We have a Dell T410 server running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SSR 2011 installed. The server has a Dell PERC H200 Adapter and the C: drive consists of two SATA drives in a RAID 1 array.
I created a custom system recovery disk, accepted the drivers offered, booted it, and could not see the RAID array drive. As I look again at the custom SRD creation dialog, I see that all the drivers on the list were 64-bit drivers and that there is some fine print at the bottom of the screen saying that I need to add 32-bit drivers "for starting a computer." Does that mean that I need to include 32-bit drivers for the PERC H200 on the SRD to boot the SRD and recover the C: drive?
What OS is the SRD running? I.e., do I ineed Windows 2003 drivers, Windows 7 drivers, Windows XP drivers, or what?
Weirdly, when I search the Dell site for 32-bit drivers for the H200, I do find three links. But they all lead to empty pages without the ability to download a driver. Before battling that one out, I'd like to know whether the driver is OS version specific and, if so, which OS I need to be looking for the driver for.
I found a comment that said that SSR requires Vista drivers for the SRD. Is that correct? The only 32-bit driver I was able to find for the Dell H200 is a Windows 2003 driver. Is that likely to work?
The SSR 2011 SRD is based on WindowsPE 2.1 which is Windows Vista/2008 based.
A 2003 based driver may work. If not, you need to contact Dell to see if they have any 32bit drivers that will work with WindowsPE 2.1
I thought I posted a response, but not it's not here? Anyway, here goes again.
I downloaded a driver for the Dell H200 that was identified as a 32-bit driver for Windows 2008 x86. The driver is here and the documentation says it is a 32-bit x86 driver.
When I run the SRD creation tool, I select that driver. The dialog that is displays says it is a 64-bit driver and that a 64-bit driver is already present. But Dell says it is a 32-bit driver.
Can anyone suggest what is happening here? How can I tell whether the problem is with Dell mislabelling the driver or with SSR for misidentifying the driver? Or is something else happening?
You can run the drvload utility on an unmodified SRD and point it to the driver you downloaded. If it loads successfully then you know that the SRD creation process maybe wrong.
I see the same problem here when trying to add that driver to a custom SRD.
Can you try booting off the SRD and then loading this driver manually to see if this works? If it does work, we know the driver is x86 and not x64.
I tried booting from the stock multi-lingual SRD this morning. When I tried to load the Windows "2008 x86 32-bit" driver, the SRD refused to load it claimiing it was a 64-bit driver.
I did try loading Dell's Windows 2003 32-bit driver and that did load. I was able to see the drives afterward and navigate the directories. But I didn't try to write anything to the drive since it is a live server and I didn't want to risk damaging anything. How confident should I be that the driver "works" if all I've done is traverse a few directories?
What do you recommend as the next step?
(Sorry for the slow response; my internet connection has been out all day.)
I created a custom SRD with the Windows 2003 driver. When I booted the SRD, Windows loaded but the SRD window never appeared. This appears to be the same problem I had on Dell Optiplex 790 workstations with 4GB RAM, where the solution was to use the stock multi-lingual SRD. I didn't have time to recreate the stock SRD so couldn't test the Windows 2003 driver today.
My next chance at this will be Friday morning.
Tried testing again today. I could not get any SRD I have to work on the server. All would show the slow "loading windows" display. After that, the black screen would flicker different shades of black once or twice. A few would show the fairly fast Microsoft loading display, followed by a few more shades of black. Then nothing.
I tried every SRD CD or USB stick that I had ever written the SRD to. Not one would bring up the SSR window. I reburned and tried both the English-only and multilingual SP1 SRDs, with the same failure.
Since I had gotten SSR up before and was able to try loading drivers, but now cannot, my best guess is that I am encountering some other intermittent problem.
I could get SRD's to boot on workstations, but the question here is the server.
I feel like I am just sliding backwards and things are working less and less.
I've also hit a wall on schedule, as I am leaving for an extended trip tomorrow. I'll allow the backups to continue to run, even lacking the certainty that I can ever restore from them. I'll also see if I can get Windows Server Backup to run nightly as a second backup technology. (That's not a bad idea anyway; I always back up data using two different technologies, just in case, so why not the OS too?)
I'll keep in communication on this issue, hoping for clues on how to get the SRD to work at all, aside from the driver question.
(Just to add some extra stress, when I got into the office today I found the battery in a brand new UPS had failed and was alarming constantly.....)