Server installation troubles with DVD-ROMs

I can be such a dumbass sometimes. 

If you read my previous post, you know that I’m trying to install Server 2008 on a spare server.  Well, I’ve had quite a fiasco that I haven’t experienced in a long time….

I created several boot DVDs, but I couldn’t get the server to read any of them.  I even went into the existing OS to see if the drive could read them.  I burned several new copies on different media, but nothing.  I went into Device Manager to see if the drive had any problems, but all seemed fine.  I even completely changed out ATA cables.

I even tried pulled an ATA DVD drive from another computer (which wasn’t particularly easy, because this case is crap).  It didn’t work either.  I pulled a Plextor SATA DVD drive (one of the first, from 2005, and it is very picky about which chipsets it works with).

Thankfully, my server motherboard found the SATA drive, and I was able to boot.  I came to a problem with my 3ware RAID controller, however.  The 3ware 7000 escalade is a very popular RAID controller in the server world, so you THINK Microsoft would have included drivers, but nooooooooooooo….

While hunting down drivers, I came to a realization.  I remember that some chipsets drive PATA devices from the SATA chipset.  I went back into the BIOS, and sure enough, the SATA chipset was set to “SATA only”.  I changed this to SATA + PATA (combined mode, compatibility mode, etc.)  and my old slimline DVD drive worked like a charm!  It even read ALL of the previous media that I had burned before. 

Now that it was running, I could tackle the RAID controller issue.  Looking on 3ware’s site, I see that they have limted support for Server 2008, but it works if you use their latest “engineering sample” drivers. 

I was thinking that I’d have to put these on a floppy disk…. which would be a completely new fiasco… I’d have to boot into the old OS, copy the files from a USB drive, create an MS-DOS disk, load the drivers, etc….

But thankfully installing 3rd party drivers on Server 2008 is much, much easier.  When I got to the “no drives were found to install on” message, there is a handy little “browse” button, that sees all drives currently attached… including my USB flash drive!  I pointed Windows to this driver, and it installed, and then I was able to partition and format my RAID 1 array.


So I’m happily installing Server 2008.  Sometimes I can be such a dumbass.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.