Dell Poweredge 2600 - Boot options!

Just looking for some suggestions,
I've got an older Dell PowerEdge 2600 server that I'm currently resurrecting to use in a  test environment.  I've got my copy of Server 2008 32bit all ready to go - only one problem.  The Server doesn't have a DVD drive - CD only (shows you how old the thing is).

Anyway, the server does not have an IDE or SATA bus, SCSI only.  I have no SCSI DVD drives.  I've attempted to use an external DVD drive - no love, the BIOS only allow for boot via HDD,  Floppy, or CD.  

So, what I'm looking for - does anyone know if a BIOS upgrade would allow for USB boot support?  I'll need to install some windows-based OS it seems to flash, and I don't want to waste my time if it's going to be fruitless.  Also, I'm wondering if it would be safe to assume that popping either an IDE or  SATA PCI card would allow for boot from a attached device (why not, I can boot from my RAID array - but  that's a bit different I guess)

Any Suggestions
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

I don't know if it's ok but i would try : installing a 2003  then upgrading to 2008 from USB DVD

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
JamesonJendreasAuthor Commented:
Hmmm - that may be worth a try
You should be able to load it to a USB key and load from that. You need at least 8 GB key to do it. Instructions are on the net. Another option is Windows Deployment Services. I would try USB key first as it takes a bit to download WDS and get it going.  

BTY, Dell should have a floppy version of the BIOS installer.
Your Guide to Achieving IT Business Success

The IT Service Excellence Tool Kit has best practices to keep your clients happy and business booming. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to increase client satisfaction and retention, become more competitive, and increase your overall success.

JamesonJendreasAuthor Commented:
Sorry Kevin, but my BIOS doesn't allow for boot from USB - that's the issue (or else I'd at least try using one of my external DVD drives).
JamesonJendreasAuthor Commented:
Also, I don't have time to get a BIOS floppy from Dell, I'd rather install a copy of XP and flash from their utility
The 2600 DOES have an IDE support, but you need the interposer cable, which it sounds like you don't have time for. Enhanced legacy USB Support was added in BIOS version A09
JamesonJendreasAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the heads up - I did notice that the IDE requires the interposer (as I have a tape drive in it).  But yeah - if a BIOS update will do the trick then I may be OK w.o buying anything.  I'm currently installing 2003 server so that I can try to either update the BIOS or attempt an install from a USB drive initialed in a windows session.
If you get your boot from USB working, you can then use the below method to install Windows 2008 install to USB and install from there.

Download Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool and install it from 
JamesonJendreasAuthor Commented:
Thanks Kevin,
Although at this point I've started doing what Zaid suggested.  2003's installed and I'm running the "Custom Install' from Windows.  Looks to be creating the setup directory on my HDD.  
You should upgrade your BIOS before doing the 2008 install. Could be compatability fixes.
JamesonJendreasAuthor Commented:
Planning upgrading the BIOS.  Thanks for passing the Floppy link across as I could only find the Windows version (not that I looked too hard).  I'll be upgrading those as well.

Thanks All for the suggestions.

Fir the future, if you click on the circled link, you get the page that shows all of the different file packages, release notes, etc.
JamesonJendreasAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tip.  I've never used Dell Servers before (new job) and never really dealt with the Dell support site.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Server Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.