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Failing to upgrade from WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I successfully operated for many years a WHS set up (Gigabyte MA69VM, Athlon 64 X2 3600 & 2G DDR2) which I built from scratch with few problems (over the years I have built many Intel, AMD, Pcs and Servers). Reading about the new version of Home Server, I understood it was not possible to upgrade but had to be a clean install. Realising that drive extender was no longer supported I bought a new motherboard with RAID 5 capabilities (Asrock N68C-S UCC) along with an OEM version of WHS 2011.

    My data was moved off the original installation and carefully stored. I took out the old motherboard, carefully removed the CPU and memory then fitted them to the new Motherboard - BIOS showed what I expected and so I started the install to a 120Gb SATA 2 drive. The beginning of a long and painful process, involving many hours reading experiences from this very helpful site.

    These are the options I have tried: -

    • Install failed from my IDE DVD drive with not enough memory and too small HD disc
    • Switched memory sharing in BIOS down to 16MB and passed that requirement
    • Started up with cfg.ini on a USB stick and CheckReqs=0 passed both requirements

    Install progressed but stalled at the first reboot with the green/yellow progress bar spinning indefinitely

    • Checked BIOS on Asrock site (latest installed) and downloaded latest SATA drivers
    • Built an 8GB USB boot disc with a copy of the installation DVD files and my cfg.ini (found out about processed=true)
    • Tried the USB stick in all the USB ports
    • Added the Asrock drivers into a driver folder referenced in the cfg.ini
    • 3 different 120GD WD hard drives
    • Tried a 500GB SATA driven by an IDE adaptor

    Now the failure occurs after "Set up is starting"; I can view the error log - usually "error 31" or can't build the configuration file. Also got several BSOD with IRQ_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL failures. So I decided to bite the bullet and buy a 160Gb drive to avoid the checkreqs issue. The motherboard has 4 SATA and 1 IDE connector so I decided to get a 160 GB IDE drive to leave all 4 SATA for the RAID array.

    • Installed the DVD drive and new 160GB IDE using cable select jumpers on both and tried to install with no USB and the installation DVD
    • Disconnected any SATA cables and disabled SATA in BIOS

    Now the install fails before copying and expanding windows files - just hangs in space with the mouse able to move the arrow cursor

    • Tried disabling the DVD drive in BIOS and just using the USB stick with no cfg.ini
    • Added cfg.ini to the USB and the latest drivers

    Nothing worked - furthest I ever got was to the re-boot which hung on the green/yellow loading bar. Figured it must be a driver issue, and read something which said that WHS 2011 should work on a pc cable of running WIN 7. Did a clean install of WIN 7 64 home premium - absolutely no problem whatsoever. No intervention required loaded from the basic Win 7 DVD. I then got to the internet and updated all of the drivers to the latest versions. I thought I must now have all of the correct drivers for my hardware in Win 7 64 bit form so copied them all onto my USB stick for acces via cfg.ini.

    • Tried install from DVD drive using installation DVD
    • Tried installation from USB stick

    Both stopped at the arrow cursor before progress screen saying expanding windows files. After more searching read something which said Server 2008 won't install on an IDE drive! But that doesn't explain the initial problems I had with SATA drives. My BIOS wont allow me to disable shared memory so perhaps even taking 16MB is causing a problem in which case I could get more memory?

    I am just about to give up and re-install my original WHS version but would really like to know what is causing the problem. Any assistance gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance 

    Michael

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 11:27 AM

Answers

  • I am posting this because I have managed to solve my problem installing WHS 2011, just in case there is anyone reading this who has a similar problem and might benefit from my experience.

    I was encouraged by the fact that I was able to install Win 7 on my chosen hardware configuration - 160Gb IDE drive, 2Gb RAM - 16MB shared for video, Athlon 64 X2 3600, Asrock N68C-S UCC MB. It gave me confidence in the hardware and that it was probably a problem loading the required drivers which was preventing my installation.

    My solution was to mount the IDE drive in my main desktop PC and disconnected the SATA C: and Data drives. Then boot the PC from the USB stick loaded with the WHS 2011 install files. Installation proceeded smoothly until it reached the first manual restart. At that point I powered down the pc, disconnected the IDE drive and re-connected the SATA drives to return my desktop pc back to its original configuration. Perhaps I was lucky but I didn't have to change any BIOS settings to run the IDE drive, which might have complicated matters.

    The IDE drive was then replaced in the sever, with the very minimum of other hardware connected and the SATA RAID disabled in BIOS. On powering up again WHS 2011 started to load but went into the same endless loop with the green/yellow load bar. I restarted the machine and this time the repair installation option appeared on start up. I accepted that option rather than start windows normally and after a few minutes installation continued in the normal way.

    The machine  was then connected to the internet and all relevant drivers loaded. I am now waiting patiently as Windows update downloads 58 updates!

    Time for a glass of wine to celebrate.

    Good luck to anyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation - and don't give up

    Best wishes

    Michael

    • Marked as answer by Michael 1951 Friday, May 11, 2012 5:44 PM
    Friday, May 11, 2012 5:43 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    from all what you tell there is a problem with your hardware or the drivers.
    Could be even something trivial like a too weak power supply. Or some contact issues, thermal issues, hairline crack on mainboard, since Windows Server OS are more intensely work with resources than client OS.

    120 GB drives would be too small, since 160 GB is the minimum size in official requirements.

    To check the installation disk, you could try to perform an installation in virtual machine (this would require a host, which supports 64 Bit guests).

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 3:05 PM
  • Hi Olaf,

    Thank you so much for responding.

    • I checked and the power supply, it is a 400W Akasa PSU. Do you think that is sufficient?
    • When I check the CPU operating temperature it is only 29C
    • I have tried a 500Gb SATA connected directly to SATA 0 and still no joy, it gets stuck in a loop installing updates

    I am surprised that WHS 2011 is so much more temperamental than Windows 7.

    Best wishes from England

    Michael

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 4:47 PM
  • I am posting this because I have managed to solve my problem installing WHS 2011, just in case there is anyone reading this who has a similar problem and might benefit from my experience.

    I was encouraged by the fact that I was able to install Win 7 on my chosen hardware configuration - 160Gb IDE drive, 2Gb RAM - 16MB shared for video, Athlon 64 X2 3600, Asrock N68C-S UCC MB. It gave me confidence in the hardware and that it was probably a problem loading the required drivers which was preventing my installation.

    My solution was to mount the IDE drive in my main desktop PC and disconnected the SATA C: and Data drives. Then boot the PC from the USB stick loaded with the WHS 2011 install files. Installation proceeded smoothly until it reached the first manual restart. At that point I powered down the pc, disconnected the IDE drive and re-connected the SATA drives to return my desktop pc back to its original configuration. Perhaps I was lucky but I didn't have to change any BIOS settings to run the IDE drive, which might have complicated matters.

    The IDE drive was then replaced in the sever, with the very minimum of other hardware connected and the SATA RAID disabled in BIOS. On powering up again WHS 2011 started to load but went into the same endless loop with the green/yellow load bar. I restarted the machine and this time the repair installation option appeared on start up. I accepted that option rather than start windows normally and after a few minutes installation continued in the normal way.

    The machine  was then connected to the internet and all relevant drivers loaded. I am now waiting patiently as Windows update downloads 58 updates!

    Time for a glass of wine to celebrate.

    Good luck to anyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation - and don't give up

    Best wishes

    Michael

    • Marked as answer by Michael 1951 Friday, May 11, 2012 5:44 PM
    Friday, May 11, 2012 5:43 PM