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So I got a dell poweredge server a few days ago and it only allows me to boot from the onboard scsi and floppy drive. There is a CD drive but no option to boot from it in the BIOS.

So my question is how do I install the OS without booting from a CD.

Is there an application that comes on a floppy that can make the machine boot from the CD drive?

Because the drives are scsi I cannot just swap them with my current machine and install from there.

I also do not have the original CDs that came with the machine and I have no way of getting them.

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Nearly all Linux and BSD distros have a network install in which you will only need to boot from the floppy after writing the files to it and a connection to an ftp server with the files on.

If you could boot a OS like DOS which could use the CD drive then you could run a setup of that. But that won't work with the lastest Windows OSs, like 2003 and XP as they cannot be booted from DOS.

Your problem with booting from the CD is most likely that it does not support booting from IDE, so you could try and find yourself a cheap SCSI CD reader and that might work. Never could work out why they wouldn't want you to boot from IDE.

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What model is it? There are a lot of different poweredge servers.

It's strange that you can't boot from the CD drive. Is it not an SCSI cd drive?

Otherwise, it depends on what OS you want to put on it. There are boot floppys for various operating systems that will load up CD drivers.

So: let us know what operating system you want to install, and the model of your server, and I or someone else will be able to help out a bit more :)

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My model is a poweredge 4300.

The OS that I am trying to install is Servert 2003.

I think read somewhere that I had to have a bootdisk to start the installation. Is that true?

Yes the CD drive is an SCSI drive and there is no onboard IDE that I can connect a drive to.

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The 4300 will boot from a CD, despite the fact that it is not listed in the boot sequence settings in the BIOS setup. The system checks for a bootable cd on startup and will boot from the CD, regardless of your boot sequence settings.

Make sure the CD you are trying to boot from is definately bootable. Try a CD that you know another computer will boot from.

For Windows XP, there was a program you could download to make setup boot floppies. Such a thing doesn't exist for server 2003 as far as I know. It's not something I've really had to look into much, to be honest. I've not had a machine that won't boot from CD or network in years :roll:

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I foudn my problem.

The disk drive is a cd drive not a DVD drive.

The disk was an original Server 2003 disk but it was on a DVD.

I also tried it with Knoppix which was also on a DVD.

But It boots from it now.

I ripped the DVD to my comp and burned it to a CD.

The ISO was only 500 something megs.

Why not just list the cd rom drive in the BIOS boot list?

I booted from the CD and now it does not find my hard drives because I have not RAIDed them yet but now my question is, Is it better to do a software raid or use the RAID controller to set up a RAID array on Windows Server 2003?

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/me slaps forehead

I'm not sure why dell chose to do it that way. Sorry!

As for RAID... Software RAID will work ok if you want disk mirroring (RAID 1), but hardware raid is going to be faster, allow other types of RAID, and take the strain off your CPU.

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