USB floppy drives during Windows Server 2003 R2 setup

So you’ve bought a new rack server, like the IBM System x3250. But your Boss or your customer was to cheap to buy an RSA II card. And now you need to install Windows Server 2003.

This is usually the part where the fun begins. Newer servers do not have a floppy drive, but the only way to load drivers into Windows Server 2003, besides RIS or remastering CDs are floppy drives.

Getting an USB floppy drive is no big deal, you connect it to the machine, it boots, you press F6, select the storage adapter driver, format your hard disks, and then setup asks for the floppy again and again. Bummer.

The problem is that the first part of setup (loading the Mass Storage driver) is not handled by Windows, but instead by the BIOS’s floppy emulation. But the latter part, after formatting the hard drive is handled by Windows. And some of them are not recognized by the builtin USB storage drivers.

In my case, i had an iomega USB floppy with a built in card reader (don’t ask). I used device manager to find out the vendor and product id of this USB floppy.

I opened the txtsetup.oem supplied with my mass storage driver, and modified the section that my mass storage driver had.

I added the following line, directly to after the SCSI adapter itself:
id = "USB\VID_08BD&PID_1100", "usbstor"

I had no idea if this would work at all, but it did.

For your reference, i’ve included my txtsetup.oem, which works with iomega usb floppy dirves.


  1. brassneck:

    .. or you could boot off the Server Guide CD, and allow it to create the system partition and roll an unattended install of W2K3 R2 for you. Also handles RAID config etc. frankly the only reason to do it manually is if you’re installing an OS that isn’t on the list (i.e. FreeBSD which’ll probably not cough about the controller anyway :-))

    I’m assuming you get ServerGuide with 3250, I’ve only installed 3650s.

  2. Lukas Beeler:

    I’ve had more than one bad runin with the ServerGuide CDs, mostly related to the OS being in German, or the ServeRAID controller featuring a firmware too new for the driver on the CD.

    As we don’t install hundreds of servers per month, the current approach works well enough.

  3. brassneck:

    The last Server Guide I used ( your own regional selections for the Windows install (and your media) – pretty sure it supported SBS – RAID firmware/drivers all matched too.

    Worth a try again I think – I certainly find it quicker, and if your boss/customer ever springs for an RSA card you can do it all from your desk using ISO images as virtual boot images, which leaves more valuable coffee drinking time free !

  4. thankful:

    Wow. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you! I was beginning to lose hope but adding the PID of my USB floppy drive to the txtsetup.oem did the trick! Thank you so much!

  5. zak:


    I will try thi sout as i’m having same problem but i’m using a sony usb floppy drive with hp raid drivers whcih is obviously looking for a hp usb drive.

  6. yusuf:

    i have CD (cd1 and cd2) setup of windows server 2003 R2 enterprise, and i mean to install on my PC (totally fresh install), but sundenly bios won’t work, its “………… failure …………..” insert system disk and press any key.
    help me . I am an administrator of high school computer lab – indonesia

  7. DM:

    Best. Work-around. Ever :)

    I spent hours messing about before I found this article – you just made my day!

    Thanks Lukas

  8. Rich Holton:

    This does in fact work, and great I might add. I think it needs a little more explaining.

    Where do you find the PID?

    Connect your floppy drive to a working system.

    The PID for the device is in regedit.

    HLKM\System\Enum\USB and hit F3 to search
    Type in the Manufacturer’s name and when you find the registry key open it and look for hardware ID and that’s it.

    Email me @ or visit my website for any further help.

  9. Jason S:

    Absolute genius there.
    I don’t know what originally gave you the idea but whatever did it you just saved me hours and hours of slipstreaming which I will be forever grateful for.

  10. Tony North:

    Thank you.

    You have saved me hours of work for 1 simple line of text.

    You tha MAN!!!!

  11. Milton:

    Thank you.
    You saved me from hours of breaking my head too. I’m really really grateful for the tip. you’re the man!!

  12. Barry:

    Fixed it – fantastic. You’re a genius. I have now been able to load Win Server 2003 x64 on ProLiant DL140 G3 with Iomega USB floppy.

    2 points
    1. Easier to find PID in Device Manager(on XP) Properties/Details
    2. My textsetup.oem contained 3 sections – 32-bit, IA64 & x64 with two commented out. Added the floppy line to all 3 (just to be sure) and it didn’t work. I only wanted x64 so deleted the two unwanted sections and it worked a treat.

