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Setting up an aging, custom-built Intel SHG2 rack server for use with Microsoft Windows 2003 Server

October 1, 2007 Leave a comment

The organization I work for has (3) SHG2 motherboard-based rack server systems, all of which have run well under Windows 2000. Converting the first one over to Windows 2003 was a challenge though, and I’ll go through my steps to get it working correctly. Please note that I am using the SC5200 controller unit with the motherboard.

  1. Make sure you are running the latest BIOS, BMC, FRU/SDR, and HSC updates. They are available for download from the Intel web site here. The HSC update is only required if you have the SC5200 unit.
  2. I had to run the FRU/SDR update TWICE to get it to work correctly and not kick all the system fans to 100% all the time.
  3. Each of our servers also uses the Intel RAID controller SRCMRU. It is critical to update the firmware on this unit to at least 2.34.09-R05C. Again, D/L from the Intel site here.
  4. I was doing a fresh install of Windows 2003, and not an upgrade from Windows 2000. I have a RAID-1 system disk setup, plus a RAID-5 data array. When installing Windows 2003, if you have the SRCMRU, make sure to use the RAID driver version 3.13 from floppy disk by pressing F6 during the install and loading the driver.
  5. I was able to get through the initial Windows 2003 copying routines just fine, but upon reboot, received a BSOD, error code level 0x0000007E. From what I could dig up online, this was some kind of driver error message. I then also determined by looking at one of my other servers, that I had the SC5200 controller unit, which I had not updated on this system yet. After updating the firmware on the SC5200, I reloaded Windows 2003 (another fresh install), and this time is started up fine.
  6. Things have been running well for a week now, although I continue to occasionally get BSOD messages at soft reboot. These messages are too fast to read, cause another soft reboot, and are not recorded in the event logs. A hard power down reboot has always worked to get the server to boot correctly again.
  7. Both the Intel Server Management tools, and the Intel RAID tools work well with Windows 2003, allowing monitoring of the system and devices. Again, these can be downloaded from the Intel site using the link above (5.5.7 for the SM, 3.04 for the SC).

Personally, I would just replace these systems with newer/faster/better/less power consuming Dell servers, but our organization just doesn’t have that kind of money available right now, so perhaps these notes will help someone else stuck in the same situation.

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Categories: SC5200, SHG2