HP Proliant ML370 5G and Windows Server 2008 R2 x64

Our server, an HP Proliant ML370 5G, is currently running on Windows Server 2003.  We are now intending to do FORMAT and do a FRESHinstall of Windows Serve 2008 R2 x64.  

To ensure a smooth install, are there any steps that I should?  Your response with LINKS, if necessary, would be greatly appreciated.
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Use SmartStart CD to do the OS install with as it installs thedrivers and utilities, it is at this horrendously long URL
esabetAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  A few questions:

1. Should I update the Sysytem BIOS first before installing any of the other Firmware updates? And should I do this prior to getting rid of our current Win. Server 2003?[/step] [step="2" title="Should I apply the Firmware Updates while we are still running the current OS (Win. Server 2003) (and then format the drive and install Server 2008)?

3. Is there a specific order that I should install the firmware updates? i.e. Apply the Storage Controller firmware update and then the Video Card and so on!!

4. In reference to the SmartStart CD, would there be other drivers that I would still need to update after using the SmartStart CD? If yes, how can I determine which drivers?

5. One last question, when selecting the OS for the available updates and downloads, I see that there are two choices: [b]Windows Server 2008 R2 [/b]and then [b]Windows Server 2008 x64[/b]. Which one is the right selection for us. As I mentioned before we intend to install Windows Server 2008 R2 x64

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Cliff GaliherConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First let me say that as a general rule, I think it is a bad idea to run any server out of warranty. Have you taken this into consideration in your disaster recovery plan? If the thing blows a power supply, what data will you lose and how easy will it be to restore the backup on significantly different hardware?  I admit I am jumping to one small conclusion, but it has been my experience that any server running 2003 still is very likely out of warranty considering 2008 is already in extended support.

But if you are intent on moving forward with this plan, here are the answers to your questions:

1) Update the system bios before installing the new OS. Might be easier to do it before getting rid of 2003 as well, but hopefully *after* you've moved any critical data off the 2003 server to another location should the BIOS update fail and brick the motherboard (see my DR comment above.)

2) Not if critical data is still running. Some firmware updates do run from Windows though, so having an OS that you have access to will make flashing easier in some cases. And being up-to-date *before* installing the new OS is better.

3) Refer to the release notes for specifics, but in general I have not seen HP have hardware dependency issues in the different subsystems as you describe. Any order *should* be fine unless the release notes specifically state otherwise. HP's server release notes have been consistently high quality.

4) Very likely most of the drivers will have updates via the HP website.

5) Server 2008 was released in a x86 and x64 variant. 2008 R2 is *only* available in x64, which is why you don't see an x86 choice there. The x64 can be safely assumed. Choose the R2 option if that is what you are installing.
SelfGovernConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The safest thing to do is probably this:
1) Back up your data
2) Download and run the ProLiant Support Pack for the currently-installed version of Windows
3) Run HP SmartStart for your server
4) Load the new OS
5) Download and run the ProLiant Support Pack for your newly-installed OS

It shouldn't strictly be necessary to run support pack twice; it should be perfectly safe to run it after the new OS is loaded.  But it doesn't take long, and the order above can't hurt.

SmartStart helps set your server up for the intended OS.  Support Pack has the drivers for all supported options for that server and OS combination.
IF ,you are not going to back rev to  to the earlier version of windows,flash the BIOS,flash the RAID and then install 2008.
It will by default download all the relevant patches and ask  if you want to update.
It can take a couple of hours.
Been there ,done that.
ALSO,if you are going to use the built in backup,make sure you have no non NTFS partitions.
Brian BConnect With a Mentor Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
To answer your questions:

1 and 2 (firmware and bios), yes if you can.
3 (order of updates) not really
4 (drivers) I would download the latest drivers and put them on a memory stick or somewhere where you can access them if something doesn't work.
5 Don't get server 2008 and server 2008R2 mixed up. R2 is 64 bit only.

Once you are done, there is also SP1 for R2. Unless you have a pecific requirement to not use SP1, you should probably have that downloaded and ready to go as well to save yourself some time pushing it through windows update.
andyalderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I stopped posting when they put all that in bold, if it was in normal font I would have replied. Made me feel I was being shouted at.
esabetAuthor Commented:
Thank you everyone for all the detailed replies.

Andyalder, sorry but no shouting was intended.  I simply used the "list" at the toolbar and its beyond me why it made everything bold!!!
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