Success: Jan 2008 Mac Pro as a Windows 2003 Server

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by wetrix, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. wetrix macrumors 6502

    wetrix

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm just posting for the archives my success with installing Windows Server 2003 R2 with SP2 Standard Edition on a Jan 2008 mac pro (8x2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM). I've installed Server 2003 a Mac Mini (1.83 Ghz), MacBook (Late 2006) and an iMac (early 2008) and didn't find the information available online to be greatly helpful, so hopefully this post will help somebody like me sometime in the future.

    To set up Windows Windows Server 2003 R2 on a Jan 2008 Mac Pro:

    Boot OS X and run Boot Camp Assistant as usual.
    Install Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 as usual (comes as 2 discs, but only requires the second disk upon your first successful log in so this isn't a problem with bootcamp).
    Eject the Windows installation CD in the windows explorer by right clicking the D: drive and selecting Eject.

    Insert Leopard DVD (won't run in Server 2003 without the next tweak).
    Copy Windows Drivers from OS X Leopard DVD
    Install Orca MSI (http://www.technipages.com/download-orca-msi-editor.html)
    Use Orca MSI to remove WinXP requirement condition
    Run Boot Camp driver installer
    Once this is done, everything should be installed except ethernet and SMBus.
    Run Intel Chipset Installation Utility.exe (http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/sb/cs-013541.htm)
    If ethernet cards are still not installed, run Boot Camp\Drivers\Intel\IntelEthernetInstaller.exe

    Now all devices as listed in the device manager should be happy.

    Troubleshooting:

    1. I tried installing Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition (non R2, non SP1 or SP2) on the Mac Pro and kept getting BSOD during the late Windows installation stages. As mention above, I did not have this problem with the iMac, Mac Mini or MacBook and I'm guessing it was the video card, though it could likely be a chipset/processor problem as 2003 was a long time ago. Installing the R2 version worked flawlessly and this is the way I would recommend to go. Students can get this free from dreamspark.com. I'd be very keen to hear from anybody who has managed to install the non R2 version on a 2008 Mac Pro.

    2. With Windows 2003 Server (non R2, non SP1 or SP2) on a Mac, you can't install Windows Service Pack 1 without a registry edit because it thinks there is not enough space on the C: drive. This occurs because it doesn't quite understand where the boot drive is. Do the following registry edit:

    1. Click Start - Run - Type “regedit” and press enter.
    2. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup]
    3. In the right pane, Right-click and select New - String value
    4. Name it as “BootDir” and set its value to “C:\”
    Then presto, you should be able to install SP1.

    **********************************
    Why a Mac Pro as a Windows server?

    Price:
    I've been waiting for the new 2009 Mac Pro for the last 4 months and it still hasn't turned up. I ended up purchasing the Jan 2008 Mac Pro in Feb 2009 because I live in New Zealand and our dollar is at a 5-year low. Because the Mac Pro price was set over a year ago, it's actually cheaper to buy it in NZ than anywhere else in the world that I know of (US$ 2799 = NZ$5535 while the Mac Pro costs NZ$4699 (US$2376). With the new systems predicted to go for US$2999, that's be a big leap to over NZ$6000 and the DDR3 RAM will make it even more expensive to upgrade than the now-cheap DDR2 FB-DIMMs.

    And Price:
    Well, value actually. Even with our university discount, the cheapest I could get an 8 Core Xeon system was $7000 from DELL and that was using 2.0 GHz Clovertown processors (E5335). That's SLOW and OLD. We actually bought this system almost 2 years ago for just over $4000. The exchange rate has really made computers expensive here. Prices are going up instead of down. To get an 8 Core Xeon server at 2.93 GHz Tigerton with 2 GB RAM is $19,000 after our university discount.

    It's a huge bummer that 32-bit windows doesn't support more than 4 GB RAM, but the applications we use (NONMEM, Monolix, WinBugs) are more mathematically/biologically than computer science focused and don't like OS X or 64-bit.

    Being a complete Mac addict, it feels really good to have introduced a beautiful Mac Pro into the dull/dell server room that is not only faster than everything else in there, it was cheaper...not a common claim for a Mac.
     
  2. abcsir macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    #2
    Hello...

    I am a new MAC PRO owner here.

    I just bought a MAC PRO (2.8GHZ, 4G RAM, 320 GB HD) and I had installed windows 2003 server R2 on my MAC, (of course, following your procedure, and many thanks for your guide line). Every thing is find, however, the only device that dose not function will is CDROM eject. I can see the icon on my LCD, however, the CDROM does not work for eject. Even I use the File Explorer and use "eject" funtion on the CDROM, it still not working. Could you please kindly help me to solve this problem (or give me any suggestion, thanks)

    Thank you very much, I remind.

    Sirius Chen, from Taipei, Taiwan.
     
  3. wetrix thread starter macrumors 6502

    wetrix

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #3
    Does the CD drive eject under OS X? How about when you hold down the left mouse button while booting? It really should work naively, even without installing the boot camp drivers. Perhaps the CD drive is faulty. Have you tried rebooting?
     
  4. DELLsFan macrumors 6502a

    DELLsFan

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #4
    Wetrix -

    You have peaked my curiosity with this ... I chanced upon the notion of installing Windows Server 2003 on the Mac Pro ... and thought it wasn't possible! Congratulations! I guess I shouldn't be too surprised!

    Any idea whether this can be done with Windows 2008 server?

    Cheers!

    :apple:
     
  5. wetrix thread starter macrumors 6502

    wetrix

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #5
    Windows 2008 Server works great on the Mac Pro. You can use the same process to install the boot camp drivers.
     
  6. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #6
    Well, forgive the newbie question... But what is the purpose of installing Windows Server OSes to a MP? Or, rather, what are you using the OS for, specifically, that one could not do in XP? Just curious.
     
  7. wetrix thread starter macrumors 6502

    wetrix

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #7
    Terminal services.
     
  8. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #8
    *jawdrop*

    I've heard of this sort of thing being done, but I didn't think the MP would be suitable! Or at least, that was my preconception.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  9. DELLsFan macrumors 6502a

    DELLsFan

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #9
    I'd love to see some pics if you're able. Bummer you can't take advantage of 64-bit ... I hear Windows Server 2008 comes in a 64 bit flavor too. :)

    I may be replacing our server in a year or so ... I wonder if I can actually SAVE money building a Win 2008 server on a Mac Pro? :eek:
     

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