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To all,

I need to do a clean install of Server 2003 on a physical Dell R710 (no VM). Upon boot with the Server 2003 disk in, I receive a no physical hard drives installed error. I know the server is set up properly as it is currently running Server 2016 fine as shipped to me with the RAID Perc6i accessing two physical drives as one virtual drive. I assume that Server 2003 needs proper drivers but cannot seem to find them. Anyone have any suggestions?

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    The raid card probably needs drivers - and I doubt they'd go back that far with support. Server 2003 is pretty much end of life and chances are pretty low anyone builds drivers that support them. – Journeyman Geek Jul 19 '19 at 1:58
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    Is there no chance you can at least virtualise this? Because otherwise you're probably stuck with using older hardware. Modern hardware (even servers) haven't released XP/2003 drivers in the better part of a decade now. – Bob Jul 19 '19 at 2:06
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You can find 32bit drivers if you look for older servers. Anything related to Dell can usually be found on their ftp (ftp.dell.com) or their downloads-page.

Go to https://downloads.dell.com/published/pages/poweredge-2900.html and then search for "Dell PERC 5/x, 6/x Adapter Driver" without quotes. You will find several drivers for Windows 2008 and 2003. Give those a try.

  • Steven, Thank you so much for the link. I found an x86 PERC 6i driver for 2003 Server and will try it out. I'll keep you posted. I did buy hardware built in 2008 so that the RAID controller is the same version as the one in the system I am re-creating. – Greg W Jul 19 '19 at 3:41
  • You are welcome :) If that is the answer you were looking for please mark it as such so it could help others in the future. If the driver is not the one you need keep checking the site I linked. You propably will find the driver if you check older servers with the same controller. – Steven Jul 19 '19 at 4:13
  • The x86 PERC file that you pointed me to extracted to some small files that I placed on a floppy, then I connected a USB floppy to the R710 and booted to the installation disc of Server 2003. I pressed F6 to install 3rd party drivers when instructed and ..... hard drives recognized! I am on my way. Thank you very much for your accurate and quick response. I know advice is given freely on these forums but I would sincerely send a token of appreciation for your help if the forums weren't so anonymous. As is... I'll mark as correct. – Greg W Jul 20 '19 at 2:55

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