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I've got an old Dell Dimension 8300 desktop I decided to convert into a WHS box. I popped in a pair of 1 TB SATA drives, which were recognized fine by the BIOS and the currently installed OS (XP), so I decided to go ahead and install WHS. Near the end of the installation, WHS acts like it can no longer find the DVD drives (either of them, the box has a DVDROM and a DVDRW). The specific error is gives is the "Can't configure storage" error.

I've found several forums where people say they get this error if they remove the boot DVD during the installation (at the time of the first reboot). However, I never removed the DVD. After the error, if fails into WHS, so it did mostly install and I can work with WHS. However, it refuses to recognize the network card, video card and while it shows the two DVD drives, any CD/DVD I insert in either drive the system says is corrupted and unreadable, even though none of them are.

I've tried several reinstalls both removing and not removing the DVD, but the result is the same regardless. Any other tricks anyone found?

If I can't figure this out, maybe I'll just install SBS2008 and fake it up to be similar to WHS with some addin tools. Shouldn't be too hard to create something since WHS is based on SBS2003 anyway.

EDIT: Never could find a solution to get it to recognize the IDE DVD drives, so I'm going to try and install SBS2003 R2 instead.

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The big thing you lose with SBS2003 is drive extender. Pretty much everything else is available as a standalone app somewhere. –  Jay Bazuzi Dec 1 '10 at 1:31
    
Yea, and that was one of the primary reasons I was going with home server. Of course, they're removing that feature from the new edition of WHS, so maybe it was for the best anyway. –  BBlake Dec 1 '10 at 13:02

3 Answers 3

I have seen systems have issues based on the HD mode set in the BIOS.

Are you using SATA AHCI mode or SATA ATA mode?

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I have not seen any setting in the BIOS to indicate one or the other. I will have to investigate that further. –  BBlake Mar 25 '10 at 14:23

One alternative is to install from a USB flash drive. You can find instructions all over the net, for example:

http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2009/05/29/how-to-use-a-usb-stick-to-install-windows-home-server-or-anything-else-for-that-matter/

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Thanks. If I decide to have another go at it, I'll give that a try. –  BBlake Dec 1 '10 at 13:00

Are they SATA DVD drives?

WHS is based on Server 2003 that doesn't have SATA drivers included in it by default (neither does XP, so you must have installed a separate driver at some point to get it working in XP, unless your Dell install CD had them slipstreamed in).

As DaveM points out you can either go into your BIOS, change the drive controller mode to a "Legacy" or "ATA" mode that 2003 will understand, or visit your manufacturers website to find the drivers you need and insert them during setup (there's a bit right at the start of setup where it tells you to press a key if you need to load alternate or SCSI storage drivers). Dell normally supply driver packs as installable EXEs or MSIs, you need to get that unpacked so that you can find the folder that has the .inf file for your OS. Or go to the website of whoever made your drive controller and see if they have what you need.

As for the network, video etc not working after setup that just means that your network card doesn't have a driver included with Windows. Just download the driver on another machine, and once WHS setup is finished transfer the driver over with a USB stick and install it.

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No, both DVD drives are IDE on the secondary channel. I unplugged the old 10 gig drive that was on the IDE primary channel since it wasn't big enough to support WHS, so there are no IDE hard drives attached now. I did not install any supplemental SATA drivers during the WHS install, but the WHS install had no problems recognizing the SATA drives and creating the 20GB SYS partition it uses to install the base to. –  BBlake Mar 25 '10 at 14:28

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