows Server on.
What am I doing wrong?
I've tried downloading drivers from Dell but they only come as .exe files which I can not run when I am in the middle of trying to install Windows.
I will provide any other information that might be of help, just ask!


You should be using the LifeCycle Controller to install the OS, which will include the appropriate drivers for your RAID controller.

  • I never would have guessed. Do I access that through the setup menu using F2? – gh0st Sep 5 '14 at 2:38
  • It should be F10 while the server is booting/posting. – joeqwerty Sep 5 '14 at 4:37
  • +1 - It's very easy to miss if you've not seen the Lifecycle Controller used for this before. This is definitely the best way to go about it. – JimNim Sep 5 '14 at 13:46
  • The Lifecycle Controller was not enough to me, I still had to load the drivers (but I'm using a R220). See: serverfault.com/questions/662829/… – msb Jan 28 '15 at 1:38

joeqwerty's answer is the best way to go. For obtaining the drivers for installing using the approach you were trying to take though, you can just download the "ZipPack" type EXE file, which is just a self-extracting archive.

The file for 2008 R2: DELL_MULTI-DEVICE_A02_R283425.exe

The file for 2008 x64: DELL_MULTI-DEVICE_A02_R283424.exe

This extracts to C:\dell\Drivers\W7X7H (for R2 - "93NDM" for 2008 x64) by default, and leaves you with the percsas2.sys driver and other files that can be used during OS deployment as needed. You can then place these files on removable media and browse for them when it's time to specify a driver during installation.

But again, the Lifecycle Controller is really the best way to go here - specifically, the Dell Unified Server Configurator feature. You can find instructions and detailed info on the process on this Dell TechCenter page. You'll use the UEFI GUI to start OS deployment, configure virtual disks, and select the CD/DVD to install from.

  • So if I use the Lifecycle Controller will it allow me to run an exe or will it recognize the blank drive to install on? Because right now if I try to install Server 08 by booting off a CD the drivers fail to load and it doesn't accept a .exe as driver files. – gh0st Sep 5 '14 at 17:37
  • I'll clarify and edit my answer - you need to put the files on removable media (e.g. USB thumb drive) after you've extracted them on a different system first. I'll also add more info for deployment with the Lifecycle controller. – JimNim Sep 6 '14 at 17:25
  • When I run the .exe on any machine which it wasn't written for it errors out. – gh0st Sep 8 '14 at 22:33
  • You're using the ZPACK exe files that I linked in my answer? If the self-extracting file won't run, claiming incompatibility, you should be able to simply use an archiving utility (e.g. 7zip) to extract the file as if it were only a ZIP. – JimNim Sep 9 '14 at 20:29

Lifecycle controller is the way to go. I mount and OS ISO in virtual media in iDrac8 then boot to it after setting up OS deployment in Lifecycle. It will then recognize the drives on the raid controller.


Even when installing with the Life Cycle Manager you need drivers and those of us using this as an ESXi host and installing through vSphere don't really have that option. I think this link will provide you with what you need. As you mentioned you DON'T need the exe files. http://www.dell.com/support/home/cd/en/cdbsdt1/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=2V1CW.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.