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Need PERC 4e/Di Win7/Vista x86 driver for Dell PowerEdge 2850

Posted on 2011-08-17
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I have an old Dell PowerEdge 2850 that I am retasking as a "sandbox" for some of our developers & engineers.  I'm trying to install Windows 7 x86 and can't find a compatible driver.  

I appreciate any help you can provide!
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Question by:AltaSens
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 36387307
Your best bet would be the 2008 x86 drivers if they don't work then you may want to look into running win 7 as a virtual machine on top of a supported server os.
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Author Comment

by:AltaSens
ID: 36387431
thanks for the suggestions, close but not quite.  For some reason, there ARE drivers for Windows Server 2008R2 (x64) but none for 2008 x86.  strange.  any other ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 36397750
2008 R1 had the PERC drivers integrated, which is why there are none listed for 2008.  2008 R2 had the drivers removed, and although they are available on Dell's website, 2008 R2 is 64-bit only, so they won't work with 7x86.

Your best bet is this driver - it is a 2008 R2 driver for the PCIe add-in version of the same RAID controller (PERC 4e/DC) ... it does have a slightly different firmware vs. the onboard PERC 4e/Di, but it is really your only option, unless you can find a Windows 7 driver on LSI's website for the model the PERC 4e/Di is based on.
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=08&l=en&s=bsdr&releaseid=R227150&SystemID=PWE_1800&servicetag=&os=WS8R2&osl=en&deviceid=6315&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=1&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=35&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=326367

Alternatively, you could always turn off RAID (set onboard RAID to SCSI Enabled under Integrated Devices in BIOS Setup (F2)).
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 36397796
Sorry ... scratch that link ... apparently I forgot half-way through we decided 2008 R2 drivers won't work and 2008 R1 drivers weren't necessary :)

There were also no workstations where Vista/7 would have been supported that used a card with a compatible driver.  

My recommendation?  Disable RAID to install Windows 7 on the 2850.  (Or, see if LSI has a driver for Windows 7 ... I didn't see one at a glance.)
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 36397810
Other alternatives ...

I believe Vista will install ok on this (if I remember right, I tried this way back when Vista came out - and it should have the same driver base as 2008 R1).

Install Windows 7x64 with the 2008 R2 driver.
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Author Comment

by:AltaSens
ID: 36410430
Hi PowerEdgeTech -

Thanks for the suggestions.

I tried installing Vista and no driver available, and the 2008R1 x86 driver shows up properly in the list of available devices when I browse to the floppy drive with the driver, but the driver will not load.

I have now disabled RAID and have booted to my WDS server to install Win7 Pro x86 and I'm bring prompted for a storage driver again - with the PERC disabled, what should I choose here?

Thanks for all the help thus far!

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PowerEdgeTech earned 2000 total points
ID: 36411934
Are you being "prompted" for a storage driver, or is Windows simply not finding any drives to install to?  My 2800 (which is just the tower version of the 2850 and is otherwise identical, other than a few extra drive and expansion slots) did not find drives with the PERC but DID see all 8 of my drives when I booted to a Windows 7 Professional x86 DVD.  No driver was needed.

If you are being prompted for a driver, what does the prompt look like/what does it say exactly?  If it is telling you a driver is needed for your CD/DVD, then this is not a storage issue and you have something wrong with your Windows 7 media.

Make sure that in the BIOS Setup (F2) that under Integrated Devices the Embedded RAID is set to SCSI Enabled - it should switch to SCSI on BOTH channels.  Make sure that after rebooting that you hit Y to accept the change from RAID to SCSI, or the change will cancel.

I will work on a possible working solution for it in RAID mode.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 36411938
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Author Closing Comment

by:AltaSens
ID: 36457832
this worked, thanks!  still disappointed that I can't use the hardware RAID but at least I can get some value out of this old server.  cheers!
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