Dell R720 with H710 RAID; trying to change BIOS to UEFI without losing ability to boot.

RavinDJ

Supreme [H]ardness
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Apr 9, 2002
Messages
4,116
I'm moving data from three (3) 900GB 10K RPM SAS 6Gbps 2.5in Hot-plug Hard Drive in RAID 5 to four 2TB Samsung 860 EVO drives in a RAID10 configuration.

Currently the OS is Windows Server 2008R2. I'm installing Windows Server 2012R2 on the SSDs. What's the best way to install 2012R2 on the four SSDs but still be able to go back and load the 2008R2 while the server is in production use.

I tried logging into the Dell Perc H710 RAID controller. I can switch the booting from the old Virtual Disk (VD) to the new VD very easily, but when I tried installing 2012R2 on the new VD, it says I need to enable UEFI in BIOS. I'm afraid that if I enable UEFI in BIOS for the new VD, I won't be able to boot into the original VD when I change the booting in the H710 setup.

Or, can I change the BIOS to UEFI and boot from newVD, install 2012R2, and then go back to BIOS and remove UEFI and log into H710 and change boot to oldVD? I don't know if that makes sense.

Or, should I just create new media with 2012R2 and make it bootable in MBR and legacy BIOS. But, will the 2012R2 then allow me to use the 2TB drives to their fullest size?

I don't know if I'm explaining it correctly but any help will be appreciated. I'm going in tomorrow morning.

Thanks!!
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
18,161
The R720 should have at least 8 slots if not 16. You can add the 4 new disk and create a new VD and update the boot order. Change the BIOS to UEFI, install the new OS. Once booted into 2012R2 (not sure why you are using that though) you will still have access to the old OS as a second disk. You can always change it back to Legacy and just use the boot menu to select the old OS if you need to go back in.

Do you still need the 2008R2 to be bootable or just to access the data?
 

RavinDJ

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
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The R720 should have at least 8 slots if not 16. You can add the 4 new disk and create a new VD and update the boot order. Change the BIOS to UEFI, install the new OS. Once booted into 2012R2 (not sure why you are using that though) you will still have access to the old OS as a second disk. You can always change it back to Legacy and just use the boot menu to select the old OS if you need to go back in.

Do you still need the 2008R2 to be bootable or just to access the data?
Yep, I already added the new 4 disks and created the VD_NEW. I did not change the BIOS to UEFI and didn't install OS yet for fear of not being able to access original 2008R2 installation. But I think I'm following you correctly... below instructions should provide step by step instructions of what you said...

So yes, I still need it to be bootable, at least for another 48-72 hours. I just want to need to be sure that 2008R2 is bootable even after I install 2012R2 on the new drives. Again, only for 48-72 hours.

So, my thought process:
1. Create new VD using SSDs (already done)
2. Change H710 to boot to VD_SSD (tried it and it works; but boots to empty hard drive since no OS on it yet, hence it behaves correctly)
3. Change BIOS to UEFI (have not done this; afraid to do it since I don't want to mess up the 2008R2 on VD_OLD)
4. Install 2012R2 on VD_SSD
5. Reboot server and change UEFI to legacy BIOS and change H710 to boot to VD_OLD
6. Pray to God that this works and server boots to 2008R2 on VD_OLD

I think that's the gist of it.
 
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