Stating at what HP says installing Windows Vista or Windows 7 on an HP ProLiant MicroServer (in my case the old N36L model) is not supported. This doesn’t mean it isn’t doable.

All you need are the correct drivers to start the setup properly, I had an old license of Windows Vista (32 bit...ouch!) I wasn’t using anymore, so I’ve decided to install it over this piece of hardware to do some testing at my home.

First problem I faced was the missing of a driver for the RAID controller (yes I set it up to use RAID 1 through the BIOS settings); once I figured out it has an AMD SATA/RAID Controller on board I started looking around for some drivers, the following package worked for me:

AMD SATA/RAID AHCI Controller Driver (VERSION: 3.2.1548.37 REV: G)

Just unzip it to a folder on your USB flash drive and extract the content of the ‘exe’ file (do not run or install it), you can do it using lots of free utilities out there (WinRar, just to name one).

During the setup you will need to chose on which driver install Windows, if you don’t see any drive available (as it was in my case, having built a RAID array and a logical disk), you will need to fed the setup with the correct raid controller drivers. The drivers are located in the following path inside the previously extracted directory: \sp48266\RAID7xx. There will be x86 or x64 versions of the driver, chose the one that match your OR.

At this point the setup will go on and everything will be installed correctly.

Next step is to use ‘Windows Update’ to finish off the installation (protect the system, keep everything updated, install eventually missing drivers and so on...), but wait...we have no valid driver for the Network Card...sob Open-mouthed smile; once again let’s look for some information and drivers.

The actual network card happens to be identified like: ‘HP NC107i PCIe Gigabit Server Adapter’ and it’s made by Broadcom, looking around a bit I was able to find  a list of standard drivers from the Broadcom website:

NetXtreme I Server

Pick the ones that correspond to your OS and:

  • Extract the content in a folder or USB drive.
  • Open up the Control Panel and go to the device management, highlight the missing network card, right click on it and choose update drivers.
  • Navigate to the directory where you previously extracted the drivers and install them.
  • Reboot the system (this is required for the drivers to be able to work).

Forcing these drivers in my case it made the things work; now I’m able to browse my network and install updates.

Some information about the hardware you can find inside a ProLiant MicroServer were taken out from the HP product sheet and the ‘support and drivers’ pages at the following url:

Maybe this post can help someone that is having my same issues.

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