Installing Windows Server 2008 on Citrix XenServer

By Alasdair Lumsden on 29 Jul 2009

During the install of Windows Server 2008, the installer might throw a screen up at you insisting you provide it with drivers so it can install Windows.

This screen can’t be bypassed (that I could see), and giving Windows Server 2008 the Citrix XenServer xe-tools.iso image is no good, as the drivers are contained within a .exe. Extracting the drivers on another computer and making your ISO is no good either – Windows won’t accept those drivers.

Usefully the installer doesn’t even tell you what hardware it wants drivers for. However on a hunch I removed the Network Adapter within Citrix XenServer, and sure enough, after a restart, the installer didn’t ask for any drivers and the install completed successfully.

I’ve had to fight with this drivers screen when installing Windows 7 on my Dell laptop before, and it’s not fun. It just doesn’t provide enough useful information for you to find the drivers it wants to install. Stupid Microsoft. Stupid Windows.

At least it accepts a CD or USB Key for the drivers, which is a vast improvement over the NT/2000/XP/2003 days where you’d need to blow the dust off your 3.5″ floppy drive…