Installed WHS Sucessfully On Dell Poweredge 2450 RRS feed

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  • These old Dell servers are great pieces of gear, stainless steel chassis, redundant power supplies and all.... and very inexpensive to buy plus IMHO SCSI drives are far more reliable than any SATA  or IDE type of drive. I just thought I'd relate my experience of installing WHS on a Poweredge 1550/ Dual 1.2ghz processors.. and then moving it over to a 2450/Dual 1gz processor. Both units had 2gb of RAM. Both work satisfactorly although the server has to be running in SCSI... not RAID. If you get one set up for RAID on the 1550 just remove the PERC card all together and plug the SCSI cable back into SCSI A on the motherboard... On the 2450 remove the RAID key plug and the RAM. You also need a DVD drive instead of the internal CD ROM that these older servers have. Thanks to another guy on these forums he gave me a tip on doing this on the cheap... You of course ultimately can do this several ways... get a brand new late model Poweredge Slim Line DVD drive on E-Bay for about 40 bucks, get a cheapo DVD drive at Wal-Mart, or adapt an older Dell notebook DVD drive which you can sometmies find at the local electronics surplus place. I did the latter to get the system loaded but have also ordered a new DVD drive from E-Bay... since this all works out so beautifully. I started the load attempt on the 1550 first... it's a compact 1 rack space server with three internal drive capacity or what could be an equivelent of about 900gb total storage assumming three 300gb drives. My Drive 0  was a 146gb Seagate unit I got off E-Bay... these servers generally come with smallish 18gb to 73gb drives but these drives can also be put to use in the other server drive locations! The largest SCSI drives I know of are 300gb and pretty pricy so I went with 146gb drives for now. The load on the 1550 went just as though it was loading onto a normal computer built for WHS. No hang ups at all, no special drivers had to be loaded, the needed Adaptec SCSI drivers are apparently included on the WHS disk. The lengthy part is the after the load - very long over the net update... which took the better part of an hour to complete via my pathetic Quest DSL... but otherwise it went without a hitch. I didn't activate my copy at this point because I ultimately wanted to be able to use the 2450 and mine has the much sought after 5th drive bay! Just on a  hunch I removed the drives from the 1550 and transfered them over to the 2450... the 146gb drive remained in the drive 0 position, I wanted to see if these same drives would just "boot up" as normal in the 2450 even though it hadn't been loaded there. Well it did boot up just fine and then WHS(Actually Win. 2003) loaded the different PCI drivers and such automatically for the 2450, perfect and painless! I then formatted all the drives to see how the 2450 would load WHS... which was pretty much the same as the 1550 did... Again that lengthy update is somewhat of a nuisance but it only takes place once... then automatically after that while your asleep. With the 2450 I can theoretcially have 1.5tb of storage internally if I buy all 300gb drives... For now I'm running 4-146gb drives and one 18gb... as I find drives on the cheap on E-Bay I'll replace that smallish 18gb job with another 146gb... I don't think I'll need any more than the 700gb all 5 drives provide and when I'm through I've done all this for less than 750.00 including the WHS software! I think that WHS can put the plethora of older Dell servers out there to good use that may otherwise be scrapped out for junk... just look on E-Bay... 1550's, 2450's, 2550's, and 2650's are a dime a dozen! If you like stuff built like a tank this is the way to go.


     The remainder of the setup stuff went without a hitch... This is as automatic as I've ever seen things get! I've got the client loaded on two other home computers and my laptop, backups have been going on now for several days without a hitch... All in all I feel that the team that did WHS did a great job... Sure there are a few bugs but I have faith they'll work those out in due time. Now to spend some time and transfer all my digital photos over..... there goes that 700gb!



    Sunday, March 16, 2008 3:52 AM

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  • Mark....I was getting extremely frustrated tonight as I was having the same problem you described...then I happen to come across you post as I was taking a "mental health" break...

    BOOM!  as easy as that....

    thanks for sharing...and for saving what little of my hair I have left, lol
    Saturday, April 4, 2009 7:14 AM