Dell 860 server will not boot

This is an old 2003 r2 box with sas 5i controller and raid 5, 3 drives.

I need help resurrecting this box and getting it up and running.  Limited dell support and resources so this is a best effort for a client.

I'm getting a corrupted or missing pci.sys file on boot.

i've ran the dset from dell to see if it was a controller error but not seeing anything.

the raid utility finds the drives and no errors in array ro virt drives.

Please help!

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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
If this is a SAS 5/i, then it can't have RAID. If this is a SAS 5i/R, then it can't be RAID 5. Must be a PERC 5/i.

So, the system is booting the OS? just with an error?
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
there is no c drive present so hard  drives not found when booting to cd or recovery console or safe mode.
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
maybe it's a perc 5i is the controller.

dell support sent this link:
Your Guide to Achieving IT Business Success

The IT Service Excellence Tool Kit has best practices to keep your clients happy and business booming. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to increase client satisfaction and retention, become more competitive, and increase your overall success.

F PCommented:
i got ya. one sec
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Yeah, if you are sure you have a RAID 5, then it has to be a PERC 5, and that driver above won't work.

You will need this driver to get into RC:

Download and run the HARD DRIVE format to extract, then use the extracted files with to integrate the drivers into your installation media (or put the files on a floppy disk).
F PCommented:
you need to f6 load the driver for

Dell PERC 5/E Adapter, PERC 5/i Integrated, PERC 5/i Adapter, PERC 6/E Adapter, PERC 6/i Integrated, CERC 6/i Integrated, PERC 6/i Adapter, PERC 6/i Integrated Blade Win2K3 device driver

you get from dell:

make sure you get the exact drivers or it won't work and here's the tricky part... tbc one second
F PCommented:
you might need to get the driver from the temp extracted folder for your user like for me while the driver app still open was:


copy all the temp directory drivers since you can't install on your machine.
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Forget F6 ... who has a floppy disk anymore?!

Use ... it will integrate the drivers into your installation media. At the appropriate time, just select Multiple Driver Files, then TextMode.

Just in case you have 2003 x64:

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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
If you download the HARD DRIVE format on the page I linked to, the files automatically extract (without attempting to install), to the place of your choosing ... C:\Dell\Drivers\GHNKT by default.
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Sorry Frank ... I don't mean to be combative ... there just is an easier way :)
F PCommented:
no worries to each their own. i personally wound just use usb in a new directory off the root install, but those instructions were Dell written, supported, and work so i don't need to confuse or reinvent things for anyone opening new doors to questions or issues.
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
I will try both methods and get back to you.
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
can you mix versions (the server os is 2003 R2).  can i load standard or ent file through the nlite?

i do have a floppy as well for it so.....:)
>>  I'm getting a corrupted or missing pci.sys file on boot  <<  usually, this happens when a connected device  is adressed during boot, so disconnect all external hardware that is not needed for booting
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
poweredge tech and Frank,

Using n-lite and the windows 2003 media and driver, i'm now able to boot to command prompt.

Please advise next steps to recover this box.  It is a domain controller (the only existing one) and thus very fragile and needed.


metalfubarAuthor Commented:
my os is 2003 r2 and the boot media is 02 standard.  

can I try a straight swap on the pci.sys folder thats failing?
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
that is giving me "access denied"
Please help!
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
expand F:\i386\pci.sy_ c:\windows\drivers\pci.sys /y

attrib -h -s -r F:\i386

not working.  F is the cd drive.
>>  can I try a straight swap on the pci.sys folder thats failing?  <<  that won't help, pci sys is the last one installed correct  -it's the next one that fails - before showing in the list of installed modules

  did you try what i suggested above?
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
where can i view that list?

I only have keyboard, mouse and monitor connected.  no peripherals.

which things should be taken out?
>>  where can i view that list?  << you can't, unless you catch it from an identical system
are ther no PCI controller cards?
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
raid yes.  needed to boot the raid drives.
you can try repairing the os from an install cd :
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
i know i can do that as a last resort, but it usually f**ks the os and AD correct?
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
Its the only AD box on the network.  the client has no domain controllers currently
>>   but it usually f**ks the os and AD correct?    << not to my knowledge
if it does, there are 2 possibilities : hardware problems which no software can repair, or a really hosed OS
what is an AD?
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
active directory?  I ran the dell dset and it's not hardware.

hosed os is likely but I only need the box for a few months to get a new domain installed.

Other ideas?  Microsoft doesn't offer paid support or I'd go that route.
Did you read the options in a repair install?  apparently not
you can use it to do a system restore also
more info on the options :
metalfubarAuthor Commented:
I wiped the c drive and reinstalled windows 2003.

I did a primary restore on the dc and am now doing an authoritative one to get active directory back.

can someone advise next steps, drives, dll and snap in errors.

Please advise.
better ask a mod for that - or post a new question, since it is out of topic
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Windows Server 2003

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