Wish to install Windows 2012 on your HP Gen8 Server and not sure how to do it? then you are at the right place!. This guide will explain how to install (assisted installation) Microsoft Windows 2012 Operating System on your HP Proliant Gen8 server. HP Intelligent Provisioning version 1.3 or later allow users to perform assisted installation of Windows 2012 on their Gen8 server.Wondering what is HP Intelligent Provisioning? It is the replacement of SmartStart CD which was available with HP Proliant G7 and below series servers. In Gen8 Server, HP installed all features of SmartStart CD in a 4 GB NAND flash memory which is embedded on the System board. This feature is called as HP Intelligent Provisioning. Like SmartStart CD, Intelligent Provisioning helps you to install Windows OS on your Gen8 server. It also installs all the required drivers during the Windows OS installation.
Before you install Windows 2012 OS on your Server, please ensure that your Gen8 server is installed with Intelligent Provisioning version 1.3 or later. Intelligent Provisioning 1.3 (or later) supports assisted installation of Microsoft Windows 2012 Operating System. Intelligent Provisioning 1.3(or later) contains all Windows 2012 drivers required for Windows 2012. It is recommended to have minimum of 40 GB HDD free space for installing Windows 2012 OS.
To check the version of Intelligent provisioning installed on your Gen8 server, please refer the article provided below:
If your Gen8 Server is not installed with Intelligent provisioning 1.3 or later, first you need to update the Intelligent provisioning of your server. The procedure to update Intelligent Provisioning is is discussed in detail here in my article.
Before you install Windows 2012 on your Proliant Gen8 Server, please ensure that you update BIOS of server to latest version. I have created a table which list out minimum version of BIOS which supports Windows 2012 on your Gen8 server.
Guide: Install Windows 2012 OS on HP Gen8 Server:
1. Turn ON your HP Gen8 Server.
2. At server POST screen, press the F10 key to access HP Intelligent Provisioning.
3. It will load Intelligent Provisioning on your Gen8 Server.
4. Once Intelligent Provisioning is loaded, click on Configure and Install button (Check screenshot).
5. Under System Profiles, Select Balanced Power and Performance.
6. Under System Software Update, select Skip Update.
7. Under Array configuration, you may select Recommended Settings (Check Screenshot).
Note: If required, you may set System Software to check updated drivers and software from HP.com before you install OS. I have selected “Skip update” setting here because I will manually updating all drivers once the OS is installed.
8. Click on Continue button.
9. You may receive a confirmation message to reset all HDDs of your server.
10. Click OK button and RAID will be configured as per recommended settings.
11. Now you will be at OS Selection screen.
12. Select OS Family as Microsoft Windows.
13. Select Install method as Customize.
14. If using DVD drive or iLO Virtual media to install Windows 2012, then set source type as Disc.
15. Click Continue.
16. Now insert Windows 2012 DVD in the DVD drive or use iLO4 Virtual media.
17. As I am using iLO here, I will mount Windows 2012 ISO file using iLO Virtual Media.
18. Once you mount Windows 2012 DVD or ISO file, click on Continue button.
19. Intelligent Provisioning will search for Windows 2012 Media and locate it (Check screenshot).
20. Now you will be at OS Information screen (Check the screenshot provided below).
21. Under Operating System, select the Version of Windows 2012 you wish to install.
22. Enter Windows Product Key (I used an invalid key here.. Check screenshot).
23. Enter Computer Name, Administrator Password, Time zone etc.
24. Click on Continue button.
24. Install AMS as it will help Agentless Management to gather more information about server OS.
Note: If you wish to use HP System Management Homepage with WBEM protocol, then you can select WBEM providers option. If you need SNMP, then you may install SNMP as well. In Ideal scenario, you will not be using WBEM and SNMP in your Gen8 server. However if you want SMH to be working, you have to use WBEM or SNMP (or both) protocol. Please refer the screenshot provided below to understand how to enable WBEM, SNMP and how you configure it. If you are installing WBEM and SNMP on your server, please refer table provided below.
25. Click Continue.
26. You will be at Review screen now. Click Continue to install Windows 2012.
27. Intelligent Provisioning will partition hard disk and start copying files.
28. Please be patient, it may take some time to copy all files.
29. Once file copy process is completed, Server will be restarted.
30. Windows logo screen will appear on server boot.
Note: Earlier at Step 22, I entered an invalid Windows Product Key to check whether Windows 2012 Operating System installation can continue without a Product key. Unfortunately, I could not continue Windows installation without a Product key!!! Remember; you will see Windows Product key window only if you enter wrong Windows Product key at Intelligent Provisioning screen (Step 22 in this article). Here, I am going to enter the correct Windows Product key
31. Enter Windows 2012 Product Key (Check screenshot).
32. Click on Next button.
33. Depends on the Windows Product key you entered, you will get an OS selection screen.
34. Select the OS version here (I chose Windows 2012 DataCenter GUI).
35. Click Next, and accept Windows License terms.
36. Windows will start copying files. Please wait till it completes.
37. Once file copy process is completed, Windows setup will restart.
38. You will see Windows boot logo when the server is booting.
39. At Windows login screen, press Ctrl+Alt+Del key to sign in.
40. Enter Administrator password and sign in to Windows (use the Admin password set in step 23).
41. Now you will see a Command-line window stating “Installing system drivers and software”.
42. Please wait while the drivers are getting installed.
Note: While drivers are getting installed, I received an error message stating “Qt : Untested Windows Version 6.2 Detected!”. This is a common error reported with HP Smart Update manager and can be safely ignored. HP customer advisory c03517970 speaks about this issue. A future version of HP Smart Update manager will fix this error. If you receive this error message, please ignore the error message.
43. Once drivers are installed, Server will be restarted for the last time.
44. Once Windows is restarted, you are done with Windows 2012 installation!
45. Congratulations..!!! You did it!!
This article does not speak about manual installation of Windows 2012 OS. If you wish, you can manually install Windows 2012 by booting from Windows 2012 DVD. Later, you may use latest HP Service pack to update all firmware and drivers of your Gen8 server.
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