Installing Server 2008 R2 on a PowerEdge 2850

Intro : I bought some old PowerEdge 2850s in order to setup a test/learning environment. My frustration of installing server 2008 R2 on these machines led me down different paths such as Dell SUU (which was another set of frustration with the 2850). Here is the most efficient way to install Server 2008R2. Please ask any questions in the comments below.

  1. Ensure that the latest BIOS is installed. (Bios A07).
  2. Setup Server 2008R2 on a Flash Drive. The following link is a great, concise, how to.
  3. Copy the RAID controller drivers to any folder on the USB flash drive. I put mine in a newly created folder called “DellDriver”. The installation will scan all folders on the USB in order to perform a driver installation for the HDD; and will prevent the blue screen of death. Drivers for the 2850 in the link below.
  4. Setup RAID configuration. The following was a great tutorial on this :
  5. Ensure the BIOS is setup correctly to boot to USB.
  6. Ensure the USB is in the rear ports. I have tried both in the front and back of the server I had…. and only the rear worked for boot.

Feel free to email me or ask questions in the comments.

About Constantine Krick

Once a teacher, now a word press blog
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7 Responses to Installing Server 2008 R2 on a PowerEdge 2850

  1. Cory says:

    I recently bought a dell poweredge 2850 as well and it always blue screens right after loading windows files. I have tried your above solution, but unless I did something wrong I still get the blue screen of death.

    To verify if you could help me, I am getting the LSI Logic-Driver from the raid section of the link oyu provided to the downloads section of the 2850.

    I do have a raid setup, I made sure I did by following that video as well.

    Did I grab the right driver?

  2. Frank R says:

    A little late, but that BSOD (0x000000f4 or f4) could be due to OS Install Mode being enabled in the BIOS, which limits the RAM to 256mb. R2 requires 512mb minimum.

  3. kevin says:

    can you update the bios though the bios using usb or do i need an os to do that

  4. kevin says:

    one more question the raid drivers are not showing up when im install windows and is it possible to use a pcie ssd to install windows

  5. Richard Jones says:

    Good morning Rick, I was just going thru your write up on installing 08R2 on a 2850 Dell PowerEdge Server. I’m running thru the install on mine right now.. Have you since this install tried to upgrade the 2850 with 08R2 on it to 2012R2 my chance… Wondering since it’s just an in-Windows upgrade if it works or not?



  6. Unfortunately. I have only done it for 2008 and have no visibility if it would work. I would be curious to see if it does work, but I don’t have my machines anymore.

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