Lenovo System x: ServerGuide & Windows Server 2016 Bootable USB Drive

I haven’t installed Windows Server onto an IBM/Lenovo System x Server for quite a few years.

In the old days, it was a case of downloading the ServerGuide ISO, burning it to a DVD, booting from it, and then running through the setup.  When ServerGuide was done with the DVD it would be ejected, and you’d insert the Windows Server DVD.

I came to install Windows Server 2016 onto a Lenovo System x3650 M5 (Model 8871), and like most modern servers it didn’t have a DVD drive.

So I created a bootable flash drive (on a USB key) to run ServerGuide, and contain the Windows Server 2016 installation files.  I could get the server to boot into ServerGuide from the USB key, but it then hung on the “Lenovo ServerGuide Splash Screen”.

In various forum posts, the suggested fix is to create a Fat32 file system on the flash drive, copy the contents of the ServerGuide ISO to it, and then copy in the Windows Server 2016 install files.  In Windows 2016, the install.wim file is 4.68GB, and therefore exceeds the Fat32 maximum 4GB file size limit, necessitating splitting the file into two parts using “dism /SplitImage …”.

The above didn’t work, the following is what worked for me.  Note I formatted the file system as NTFS, and did not need to enable legacy support in System Settings -> Legacy Support as some forum posts suggest.

Step 1

Download ServerGuide 10.6 for Windows Server 2012/2016 from here.

Step 2

Download Rufus (note it’s Windows only) from here, I went for the portable version.

Open Rufus and select the following options.

  • Device: select the USB key.
  • Partition scheme and target system type: MBR partition scheme for UEFI
  • File system: NTFS
  • New volume label: enter something meaningful.
  • Check Create a bootable disk using: ISO Image.  Browse to the ISO file (lnvgy_utl_sguide_10.6-win2k12_anyos_x86-64.iso).

Note: after selecting the ISO file, Rufus sometimes changes the options previously selected.  Check them and change if necessary, then click Start.

workingsg1

Click OK to acknowledge the warning.

workingsg2

When complete, click Close.

complete

Step 3

Mount the Windows Server 2016 ISO.

Open the mounted drive (here it’s F:).  Select all files & COPY.

isosource

Open the USB key created in Step 2 (here it’s G:).  Browse to the \sgdeploy\os folder, and PASTE the Windows Server 2016 install files.

isodest

workingsg6

When the files have been copied to the USB key it’s ready to go.

ServerGuide loads successfully, when I select to use an OS stored on the USB key, the install media is found (Microsoft Windows Server 2016 x64).

ServerGuidePhoto

 

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