Ok, so we have a customer where we installed a new LAN about a year ago. Well, they are opening a new office down in Phoenix, and the owner got the brilliant idea that in order to trim back their start-up costs, they'd just have the new office use their old Server & PCs . . . we laid out every argument imaginable on why it would be beneficial to deploy new hardware / software - but in the end, the owner would hear nothing of it - they wanted their old machines reformatted, re-installed and completely prepped so they could simply be plugged in when they arrived at the new office.
So Monday morning I picked up the old hardware & software, and we started re-installing. I let Lee (one of our techs) go to town with the workstations (Pentium 133 boxes / 4GB HD / 32 MB RAM / Win98 / Office97 Pro) and I started in on the server (PII 233 / 256 MB RAM / NT4 Server). Needless to say, the God's decided they were going to have fun with me when it came to this project. Lee had 4 PCs completely reformatted, reinstalled & patched before I was at a point where I could get the *#@$%^!& NT setup to run . . . First, it has literally been years since I have installed NT4 Server. This box had a SCSI CD-ROM, the system would post, and detect not only the CD-ROM, but that there was a bootable CD in the drive, but wouldn't boot to the CD. No problem, I've got the NT setup floppies - so I boot to the floppies, they detect the SCSI Controller & on-board ATAPI CD-ROM controller. No problem - until I hit Enter to continue and setup tells me that because there is no CD-ROM, it can't continue.
So, I throw the scenario out to the other SBS MVPs, and the most popular response was to make sure I had drivers for the CD-ROM. So I tear it out of the box, pull the make / model and go online. It's a Toshiba drive, and according to Toshiba, it is 100% standards compliant, so there are no drivers necessary. As long as the host OS can see the SCSI Controller, it'll work.
Yeah right - tell that to this piece of (*&^ box . . . .
So, just for shits & giggles - I download the drivers for the controller, reboot the server and load the Adaptec drivers for the controller. No dice - still tells me no CD-ROM present (mind you that bios is still indicating a bootable CD in the drive when the system boots)
So this thing wants to play hardball does it? Fine - sooner or later it will realize like so many others that I'm a stubborn PITA and in the end, I will not only overcome - but whip it into complete submission in the process :^) I go to the back room and pull a new IDE CD-ROM that I happened to have on the shelf, and replaced the SCSI drive. Booted to the setup floppies, followed the bouncing ball and when I hit Enter to proceed from that last screen, I get the same message that setup cannot continue because no CD-ROM is present.
AARRGGHH!! <insert random cussing & serious temptation to start smoking again here>
I verify that the CD-ROM is showing up in the CMOS - yep. Just to be safe, I tried another IDE cable - no dice. So I go back to the back room, and pull another CD-ROM out of an old (and I mean OLD) PC who's mobo just recently died, swapped out the new CD-ROM for the used special, and booted for the ump-teenth time to the setup floppies. Lo & behold - this time it worked!
So setup finally finished, and I configured DNS, DHCP, WINS, etc. - In the end, I spent all of Tuesday afternoon and most of Wednesday morning on this little PITA project. I'm tempted to bill the customer extra time to cover my undue stress & suffering . . . ;^) Now all I have to do is throw that new CD-ROM in a test box to see if it does in fact work, or if I need to have it replaced under warranty .. .
As for the moral of the story, this made me realize how spoiled I've become with SBS 2003 . . . who says real admins don't use wizards??? :^)
Wed, Aug 25 2004 18:55