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Loading WinNT Server on Dell Poweredge 700

Posted on 2005-04-21
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We have just purchased a new Dell Poweredge 700.  We have a spare WinNT server licence and want to install it on the new Dell for use with Exchange Server 5.5.  When I boot from CD the WinNT install stops and the Dell reboots itself.  This just goes cyclic and neverends.  The Server Assist CD that comes with the Dell does not support WinNT so I cannot use this.  Any clues please as we need a new Exchange server before our old one dies....
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Question by:Andy_Needham
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by:Michael Pfister
ID: 13833748
Does this model come with a RAID or other special disk controller?
 If yes you need to load the NT 4 driver for this controller during the first setup phase of NT4 by pressing F6 just a few seconds after the text setup begins.
See http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;216406, its for Windows 2000 but NT4 is quite the same except it never shows on screen that you can press F6 .. so just try as often as possible.

See at the DELL site if there is a Windows NT 4.0 driver for your disk subsystem.

Michael.
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by:aflockhart
ID: 13843773
I'd also think about whether it's a good idea to install an obsolete OS on a new server in order to run an obsolete messaging system ... neither NT not Exchange 5.5 are supported products any more.  Wouldn't this be a good time to consider migrating to 2003 ?  Things can only get worse from now on as far as getting help and support on NT and Ex5.5.
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by:Andy_Needham
ID: 13870340
Thank you for the comments.   I will investigate further regarding Michael's Comments, as soon as time allows.

Regarding the idea of installing an obsolete OS etc....  We are very happy with the OS and the Exchange server version; we simply want to reinstall it on replacement hardware.  Trouble is the hardware has to be newer technology and is therefore presenting compatibility problems.  The alternative is to upgrade the OS, then upgrade Exchange server, then buy upgraded client licences, then upgrade all the clients, then retrain the operators....rather an expensive exercise just to replace a simple server.
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Expert Comment

by:neoponder
ID: 13921426
Remeber this!!!!  NT for installer will not work with more than 256MB of RAM.  A few years ago servers had an option to limit the ram in the bios, just for this reason.   If you have a new server with more than 256, and you are not using a OEM install disk, than you will have to limit the memory.

P.S., don't for get to re-enable your ram after the install!

Cheers!
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by:Andy_Needham
ID: 13944963
We have tried reducing the memory to 256MB.  The Computer comes with a SCSI tape drive and SATA hard drives.  

When the WinTN4 server install starts it indicates setup is loading a sequence of driver files.  It continues for about 30 seconds, but crashes just when it loads the CD ROM file system?
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neoponder earned 2000 total points
ID: 13946840
I'm not as familar with SATA drives but in general...

Here is what I would try...
1. make sure the RAM is limited
2. don't install from CD, make boot floppies
3. Make sure you have the drivers for the SATA contoller from dell on a floppie with the .INF
4. disconnect the SCSI tape drive.
5. do the F6 process mentioned by MPFISTER
3. If this fail repeat but also add the SCSI drivers from Adapetc to the step 2.


Okay, big P.S. here,

You can upgrade to Windows 2000 and run Exchange 5.5 with no problem.  Actually, it works great.  That's what I'm running now.  There is no need to upgrade your client access licenses.  You can still get support for exchange 5.5, but NT 4 is really just a pain in the A$$ at this point.  I see no reason to keep it.  Spring the $350 or whatever for the Windows OS, and you will be a happy exchange admin.
(terminal serivces is worth the extra cost alone)

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Expert Comment

by:neoponder
ID: 13946857
P.S.S

Even if you get past the install point, your network card will not work until you install SP3 or higher.
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Author Comment

by:Andy_Needham
ID: 14019957
Thanks for the advice; we are investigating your suggestions and will report back ASAP.
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