Using nLite to Integrate RAID Drivers into Windows Installation Media
Although Windows Server 2008 has become the prevalent operating system of choice, application compatibility issues and strained IT budgets are causing Windows Server 2003 deployments to still be prevalent on newly purchased servers. The problem in these deployments arises when you are using a newer RAID controller with drivers that are not bundled with the Server 2003 installation media. To compound the problem, the only way to access additional drivers during a Server 2003 installation is via floppy disk. It’s not big news that most newer servers don’t even come floppy drives these days.
One of the best ways to overcome this is to slipstream RAID drivers into the Windows Server 2003 installation media. My application of choice to do this is nLite. The nLite application can be obtained from http://www.nliteos.com/. Once installed, you can copy your installation media to the local computer you are working from, import the RAID drivers you require, and create an ISO image that includes the new drivers.
nLite also has several other great features. Not only can you integrate RAID drivers, you can integrate ANY drivers you wish. Along with this, nLite can be used to further expand your unattended OS installations for both Windows Server 2003 and 2008.