poweredge 2950 server 2003 install raid driver and repair windows

Objective

Installing (or repairing) Windows Server 2003 x64 on a Poweredge 2950 with Perc 5i / 6i (LSI logic) RAID drivers.

Why won’t the installer recognize the RAID controller?!?!? Keep reading for the answer!

Background

This was a nightmare but i finally figured out how to get windows setup to read my RAID drive (In my case i couldn’t use Dell’s System Build and Update Utility disc because it wants to format the entire RAID disk… i just wanted to repair my install).

Problem

The Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 installation disc will not recognize your LSI perc raid card without installing third party drivers.  This becomes complicated as there is no floppy drive with the power edge 2950 and just sticking the drivers on a usb stick won’t cut it.

Luckily I figured out how to get windows setup to recognize your raid drive…. (special thanks to thebackroomtech )

Solution

You will need to create a “USB Floppy” with the drivers. Windows Setup can read that.

Obtaining the Drivers

  1. Download and extract the Dell USB Key F6 Driver Utility
  2. Download the drivers for the perc 5i 6i here.
  3. Extract the contents of the DELL driver right into the ‘Files’ folder (this is off the root of wherever you extracted the usb utility)

Working with the keyprep utility

  1. Run the ‘USBKeyPrepF6.exe’ utility
  2. Select your usb key (WARNING, THIS UTILITY WILL DELETE ALL FILES ON THE USB STICK!)
  3. Make sure you delete the default name it wants to give the usb key (make it completely blank)

    NOTE: DURING PREPARATION YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BROWSE THE USBKEY IN WINDOWS EXPLORER, THIS IS OKAY

  4. Click “prepare”

To Install Server 2003 x64

  1. Place server 2003 x64 CD in the CDROM
  2. Attach USB key
  3. Power on machine
  4. Modify the BIOS:

    • Set the USB flash to “floppy”,
    • Change boot order to be 1.cdrom
    1. hdd
    2. usb flash
  5.  Boot off installation disk

  6. When installation is loading you press F6 (indicating you want to load third party drivers)

  7. At the next prompt hit “S” to specify additional device

  8. Select “DELL PERC5 and PERC6/CERC6 RAID Controller Driver (Server 2003 for x64)
  9. Hit Enter twice
  10. Do not select the “recovery console” option
  11. Act like you are going to install windows (hit f8 to agree to terms) 12.There should be an option to repair an existing installation

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