Getting the OS installed on a Dell PowerEdge T110-II. Should it be this hard?

Got a Dell T110-II server with PERC S300 Raid controller.  It has 3 drives. I want 2 as a RAID 1 and 1 as hot spare.

It did not come with OEM OS.  We got that through VL.  I have the OS as an ISO.  Put it on a Zalman device and boot off the ISO.  Asks for the license key and I enter it.  then for installing, it 'doesn't see any drives'.

I look at the Dell support site for S300 drivers and don't see any?  There's files for OpenManage but none of those on the website that I see are bootable and the only Open manage disk they sent with the server says 'this is not a bootable DVD'.

What shoudl I be doing from the S300 BIOS vs. elsewhere and what files and apps should I be using to configure the RAID and hard drives?
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAsked:
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
You need to use a different controller (or a different OS) ... the S300 controller is not supported in 2012.

http://i.dell.com/sites/doccontent/shared-content/solutions/en/Documents/ws2012-migration-considerations.pdf

You can attach your drives to the motherboard (with RAID (S100) disabled) or upgrade the controller to the H200.
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
!!!!!!!  Upgrade the controller to H200?!  Is that hardware we need to get?  Damn!  I relied on a friend / consultant that said S300 over the H200.  I always heard hardware is better than software raid.

so if I had chosen the OS while building the machine on the dell website, it would have balked with the S300?
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
upgrade the controller = replace the controller?
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Depends, but hardware is usually better than software. S300 - the 'S' is for Software; H200 - the 'H' is for Hardware. Sounds like your consultant was confused. The S300 would not have been available for purchase if you chose 2012 for the OS.

Yes, "replace".

You can also "downgrade" the OS to 2008 R2 under your 2012 license.
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
DAMN!  Yeah, i know little, but figured out the S and H meanings : )

another option according to that page is to use the onboard RAID?

Option2: Switching to on-board SATA controller from PERC S300

I guess you can really only get an H200 from dell?  Would you get that or something else at this point?

Newegg is near me for quick pickup.

Dell wants 235 for the H200?  I thought when building it, the S300 or H200 were the same price / $1xx ?   Pays to get it when building the machine : (

http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=342-3389
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Yeah, it's always cheaper to buy it during the purchase than after-the-fact from Dell, however you can get it cheaper from third-party suppliers (and probably cheaper from eBay):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UFAW48Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00UFAW48Q&linkCode=as2&tag=gregn-20&linkId=NSKQZKOCJI5JHXFB

http://www.impactcomputers.com/47mcv.html

I have heard the H700 works fine in the T110 II ... it is not supported by Dell, but some have installed it and reported it working. I wouldn't get it if you aren't prepared to troubleshoot your own server/storage issues though ... and it is much more expensive.

You can attach it to the onboard SATA (as long as you aren't using SAS drives), but the onboard SATA with RAID enabled is the S100, which doesn't work with 2012 either, so you will need to disable RAID in the BIOS for SATA operation settings. I would probably go this route myself.
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
Go this route.:  get the h300 you mean?
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
You can attach it to the onboard SATA (as long as you aren't using SAS drives), but the onboard SATA with RAID enabled is the S100, which doesn't work with 2012 either, so you will need to disable RAID in the BIOS for SATA operation settings. I would probably go this route myself.

No, I mean attach them to the onboard ports and use OS-managed RAID.
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
OK, for the record, choosing S300 DOES get you a piece of hardware (piece of poop in my case : )  It's not strictly software.

OS managed raid?  I heard that's the worst way to go?  Performance wise and troubleshooting.  

But I ordered an H200 card... that's another can of worms.  Care to take a shot at this:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28695142/Dell-H200-PERC-controller-card-what's-in-the-box.html
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
OK, for the record, choosing S300 DOES get you a piece of hardware (piece of poop in my case : )  It's not strictly software.
Yes, the S300 is a piece of hardware (that does not make it a "hardware" RAID controller) - it uses the system's resources to manage RAID (it does not have a dedicated processor for this).
[/OS managed raid?  I heard that's the worst way to go?  Performance wise and troubleshooting.
Is it ideal? No. In comparison with the performance of a low-end controller though, it is no less flexible in configuration and probably will give you better performance.

I'll take a look at the other one.
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