PART B – SOFTWARE PREPARATIONS
*Read Section IV introduction about UEFI vs. Non-UEFI before proceeding!
**These procedures will work for any system, UEFI or not. Sometimes UEFI BIOS requires your media to be formatted in FAT32, or requires special steps in order to boot into it. If this is the case, follow this guide. If you are using DVD media, follow this post to burn your disc. Note that while these two links are specially made for UEFI and GPT formatting, the created media will still work if you change your mind and decide to go with MBR, or if you have non-UEFI BIOS.
The following information is for formatting in NTFS instead of FAT32; however both methods follow the same steps. Keep in mind that for whichever method you pick, you will need to format the drive, so make sure to back-up your contents before proceeding:
With the building phase complete, it’s time for the software. If your OS is on a DVD, then you’ll need to install a DVD drive in one of the hotswap bays of the chassis, or use a USB port if you have an enclosure. Chances are you’ll have a digital copy, so we’ll assume and proceed with the ISO USB method. Alternatively, you can rip the contents of your DVD and convert them into ISO (image) format using MagicISO or IMGBurn.
Once you have acquired the WS 2012 ISO, it’s time to copy the files and make the USB bootable for installation. You will need a USB thumb drive at least 4.2GB in space. There are quite a lot of tools for this, but Microsoft have their own Windows USB/DVD Download Tool, which requires you to easily select the ISO, select the USB drive, and begin the copy and conversion process:
If you want to do everything manually and not install any additional programs, open up the command prompt (Start>Run>CMD), and add the following lines. Make sure you select the correct disk as your USB drive; typically this is the last disk in the list:
Stay in the command prompt. Take your ISO and mount it using an image-mounting program. Daemon Tools Lite (free) is a good choice for this. It will create a virtual optical drive for you, and make note of the drive letter assigned to it (J: for us). Make note of your USB drive letter as well (M: for us) and type the following code:
We’re set! The USB drive is now bootable. Now start copying drivers and software onto it. You will for sure need your motherboard drivers, which you can find at the manufacturer’s website, or on a provided disk. These drivers are crucial, especially the network ones, as Windows may not pick up your hardware after a fresh install.
You may also need drivers for the 9270-8i which can be found here. These are needed for the Windows installer to load and recognize the 9270-8i as your main drive controller, which by default is your motherboard. Chances are really good that this will be done automatically without the need of drivers, but go ahead and download all of them, extract, and copy to your USB drive just to be safe. We only really need them in case the installer for some reason fails to recognize the LSI 9270-8i RAID controller as a device. Take this time to download and copy any other software you may want, such as updated firmware from LSI’s website for the 9270-8i, as well as the MegaRAID Storage Manager software in case Windows doesn’t update it automatically.
Set your BIOS boot options to load off USB or DVD, depending on your preferred install media:
Remember to also set your SATA controller mode to AHCI if you aren’t using RAID to enable the Rosewill RSV-L4411’s hotswap feature. Make sure UEFI/EFI is enabled as well if your motherboard has the option. Click on the pictures for a higher resolution rendition.
We are now ready for RAID configuration. If you aren’t RAID’ing or have a different approach that doesn’t include LSI’s WebBIOS, go ahead and skip this upcoming section.