I was able to get my hands on a cheap re-conditioned PowerEdge SC1435. I plan on using it as a test lab with a number of virtual machines on it.
I would like to install Windows Server 2012. But I was unable to get that work, now I am trying 2008 R2 and all though it is currently installing it’s taking a very very long time! I would say at least 90 minutes now and it’s only on the expanding stage and at 50%.
So first of, is this normal? Should it really take this long to install an operating system?
Should I be able to install windows server 2012?
An the noise! I have worked with servers before and they make a noise on power up. But this is spinning at consistent full speed since power up! Will the never level drop once the OS is installed?
Should I be running some sort of Dell build cd for this server?
Any information on these would be great!
Thanks in advance!
"So first of, is this normal? Should it really take this long to install an operating system?"
No, that is not normal. As you probably know, 2008/2012 takes usually no more than 15 minutes for the base install. I have seen this on occasion, where the install takes an inordinate amount of time, but then, once installed, performs just as you would expect ... could be media related, drive related, etc. I would examine logs, drivers, and firmware once installed for any oddities. Which RAID controller does it have? Drives? Installing via USB or DVD?
"Should I be able to install windows server 2012?"
Not necessarily. Dell does not support 2012 on the SC1435. That doesn't mean it won't work, just that it may not, and it is up to you to find drivers and troubleshoot any issues. In most cases, 2008R2 drivers can be used. You didn't say what problems you were encountering trying to install 2012, so I"m afraid I don't have any additional thoughts on how you might get it to "work".
"An the noise! I have worked with servers before and they make a noise on power up. But this is spinning at consistent full speed since power up! Will the never level drop once the OS is installed?"
No. Having an installed OS should make no difference on the fan noise. It is normal for the fans to ramp up when powered on, but they should drop down to their "normal" level after a few seconds (it is part of the ESM initialization). If the fans do not ramp back down, then you probably have a problem - a failed fan, the lid is off, etc. The server configuration (RAM, add-in cards, RAID cards, etc.) can all determine what is "normal" for this server. Also, updating the ESM (which controls the fans) can help them run more efficiently (usually quieter/slower). However, keep in mind that servers are usually louder than desktops, especially older servers, and 1U servers are notoriously loud because of the small fan size.
"Should I be running some sort of Dell build cd for this server?"
There will not be one that will help with 2012 (since it is not supported), but the latest version of SMTD (Systems Management Tools and Documentation) would work for 2008R2. There is, however, very little reason to use SMTD to install 2008 and later.
As for the installation time it could be down to DVD drive I am using. The media worked fine on a testing workstation. It should complete any time soon, I hope.
The 2012 install would not work due to the the first screen never loading. But saying that, 2008 R2 took around 20 minutes for that screen to load as well.
I think once the 2008R2 is installed I will run the BIOS updates and then try upgrading to 2012.
It is a 1U server, So ill have alook online see if i can get some better fans. I am aware the fan connection needs to be considered on this.
Thanks for the information