Microsoft Windows 2003 Operating System installation is not officially supported on Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation (12G) Servers.
Dell highly reccomends that you migrate your IT infratructure.
Intel Sandy bridge processor which is used in 12G servers does not support Windows 2003 installation. Trying to install Windows 2003 will result in Bluescreen of Death as shown in Fig.1
Figure 1: Intel Sandy bridge processor
Windows 2003 intallation is supported in Virtualized environment. This method is only for the Physical PowerEdge server installation.
By using Custom PERC drivers and changing BIOS settings as shown below will result in successful installation of Windows 2003 on 12G servers. There is NO Dell official support for this process and should be used at your own risk. Please contact your Sales/Account Team for the Custom PERC drivers.
For Dell Sales/Accounts Teams only: Please Open a Support Request in salesforce.com to engage CSE team. The process for entering the request is mentioned here:
- Go to salesforce.com
- Go to the opportunity tab
- Open or create a new opportunity
- Click on Alert that says engage PG Custom solutions engineering
- This will open a support request (SR) with us
- Please note that This SR is in Incomplete status until you enter all the required fields.
Please read the alert at the start of the SR and enter Platform and OS which are required field, in the non-edit mode.
Once you do that, the status will change to "Unassigned" and we will take it from there.
Installation of Windows 2003 on 12G servers involves two important steps.
- Microsoft does not provide AHCI drivers for Sandy bridge processor for Windows 2003. So, trying to install Windows 2003 in AHCI mode results in Blue screen. Windows 2003 can be installed in Dell 12G server only in ATA mode that can be changed under SATA settings. The process is explained below.
- Dell PERC drivers are not available for Microsoft Windows 2003. Custom drivers1 need to be obtained through your Dell Accounts/Sales team from us and installed before Operating System installation.
Any PERC firmware updates might result in unknown errors.
- Download Windows 2003 Operating System image and burn a DVD.
- Copy the Custom PERC drivers obtained by contacting Sales/Accounts Teams into a Floppy disk.
- Power on the Dell PowerEdge Server and press F2 to boot into System Setup.
Figure 2: 2003 Operating System
- Click on System BIOS to enter into BIOS menu.
- Click SATA settings and change the Embedded SATA to ATA Mode. The default is AHCI mode on Dell 12th Generation servers.
- Save the changes and reboot the system.
- Insert Windows 2003 DVD and boot from it.
- Insert the PERC drivers floppy disk into the floppy drive.
Figure 5: PERC drivers
- Press F6 to load Custom drivers from floppy disk.
- Press "S" in the following screen
Figure 6: Windows Setup
- Select the Custom PERC Driver from the floppy.
- Now that the appropriate driver is selected, Press Enter to continue loading the driver.
- Installation should recognize the hard disk after loading the Custom PERC drivers.
- Select the recognized disk and installation continues successfully.
- Login to the Operating system after successful installation.
- Download the Chipset driver downloaded from Dell support website for the Server(Ex: R720) and install the executable. This will recognize the Chipset related Unknown devices in Device Manager.
- The NIC cards might not be recognized due to lack of drivers. We found legacy divers for some models. Please contact us with NIC model number and we might be able to help getting the drivers installed.
Dell Custom Solutions Engineering Team has tested the installation on Microsoft Windows 2003 on PowerEdge R620, R720 and T620 Servers. Please note that this is not an officially supported configuration from Dell and it is not on Microsoft hardware certification list (HCL) and as such is not officially supported by Microsoft either. This is a reported to work only. For any other information please contact your account team for assistance (additonal costs for driver evaluation and testing could appear).
- Any PERC firmware upgrades might result in unknown errors.
- No Application testing has been done on Windows 2003 installed on Dell 12G Servers. Users should run the applications in test environment before using in Production environment.
- The SATA setting on the Server is running on ATA mode so any AHCI specific features are not available.
- We have seen better results with Windows 2003 Enterprise version than Standard version.
- Broadcom 10GB Network cards drivers are unavailable for Windows 2003 OS.
- There might be other risks involved using Windows 2003 on 12G server that are not listed here explicitly. Use it with caution! Happy Installing :-)
THESE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL DELL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.