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Dell Precision T5400 Server 2003 Install

Posted on 2011-02-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a 32-bit Dell Precision T5400 that I would like to install Server '03 on, the only issue is that I cannot find drivers for Server '03.  Anyone know anything I don't?  I've had a fair amount of success using XP drivers with certain hardware but the intent is to run an accounting application (requires Server '03) on this box and obviously I'd like it to be stable.  Any ideas?

My zones aren't the greatest, sorry.
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Question by:Ryat66
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 63 total points
ID: 34893370
Consider installing Hyper-V or ESXi on the system, then install 2003 in a virtual machine.

Dell typically doesn't make server drivers available for non-server class hardware.
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by:Darius Ghassem
Darius Ghassem earned 31 total points
ID: 34893553
leew is correct Dell doesn't support this version being installed but usually Windows XP drivers will install for Windows 2003 Server drivers.

Hyper-v does work on  this hardware I have one working right now actually
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by:Ryat66
ID: 34893743
Hmmm...I have to admit, I'm not real sharp on virtualization yet.  Is Hyper V or ESXi easier to implement? Isn't Hyper V only for 2008? Are they both really free or is there a catch?
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Lee W, MVP earned 63 total points
ID: 34893785
The catch is they are a bit of a b*tch to manage.  I found ESX(i) - in the 5 minutes I tried - to be a pain in the a$$.  HyperV requires a Win7 (maybe vista) machine with the administrative tools installed to manage effectively - and if you don't join the hyper-v instance to the domain, getting the proper firewall ports open to start managing it can be more than a headache.  Once you've got it working, it works great... I'm using an XP VM in a Hyper-V install right now to respond to this question.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 31 total points
ID: 34893803
Just food for thought ... just because Dell doesn't support 2003 on it doesn't mean it won't be stable.  Consider that the T5400 uses an Intel 5400 server board, on which Intel fully supports 2003, so even though Dell doesn't have the drivers, you can get them from Intel:

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&ProductFamily=Server+Products&ProductLine=Intel%c2%ae+Server+Boards&ProductProduct=Intel%c2%ae+Server+Board+S5400SF&ProdId=2859&LineId=3161&FamilyId=37

If you have a Dell RAID controller (PERC 5/6 or SAS 5/iR), you can get the drivers from a handful of Dell server download pages that use the same controller, like the PowerEdge 1900:

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?os=WNET&catid=46&dateid=-1&impid=-1&osl=EN&typeid=-1&formatid=-1&servicetag=&SystemID=PWE_P4_1900&hidos=WNET&hidlang=en&TabIndex=&scanSupported=True&scanConsent=False

Likewise, the Broadcom fully supports the T5400's onboard NIC chip (5754):
http://www.broadcom.com/support/ethernet_nic/netxtreme_desktop.php
 
So, while not actually supported, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be stable if you're able to get all the devices installed ok.
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by:Ryat66
ID: 34895723
Thank you your help PowerEdgeTech!
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by:Qlemo
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This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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