Windows Server 2008 install and boot very slow on Dell PE 2650 server

Posted on 2009-02-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I'm trying to install Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition x86 on somePE2650 servers. The installer starts fine off the DVD (have tried two diff. burned copies), once it gets to the grey textured background it sits there for about 20-30 minutes before it gets to the Welcome to Server 2008 Setup screen. After I go through, select the PERC 3/Di driver I downloaded from Dell Drivers for Server 2008, it starts the copying files process. This seems to go very, very slowly... took over an hour to get to 74%. Eventually it finishes (I am not watching it the entire time) and takes a long time to boot up, with a completely blank screen. Keyboard commands like Num Lock and CAPS Lock don't do anything. After sitting probably over an hour it finally boots up ready to set the password. Some reboots take the normal amount of time, and then some reboots take 20-30 minutes, just sitting at a blank screen. I do not know what may have occured that could be causing this. It even does it after installing Microsoft updates.

After I have completely configured the server and it is operational and ready for production, I haven't had any problems and it reboots normally. I've installed this exact OS, with the same disc on some 2850's and didn't have any problems. So i'm not sure what the deal is... I think i've tried 3x 2650s so far and they all are doing it. Anyone got any thoughts/suggestions on this?
Question by:IDJC
    LVL 52

    Expert Comment

    The problem could be the PERC driver. Try another driver if handy. You could also narrow the possibilities by installing to a different harddrive controller if you are able to install one - just for a test.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the reply... There is only one driver available that I could find. I should however note that the initial startup screen for Server 2008 setup sits there for 20-30 minutes, and that is before you even get an opportunity to select drivers. So that would tell me that drivers has nothing to do with it.

    I found that having the 2008 Server install disc in the drive is what was causing the slow boot-up after it was installed. If I took the disc out it booted in its normal time frame. With the disc in, it took 30-60 minutes to boot. I babysat and watched the startup process, and it appeared to start booting the OS, then just before it would boot into Windows and show a mouse pointer, it would check for a disc in the drive, if the install disc was there, it would then hang at a blank screen.

    Both the discs I burned the installer on are two different brands of media, so I doubt that is the problem. I tried to boot from an external DVD drive but the 2650 doesn't appear to support USB device booting... I don't have any other Dell modular DVD drive to try... I'm not sure what else could be causing this issue. Maybe just a weird copy of the ISO I downloaded from Microsoft. Maybe i'll go download a new copy and re-burn it to a new disc and see if that makes a difference.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    We are having a similar issue with an IBM 2650 Server...  Blank screen after fresh installation with a cursor in the middle.  Can press start-r to get to a run command, then run explorer..   Tried a fresh installation, and same issue.  

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