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Dell PowerEdge 840 questions please?


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#1 mystic12

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 11:49 AM

Hey guys, very first time I am coming across a unit like this. PowerEdge 840

Service Tag: 14CM6C1 | Express Service Code: 2439837073

 

I read the manual but still confused, can I load win7 on this machine? Can it work like any regular windows machine?


Edited by hamluis, 15 January 2016 - 12:31 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 04:43 PM

FWIW:  http://www.dell.com/us/dfb/p/poweredge-840/pd AND http://www.dell.com/downloads/us/bsd/What_Is_a_Server.pdf .

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 14 January 2016 - 04:46 PM.


#3 mystic12

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 04:50 PM

Thanks, I have the manual, just needed to know for sure if I can load windows 7 on it but I am being told that I can.



#4 mystic12

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:11 PM

So I went into the boot options and selected the dvd drive as first but it goes straight to windows server 2003. Something's up with this unit anyway, whenever I manually shut down it restarts and fan is very loud? Is that way this is supposed to work or it is supposed to be silent?



#5 hamluis

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:18 PM

Well...I can't answer any questions about how a server "sounds" or operates.  That's the province of the manufacturer, IMO.

 

If Windows Server is installed on the hard drive which is the boot drive...and that drive is the first boot option...then, of course, it's going to boot to Windows Server.

 

To boot from a different source, I would suspect that the BIOS settings must be changed.

 

http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2013/06/dell-bios-settings/

 

Louis



#6 mystic12

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:29 PM

Sorry, yes, as per normal I had changed the boot order to dvd but it doesn't work.



#7 Demonslay335

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:35 PM

I have a PowerEdge 840 recently de-commissioned at my shop, so I can maybe comment a bit on it hardware-wise.

 

Yes, the fans do spin up very loud. Most servers do anyways, but this one can be a screamer during POST.

 

Check to make sure you have a DVD drive - looks like this server by default actually comes with a CD-ROM only drive. That tripped me up too when trying to boot a DVD (you just don't expect a system to not be able to read a DVD nowadays, lol).

 

I've previously had Windows Server 2003 and Ubuntu 12.04 on this machine, so I can't comment on whether it will take Windows 7 specifically. Theoretically it should work as long as drivers are compatible. I would see your biggest hurdle being the acquisition of the RAID controller driver (assuming you have a RAID card on yours too, I'm not sure if mine came with it or if it was installed afterwards, I got this machine second-hand). If it doesn't get the RAID driver, you won't see a hard drive during install, and will have to manually either slipstream one, or hope setup will see it on a flash drive once you've grabbed it from the manufacturer's website.


Edited by Demonslay335, 15 January 2016 - 12:35 PM.

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#8 mystic12

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:41 PM

Yes, it has a DVD optical drive. I am opening up the sidecase now to see what's in there.



#9 mystic12

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:54 PM

Alright, there are 3x73GB drives in this machine and there are 2 pci cards connected to a smal circuit board located at the back of the 3 HDD's, anything I can do here to bypass this RAID system to connect to one HDD to load windows OS please?

Attached Files



#10 Demonslay335

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 01:13 PM

Ok, exact same setup as mine, so must be how it came then.

 

The drives are SAS, so you have to run them through that card. You could try replacing with a regular SATA hard drive if you really wanted, that would be the only way of bypassing it.

 

Before we go too much further, what is your reason for trying to load a workstation OS on a server? The hardware is usually geared for different purposes, so it's always a bit of a battle to load the opposite's intended OS.


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#11 mystic12

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 01:24 PM

The connector on the drives looks like regular SATA connectors but the description on the Maxtor drive reads:

 

ATLAS 10K V, 3.5 SERIES

73GB Serial Attached SCSI

 

Are they not SATA drives? If not and I can use a SATA drive, should I remove the 3 drives and place a SATA drive in one of the slots?

 

The machine is not mine, it belongs to a customer who had it sitting down for years and it's his wish to get it running on vista or win7.



#12 Demonslay335

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 01:31 PM

Serial Attached SCSI = SAS. It's different from SATA.

 

The motherboard has regular SATA ports, which is why I said you could go that route. If you do, then yes, you would be replacing all three SAS drives. You lose the reliability of a RAID5 (assuming that it was configured that way) for backup integrity, but would be able to put a much bigger single SATA drive in there.

 

Make sure they are aware that you cannot guarantee they won't run into issues moving forward with loading Windows 7 on a server. For example, it may not be compatible with alot of peripherals past the basic keyboard/mouse. Also, there are no sound ports, so you'll have to install a sound card if they want to watch YouTube and stuff, lol. Also make sure to not lose out on your time versus what you charge them, as this can easily become a time-pit of a project.


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#13 mystic12

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 01:39 PM

Ohh, I only now noticed that there isn't an onboard soundcard, so for the owner to purchase a soundcard and a HDD and then pay for the labor, I think it's wasted effort and this old machine is not worth even $100.



#14 ComputerSavvyFL

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 05:35 PM

Yes probably not worth it. But if necessary than just pull out those three drives, attach a single large sata drive, insert windows 7 disk, find out what your boot options menu key is. Restart the computer and spam that key until you get the boot menu and select the optical drive. Sometimes just changing the boot order doesn't cut it, IMO, I have experienced this. Then just choose to install windows 7 on the only attached hard drive. But in the end it would be better to just go ahead and purchase a windows 7 computer if possible.

Hope some of that helps:)



#15 mystic12

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 05:56 PM

Restart the computer and spam that key until you get the boot menu and select the optical drive.

Sorry, I don't know what you mean by "spam that key"? Also, would I first need to disable the RAID system in the bios for the machine to load win7 on a SATA drive?






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