So there I was, glassy-eyed staring at one of my DL380s (the G3) frustrated that its primary function (a linux VMware Workstation host to run WinXP) was failing me so miserably. I realized I used it for nothing else. All my authorized keys are stored on my laptop, and since I never take my laptop home (I hate laptops) I always log into it via VPN from home. My laptop is my linux server.
The DL380 G3 was being under-utilized. And I hate under-utilization more than I hate Windows (though often the two aren't mutually exclusive). So I decided to put Windows on it. I quickly ran through the list in my head (and had I known that we'd already received our Corporate Copy of Windows 7 I probably would've chosen that instead) and decided on Windows Server 2008.
Now this is a Dell Server. Built on Intel technology and existed solely to run Microsoft's Server O/S. Dell and Intel and Microsoft have been in bed together as far back as I remember. And given that ubuntu installed flawlessly on it, I was downright flabbergasted that Windows Server 2008 had no fucking clue which RAID controller it was using. I was so dumbfounded I told the WINTEL guys that this was sort of thing which made me angry at them, as individuals. It was quite insightful, actually - getting this glimpse into why I spent a decade not speaking to them. This shit is downright ridiculous.
So the WINTEL leader-dude (who's going to be heading up the newly formed linux group and be my IntegrityVM partner-in-crime) gave me a woefully misnamed 'Smart Start' CD which tells the DL380, "Hey, today we're going to install the *windows* operating system on you - hooray!" and explains to the operating system what a driver is, and how it needs to be applied to the RAID controller so the install disc won't go all stupid when it can't find any harddrives.
The actual installation of Windows Server 2008 went quickly and smoothly and I was surprised at its responsiveness. To recap, this system is running two dual-core Xeon 3.20GHz procs and 5GB of RAM. But because its a server, it only comes with an embedded 8MB ATI Rage XL. You guessed it, Windows Server 2008 didn't know what it was either, so it limited me to 1024x768. I activated "Desktop Enhancement" mode in the Server Manager and finally found a deprecated graphics driver which I was able to successfully install in "Windows XP SP2 Compatibility Mode" for 1280x1024. I then upgraded directx (which won't work on that video card), enabled PowerShell, and installed SP2.
The Ernest gave me an aged BELKIN USB 2.0 card (the only USB card the DL380 will accept) but I want an old 128MB PCI video card. Does anyone have an unused 128MB PCI video card they'll send me? My last two shit cards were both AGP and I gave those away.
Thanks in advance.
So it can be done, but not easily. You too could run Windows Server 2008 SP2 on a DL380 as a desktop workstation!