INSTALLING WINDOWS SERVER 2012 (CONT’D)
NOW, once we’re in Windows, we can select the secondary drive (which will be our RAID 5 volume). UEFI allows booting into GPT, however you do not need a UEFI-capable system to utilize GPT. So what we’re saying is, you can boot into an MBR drive if you don’t have UEFI, and once you’re in Windows you can convert the RAID array into GPT and format it as you wish so it will allow use of the entire 19 terabytes:
Voila! We have our entire 19TB drive!
If you’re still confused, here is a quick pathway that makes it easier to understand:
UEFI –> Proper install media to initiate UEFI –> Can use >2.2TB drive as primary OS boot drive (GPT format) without losing space
No-UEFI –> Can use >2.2TB drive as primary boot drive but with lost space –> Install OS on separate drive (MBR format) –> Convert >2.2TB drive in Windows to GPT and use as secondary drive
The only main difference here is that we have a different disk we’re installing Windows Server 2012 on for non-UEFI (the primary), which is not part of the RAID 5 array. Hence we’ll have to assign a backup scheme so it continually backs-up to the RAID 5 volume, which is now a secondary drive within Windows. Compared the the UEFI setup – everything (OS included) is on the RAID 5 volume (which is the primary), so we don’t have to worry about backing-up anything as RAID 5 has redundancy (managed by the LSI 9270-8i, or whatever RAID controller you’re using).
If you still require more information, check this blog post.
WINDOWS SERVER 2012 ESSENTIALS INSTALLATION…FOR REAL THIS TIME
FINALLY we can get to the install. With your files ready on the USB thumb drive, insert it into a USB port on the server and restart. Now, most motherboards will recognize if inserted media is bootable. In our case, the Gigabyte board will, hence booting right into the WS 2012 installer on the USB drive. In case yours doesn’t, you will need to go into the BIOS and change boot priorities, or enable bootable media to be recognized. Alternatively, there are advanced boot options as well. Mashing F12 on our motherboard for example will load connected devices which we can boot from:
When the installer loads, put in your language and area options:
We want CUSTOM install:
Hopefully you copied all of the drivers you needed beforehand because they’ll come in handy now. If you aren’t using the LSI 9270-8i, then your drivers will be provided by your motherboard manufacturer – something along the lines of SATA AHCI, or chipset drivers. The installer should pick up the RAID 5 drive though, but just in case keep your drivers handy on a thumb drive:
In case you do need to use the drivers, Click LOAD DRIVERS and browse to your USB thumb drive. Windows found our array, but we will do this step anyway:
Pick either and hit next. After that, proceed with the install:
Go and relax while the install does its stuff. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes:
The installer will restart the server a few times, as per usual with any Windows setup process. Once it’s completed, remove the USB drive from the server to prevent the BIOS from loading back into the installer. The server will load into Windows Server 2012 Essentials:
The configuration wizard will pop-up when it loads into the OS:
The configuration wizard should go forward. In case WS 2012 doesn’t recognize your ethernet LAN chipset, you’ll run into this screen after:
We can fix that. Use the good ol’ ALT + F4 and exit the wizard:
You will end up at the desktop, and from here you can access your USB thumb drive to install your motherboard drivers. To get back to the wizard, simply reboot the server and log back into WS 2012. We didn’t need go through installing these drivers as the OS recognized our ethernet connection.
Moving forward, this screen will show up. We want a CLEAN install, but if you have a server you wish to migrate, go ahead and select that option. Personally we do have a Windows Home Server 2011 server build using the homeserver.com domain, but we rather start fresh using WS 2012’s remotewebaccess.com domain.
Enter whatever you wish here for your server information:
You will need to setup both Administrator and Standard user accounts:
That’s it. We’re set for configuration!