Before we start. Please note that performing a clean install of Windows on your WD Sentinel DS6100 is not something supported by Western Digital. You do this at your own risk. If you have any data on your DS6100 you want to keep, make sure you back it up. Clean installing an operating system includes wiping your hard drives. We also highly recommend backing up the recovery image in the recovery partition of the DS6100. We have written a guide on how to do this here.
Gather your resources
To perform a clean install of Windows Server 2016 on your WD Sentinel DS6100, you will need the following:
- A copy of Windows Server 2016 install media.
- The latest Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK). The current version is 1607.
- The latest WD Sentinel firmware/software. The current version is 22.214.171.124.
- 2 USB drives. 1x 8GB and 1x 2GB or bigger.
Get a copy of the Marvell 94xx SAS/SATA RAID Controller driver
The WD Sentinel uses a RAID controller which Windows Server 2016 and Windows PE does not have the driver for. In order for Windows Server 2016 and Windows PE to see the boot drives in your WD Sentinel, you'll need to inject a RAID controller driver into their respective images.
You can find these drivers in the WD Sentinel firmware/software package you download from the WD support site. The drivers are located in a .cab file called mvsdrv.cab packaged in sentinel_firmware_2_2_10_18.zip.
Create the Windows PE boot disk
One of the quirks with installing Windows Server 2016 on a WD Sentinel DS6100 from a USB is that you'll need two of them. The first USB will be a FAT32 formatted boot disk because the WD Sentinel can't boot off NTFS. The second USB will be a NTFS formatted Windows Server 2016 installer because one of the files on the install media exceeds the 4GB file size limit of FAT32.
To make the FAT32 boot disk, follow this guide we've written earlier for the WD Sentinel DS6100 with some exceptions. Use the latest Windows ADK and the drivers obtained in the previous section.
Create the Windows Server 2016 install disk
Copy the Windows Server 2016 installation media to a local working directory. We're going to assume you have place this in C:\WorkingDir\Win2016. We are also going to assume a copy of the RAID drivers have been extracted to C:\WorkingDir\mvsdrv and that an empty folder C:\WorkindDir\mount also exists.
Run the following three commands to inject the RAID controller driver into the first image (Index:1) inside install.wim.
- Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:C:\WorkingDir\Win2016\sources\install.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:C:\WorkingDir\mount
- Dism /Image:C:\WorkingDir\mount /Add-Driver /Driver:C:\WorkingDir\mvsdrv\mvs94xx.inf
- Dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:C:\WorkingDir\mount /Commit
- Windows Server 2016 Standard
- Windows Server 2016 Standard (Desktop Experience)
- Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
- Windows Server 2016 Datacenter (Desktop Experience)
Perform the clean install
After you have made your Windows PE bootable USB and Windows Server 2016 installation media for the WD Sentinel, plug the Windows PE bootable USB into one of the USB ports on the back of your WD Sentinel and turn it on while pressing and holding the recovery button. Once Windows PE has loaded, plug the Windows Server 2016 installation media you created and run setup.exe.
To work out what drive letter the Windows Server 2016 install is on, run the diskpart command and then type list volume. Type exit to quit diskpart.
Install the WD components
The WD Sentinel DS6100 out of the box comes with Widows Server 2012 R2 Essentials preinstalled along with components from Western Digital that make features such as the LCD and fan work. These components will need to be reinstalled after a clean install of Windows and can be found in the sentinel_firmware_2_2_10_18.zip file mentioned earlier.
Before installing the WD components, you'll need to install the Windows Server Essentials Experience role which is required to make the WD components work. We wrote an article on how to do this for Windows Server 2012 R2 which you can reference for Windows Server 2016. After installing the Windows Server Essentials Experience role but before configuring the Windows Server Essentials Experience, install the following WD components from the zip file.
Note: Run WdLcdSetup_PreInstall.bat before installing WdLcdSetup.msi.
Note: Run C:\Windows\system32\pkgmgr.exe /iu:IIS-CGI after installing WDSUSetup.exe.
Note: This one was added for firmware 126.96.36.199.
- Unlike the Windows Server 2012 R2 process for performing a clean install, the fan will spin at maximum speed until the WD components are installed and the Windows Server Essentials Experience is configured.
- If you install WDBranding.msi, the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard says Windows Server 2012 instead of just Windows Server. You can resolve this by uninstalling that component.
- We have found that the WD Tray (WDSUSetup.exe) may need to be reinstalled after configuring the Windows Server Essentials Experience to get it working.
- WD SOFTWARE UPDATE FAILED appears on the LCD screen and you'll also find that you are unable to check for firmware updates. We are unsure why this happens even with the latest firmware but suspect is has something to do with WD Product Configuration service failing to start. Currently no known workaround.