Windows 10 on the Proliant DL380 Gen5

TLDR; Since Windows 10 Pro isn’t officially supported on the DL380, you should find and install the most recent driver for the storage controller.

Dual Xeons with 64GB of ram? Um yes, please!

I found an old server on Facebook Marketplace for ah pittance and decided to set it up as a budget gaming system. I had several videos about the flood of cheap Xeon processors that hit the market years ago and knew the performance to cost ratio was surprising.

So, what are the steps to get Windows 10 installed on the DL380? If you have bootable Windows 10 installer media (a dual-layer burned DVD or a bootable USB drive), there is only one main step: get a compatible driver for your storage controller.

Yep, that is really all you need.

Watch the youtube video here, if you prefer:

But, a word of caution: most Proliant servers have great utilities that have been created to help you install your OS, such as SmartStart. Forget all that. 🙂

Instead, boot to your installer media and proceed through the standard Windows 10 install. You’ll come to the portion of the install where you choose which drive to install Windows 10 unto. Annnnd, if you don’t have a controller driver… you will be stuck here.
So, before the install, I strongly recommend looking for the latest driver you can find for your storage controller. During boot, I saw the controller was labelled HP P400 SmartArray. Then, I searched through the HP Enterprise site and various forums for a controller driver for that storage card. I compared the release dates until I found a release date that was after 2015- the release date of Windows 10.
Most of HPE’s drivers or utilities are executable that need to be extracted to a directory. I formatted a USB drive in NTFS and loaded a bunch of drivers. At the storage screen, I was able to browse to my USB drive and selected the folder of different drivers I had downloaded. The installer auto-selected the correct driver, and my drive showed up correctly- a 120GB Kingston SSD- but any SSD would be fine (I recommend the Samsung EVO series. They get great reviews and the 1TB is a great price when I last checked).

To wrap it up, my DL380 is humming (loudly) along after Windows 10 installed. It isn’t as snappy as I thought it would be with dual Quad Xeons, 65GB ram and an SSD with normal tasks (installing files, etc).

I’ll report back with benchmarks when I get ’em!