Best Practices for Microsoft Windows Installation - Dell

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Best Practices for Microsoft Windows Installation on Dell PowerEdge Servers with Broadcom NetXtreme Devices Administrators can choose from a number of methods when installing Broadcom NetXtreme and NetXtreme II device drivers on Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers during Microsoft® Windows® OS installations. This article discusses best practices for carrying out manual and automated installations using the Broadcom installer and utilities like Netset.exe as well as other considerations for Windows installations involving these Broadcom adapters. BY KEN BIGNELL, SUBBU GANESAN, AND DONNIE DAVIS

Related Categories: Broadcom Dell PowerEdge servers


roadcom drivers on Dell PowerEdge servers support

complicate PnP installation. In addition to these device

both the Broadcom NetXtreme and NetXtreme II series

drivers, the Broadcom adapters include an intermediate

of adapters. The drivers for these two series have very dif-

driver and applications that provide advanced services

ferent architectures, but both are supported by common

and functions.

Microsoft Windows

management applications such as the Broadcom Advanced

Because this combination of drivers and applications

Network interface card (NIC)

Control Suite (BACS), standards such as the Simple Net-

can be complicated to install, and because of the device

work Management Protocol (SNMP) and Common Infor-

architecture and the file-version dependencies for the

mation Model (CIM), and a common intermediate driver

individual components, Dell and Broadcom provide an

that provides teaming (link aggregation) support.

InstallShield installer to help simplify installation. This

Operating system deployment System deployment Visit for the complete category index.

The legacy NetXtreme series uses one driver per

installer handles installation order and can help ensure

device—a simple Network Driver Interface Specifica-

that component versions have been tested for compat-

tion (NDIS) driver—allowing straightforward Microsoft

ibility with each other and between the two series of

Windows Plug and Play (PnP) installation. The NetXtreme

adapters. The device drivers are still PnP compliant and

II series introduces technology such as TCP/IP Offload

can be installed without the assistance of the installer, but

Engine (TOE) that requires two device drivers—the virtual

Dell encourages using the installer whenever possible to

bus driver (VBD) and the NDIS client driver—which can

help minimize complications.

Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, November 2006. Copyright © 2006 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.




Both the NetXtreme and NetXtreme II drivers are included in

The path and file name should be enclosed in quotation

one installer package, along with the management applications, for

marks if the name is long. The path can be omitted only

convenience and to help ensure version compatibility. The device

if the application is in the %SYSTEMROOT% or

drivers can be extracted from the installer by running setup.exe

%SYSTEMROOT%\system32 folder or search path.

from the Broadcom driver directory, with the /a command-line parameter, and following the on-screen instructions. This article

Running the Broadcom installer in this section installs the drivers

explores guidelines for installi