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Installing Windows Server 2008 on older Dell servers

Posted on 2009-04-14
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Does anyone know if it is possible to install Windows Server 2008 on a Dell Poweredge 2450 or a Poweredge 6400?  I would guess there may be problems with driver support for the Perc RAID controllers in these machines.

Andy
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Question by:andyt222
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Expert Comment

by:ryan80
ID: 24135600
I have tried installing Server 2008 on some older Poweredges and HP Proliants.  There are driver issues and major compatibility issues.  I was able to get it working on one HP, but it was really more luck than anything else.  There can be issue with the RAID controllers and the motherboard as well with compatibility. The only real way to find out is to give it a try, as there is not much documentation out there telling you what unsupported hardware may work.  I had 2 HP DL380 G3s. It worked on one and didnt work on the other.  Depends on exactly is in the server.

Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:andyt222
ID: 24135722
Yes, like you I found there's so littl;e information out there about hardware compatibility issues and neither Microsoft nor Dell really want you using 10 year old servers. I guess it's a case of suck it & see. Win2k3 will install out of the box on the Dell PE2450 with no problems and we could upgrade from Win2k to this on these servers if Win2k8 isn't possible. But I don't know about the 6400 - we only have one of these and it's a 'live' system that we can't take out of service for tests unless I fix up a replacement first.

We've also been asked to upgrade a HP DL360 G1 from Win2k3 to Win2k8 but that's definitely not possible according to HP and in addition, a HP DL 560 G3 (currently running Win2k3).

I'll let you know how I get on.

cheers, Andy  
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ryan80 earned 200 total points
ID: 24137786
Good luck.  it really seems to be so conditional on so many things that you really cant tell until you try.  As I said I have 3 DL380 G3's that are almost identical.  it worked on one and not the other.  Seems the same for any posts that I have searched about it.  I wouldnt chance it with a live system.
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Author Closing Comment

by:andyt222
ID: 31594777
In the end, owing to the current financial climate, the client who owns these servers has abandoned their plans to upgrade all of their servers to Win2k8 and are staying with Win2k3 on their newer servers while the older Dell PE 2450 and 6400 servers will instead be upgraded from Windows 2000 to Win2k3, which is known to be supported on both.

However, I dd get a chance to experiment with installing Win2k8 on a pair of HP DL 560's and like yourself, I found that it would install on one server but not the other! Very strange.
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