Ok, this may not be new to a lot of you or you have never even thought about it - me neither until a few days ago when I was happily unpacking our brand new Dell PowerEdge 2950.

I assemled it fast and inserted the Dell OpenManage Server Assistant CD and followed the instructions to install it, this is usually the fastest method and involves so little interaction, everything went fine and it started configuring the RAID and copying files. But after an hour or so I checked it and it was complete at 42%, and I thought lets eat lunch and give it some more time. When I got back it was still stuck at 42%. I rebooted and took the same procedure - and it stalled at 42 again.

The I tried to get old-school and do it manually, reboot and in with the W2K3 CD and I hit F6 to install 3rd party drivers and it asked for the drivers and then it said it could not locate a floppy disk driver, which I ofcourse did not install or order to the server! What is this, it’s now 2006, and I am trying to install Windows Server 2003 R2 and it still asks me to use a floppy disk!!! You can’t use a USB memory or a CD or anyting else but a floppy disk!

After an hour or so searching the internet and running around my colleagues trying to find a floppy disk with an USB interface (which should work according to Microsoft Support) I was back to square one. In a desperate mood I tried the Server Assistand CD again and it still got stuck at 42% even after waiting for a few hours. A side note here is that when it was stuck the mouse worked but the CD-tray could not be ejected.

When I was so close to give up and throw the server out of the window, I downloaded an old version of the Server Assistand software and tried it! Tadaaa - an hour later I was up and running!

You learn stuff every day and this time I learned that floppy disks is still a vital part of a modern operating system. Let’s see how it is in Longhorn Server and does anybody know how it is in Windows Vista?