How to Install Windows Server 2012 on a HP Proliant Server

With the release of Windows Server 2012, I was looking to roll out several new HP Proliant servers running WS2012 Datacentre edition as HyperV hosts. Alas, the existing version of HP SmartSuite does not support WS2012. The methodology for installing WS2012 on HP servers is documented by HP here – http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c03305495/c03305495.pdf

However, this methodology is quite manual, and seems to omit the installation of the HP Management and System Tools. Also, the website, and HP documentation appear to lead to two different versions of the WS2012 Supplement for Service Pack for Proliant (See here – ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/supportpack-windows/p1072349968/v77662 and here – ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/supportpack-windows/p1072349968/v79572)

Using the new in-place upgrade feature in WS2012, these issues were overcome by installing Windows Server 2008R2 first, and then upgrading the fresh installation to WS2012. BTW, this process should work for most other server hardware platforms. Do check the Compatibility Report to verify that the drivers and vendor applications will work.

The pre-requisite: Install WS2008R2 using the HP SmartSuite and Server media. Once the server has been installed, insert the WS2012 media (DVD or USB) and run setup.exe.

Click Install now.

Wait a while, skip installing updates, and follow the “bouncing balls” – most of the steps are straightforward.

Install the GUI Version (unless you really want the Server Core version).

Accept the License.

At this step, select Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications.

View the Compatibility report, in case there are some issues that need to be attended to. Otherwise, a generic notice is given.

Wait some more.

Reboot #1.

More waiting and a couple more reboots. (Be patient!)

Finally, the server is ready.

Login.

After logon, Server Manager will automatically start up.

Minimise Server Manager to return to the desktop. A Windows Compatibility Report icon is on the desktop and links to the report which was seen above.

The HP System Management Icon will work as it normally did previously.

From this point, WS2012 is installed and operational. The HyperV role and other roles and features can be installed normally.

13 thoughts on “How to Install Windows Server 2012 on a HP Proliant Server”

  1. Thanks, I was searching how to install Windows server 2012 on a HP Proliant dl360 G7, because the SmartStart doesn’t have this WS :/ I going to install in this form. Thanks for the tip. 😀

    1. Go to the HP DL320 G5 drivers page put the Storage Controller driver on a USB stick. While there are no drivers for Server 2012 R2, try the Server 2008 x64 drivers. I don’t have a system to test. It may or may not work. If it does not, then you are out of luck.

    1. I have installed it on a ML350G5, so it is possible. You will need to install the standard Win2008R2 SmartCD drivers first, then do an inplace upgrade, as there is no support for Windows Server 2012R2 on this platform.

  2. Hello, I already have ubuntu server in my lab pc
    . And I also want to install windows server so that I have dual boot pc server. How do I install it so that I can keep the ubuntu installation? Thanks.

  3. What a PITA….
    To get drivers from HP you need to buy support.
    To install Win2012 you need to install another OS first !!! WTF.

    Like we have time for all this Crap HP !!

    Just as well I am at the start of the purchase cycle, Scrapping HP due to the stupid support !!

    Thanks for the tip though, will give it a go

  4. Hi

    I have a HP ProLiant ML370 G6. Can I install Windows Server 2012 on it. I know that on the homepage for this product is no available drivers for WS 2012. Is there a way to install it on ML370 G6 ?

    Kind regards

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