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Dell OS Partition Choices for Server

Posted on 2012-09-07
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Looking at a T620 server with a RAID 1 + RAID 1 setup and Windows Server 2008 Standard. Dell gives the following options for the OS partition:

None
40GB Microsoft OS Partition Override add
80GB Microsoft OS Partition Override add
Maximum Microsoft OS Partition Override, GPT Enabled
Maximum Partition Size Override for Microsoft Windows Factory Installed

Since I'm purchasing a total of four hard drives with a RAID 1 + RAID 1 setup, will the OS be installed on the first pair of hard drives, thereby leaving the second pair empty?

The last two options appear (at first glance at least) to the exact same - are they?. 40GB seems terribly low given all of the Windows updates. What does the partition table look like if None is selected?

Thanks
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Question by:TacomaVA
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by:Norm Dickinson
Norm Dickinson earned 1336 total points
ID: 38376827
Do not opt for the 40 GB as you will likely run out of room eventually. 80 GB may also be low, but you can probably live with it. See http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/extras/w/wiki/2837.aspx for more details. Also http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463525.aspx.

This author claims the last two choices are identical. http://adminalive.blogspot.com/2009/12/dell-poweredge-r710-configuration.html.

None quite likely looks like "Insert system disk" to start an installation yourself...
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 664 total points
ID: 38378418
My recommendation:

DO NOT PURCHASE WINDOWS PRE-INSTALLED ON THE SERVER.

That's an OEM license.  Yes, it's a little cheaper.  BUT, it's restricted.  The license can NEVER leave that hardware.  If you want to use a BDR or Hyper-V cluser with a VM using that Windows license, you CANNOT because the server might leave the hardware.

Buy a VOLUME LICENSE (Dell sells them... and cheaper than most partners can).  Not only will you have the right to move the license, cluster, and use a BDR, but you'll have access to the media to download from Microsoft's volume license site and won't need to protect the media from Dell with your life.

If you DO buy OEM (I think it's short-sighted to do so these days considering the minimal price difference), then DO NOT keep the factory install.  You want to reload the box so you don't get any "Dell" settings that might be less than optimal for you.

These days, I recommend a 100-120 GB C: partition
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TacomaVA earned 0 total points
ID: 38383851
Thanks everyone.  I went with the Maxima Microsoft OS partition without GPT.  I forgot that with Windows 2008 I could easily resize the partition later on.
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by:Norm Dickinson
Norm Dickinson earned 1336 total points
ID: 38383861
That should work out fine. If you have any issues with it, you know where to come for answers!
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Author Closing Comment

by:TacomaVA
ID: 38446900
I spoke with Dell and discussed the various options plus searching online.
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