Thursday, March 24, 2016

Windows 2008 R2 Install Hangs on Dell T330

Had an interesting issue on a new Dell server this week. Normally we are installing Windows Server 2012 R2 but a client had a requirement for Windows 2008 R2 on this particular server to run DPM 2010. Did our usual installation route, but the install hung at the first screen where you select language and keyboard settings. Initially I thought this might be occurring because I had the ISO mounted remotely through the iDRAC, but the same error occured on site too.

It turns out that the problem was due to USB 3.0 drivers. The newest Dell servers have only USB 3.0 ports and Windows Server 2008 R2 does not include USB 3.0 drivers, only USB 2.0 drivers. For the higher end R430/T430 servers you can change the USB support to 2.0 in the BIOS for installing older operating systems. For the R330/T330 and lower, it isn't possible to turn off USB 3.0 in the BIOS.

Ultimately the solution was to inject USB 3.0 drivers into the Windows Server 2008 R2 install media. Which sounds like a giant pain but Dell provides a utility that does it for you. The Driver Update Utility adds the USB 3.0 drivers and if you have other drivers, you have an option to add them also.
UPDATE: Some of the newer Dell models have an option in the firmware to disable USB 3.0 and use USB 2.0. Check that out if your having this issue. Be aware that the less expensive servers do not have this option. However, I don't have a list of which ones do and don't have the feature.


  1. I should point out that this same scenario can happen with newer desktop computers and laptops if you are installing Windows 7. Windows 7 also does not have USB 3.0 drivers included.

  2. Do you happen to have a working link for the driver update utility? Running into this now myself.

    1. I just clicked on the link above "Dell Driver Update Utility". The Zip file downloaded and I was able to open the zip file. So, I think the link is still good.

    2. The second link with the instructions also has a link for the driver update utility at the bottom of the page.

    3. Thanks; was a proxy issue on my end!!! This install should go a lot smoother now...

  3. I went another route. I purchaed a USB 2.o PCIe card, Installed that in the R330. installed Server 2008R2. and removed the card for next time.

    Tried the Slipstream method but coudlnt' seem to make it work. Sure i'm doing something wrong but I'm out of time and need this to work. so....

    I used this: