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Installing Windows Server onto a server that has no DVD drive fitted

Optical drives such as DVD-ROM/RW are no longer included as standard in most off-the-shelf servers. They're seen as old technology that is typically only used for OS installation and then no longer needed. As such, vendors provide alternative methods for OS installation, in order to do away with the optical drives.

Remote management software such as HPE iLO, Dell iDRAC, Fujitsu iRMC or Lenovo XClarity allow installations remotely over the network via remote KVM (subject to licensing).

If you're on-site, you can use an external USB optical drive if you have one to hand. If not, you can also use a laptop or desktop PC with an optical drive to create a bootable USB drive (at least 8GB capacity) which your server can then use as installation media. Freely available software such as Rufus is ideal for this purpose. Ensure that 'GPT partition scheme' and 'UEFI target system' options are selected when prompted if using this method.

We always recommend using the embedded deployment manager to guide your OS installation. This is because these deployment managers include drivers for things like storage and network controllers that are required for installation. Whilst manual installation is possible without, you may need to source and provide these drivers as part of the installation process.

The name of this installation manager differs between vendors: -

  • HPE: Intelligent Provisioning
  • Dell: Lifecycle Controller
  • Fujitsu: ServerView Installation Manager
  • Lenovo: ThinkServer Deployment Manager

All of the above offer similar features - An easy-to-use GUI allowing you to update firmware, create and manage RAID arrays, networking, remote management settings and deploy operating systems.

Suitable USB flash drives and optical drives in stock...

LG GP60NB60 |

LG SE-208GB 8x DVD-RW USB 2.0 Black Slim External Optical Drive

SE-208DB, CD-R 24x, DVD-R 8x, 1MB, USB 2 0, 300g, black  see details

 £20.79 ex. VAT

£24.95 inc. VAT


Manu. part ID GP60NB60