A few months ago on my personal blog I wrote about the difficulty of installing CentOS on the Dell R200, owing to the SATA DVD drive used in the unit. The R200 is our unit of choice for our ClusterScale “Pegasys” product, so installing Linux distros on this server is a regular occurrence for us. Fortunately, we got hold of a Redhat driver image from Dell and we managed to load it on using a USB key. This is a simple case of typing
linux dd at the installation command prompt, but note that you must copy the .img file onto the USB disk, rather than the files within the image itself.
Originally the problem was with CentOS 5.0, but as far as I know it’s still a problem with versions 5.1 and 5.2. Ubuntu installations do not seem to pose the same problem, so presumably they bundle SATA DVD drivers with the distro. I still can’t find this particular driver on the Dell site, so seems like a good idea to host it here too.