    #LSI_SAS_32 = “LSI Logic Fusion-MPT SAS Driver (Server 2003 32-bit)”,lsi_sas
    #LSI_SAS_IA64 = “LSI Logic Fusion-MPT SAS Driver (Server 2003 IA64)”,lsi_sas
    LSI_SAS_AMD64 = “LSI Logic Fusion-MPT SAS Driver (Server 2003 x64)”,lsi_sas


    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0050″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0054″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0058″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_005E”, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0056″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_005A”, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0062″, “lsi_sas”


    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0050″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0054″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0058″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_005E”, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0056″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_005A”, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0062″, “lsi_sas”


    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0050″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0054″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0058″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_005E”, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0056″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_005A”, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0062″, “lsi_sas”


    LSI_SAS_AMD64 = “LSI Logic Fusion-MPT SAS Driver (Server 2003 x64)”,lsi_sas


    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0050″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0054″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0058″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_005E”, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0056″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_005A”, “lsi_sas”
    id = “PCI\VEN_1000&DEV_0062″, “lsi_sas”
    id = “USB\VID_08BD&PID_1100″, “usbstor”

  13. Max:

    Thank you very much.
    I spent 2 days and I was desperate.
    But your solution works!!!
    You save me!

  14. Alvin:

    You are a bloody champion!

  15. DJM:

    Lukas, Thanks for taking the time to publish this workaround. I used it for an Intel 5000 sequence server board with Sony USB. It is great to know there are still a few true technicians out there.

  16. Bartek:

    Excellent! It worked on first try :)

    Here is PID for USB Sony FDD:
    id = “USB\VID_054C&PID_002C”, “usbstor”

  17. TMC:

    I’ve had the same problems… I set my bios and it recorgnized the floppy for me.

    At this stage in the game wouldn’t you think MS would know floppies are outdated and allow you to search other devices????

    Just gripping sorry…

  18. Lukas Beeler:

    TMC, WS2008 and Vista can load drivers from USB sticks, USB floppies, the hard drive, the network, whatever.

  19. USB Floppy & SBS Install Revisited - Larry's Taco Talk:

    [...] get the system to recognize the floppy at the proper time. I Googled and found an interesting post, USB floppy drives during Windows Server 2003 R2 setup. This pretty much told me what I had to do, add a line to the driver txtsetup.oem file to define [...]

  20. Solitude:

    Thanks, you’ve really saved my day – was getting quite annoyed with this problem.

  21. Al:

    Works great, Iomega USB floppy with an HP DL140 G3 use the details above, only cost 30 quid for a floppy drive, better than throwing the server out the window ;-)

  22. RodS:

    When checking the registry for hardware id, don’t be fooled, as I was ;) in looking at the USBSTOR under HKLM…ENUM. Use HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ENUM\USB and search for the vendor name. Works a treat (when you do it right)!

  23. Santi:

    Thank you so much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I owe you one

  24. Cristóbal:

    Thankyou very much, it was driving me crazy.

  25. stageman:

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you… I’d be a bald man by now if I hadn’t found this post. BTW the “id = “USB\VID_054C&PID_002C”, “usbstor”” works great for the Dell laptop/USB floppy drive as it has Sony insides.

  26. Stefan:

    GREAT!!! You’re my hero! :o)

  27. Lee1310:

    Thankyou so much… Worked perfectly…

  28. XP - Probleme beim Wechsel von Vista zu XP - MCSE Forum:

    [...] Zitat von Sternenkind Daraufhin lässt sich die Festplatte Partitionieren und Formatieren, beim Dateien kopieren stirbt er weil er nicht an die Dateien kommt Betraf alle USB Diskettenlaufwerkstypen, die ich bis jetzt in den Fingern hatte Das Problem ist lösbar: USB floppy drives during Windows Server 2003 R2 setup » Lukas Beeler’s IT Blog » Blog Archive [...]

  29. shadowpuk:

    I was going to buy a new usb floppy drive…you save me a lot of time and 50 bucks. That’s a really good tip, thanks!

  30. tim:

    nice guide, thanks

  31. MachineVision:

    Thanks for your help I tried for hours and hours to install the drivers before getting your info !

    As stated by Barry, put the line at the exact required position : if your driver defines different hardware configurations, add the line only for your hardware.

    I have a ICH8R, and IOmega floppy with card reader (same as lukas)

    The following file worked fine :
    ; ****************************************************************************
    ; ****************************************************************************
    ; ** Filename: TxtSetup.OEM
    ; ****************************************************************************
    ; ****************************************************************************

    disk1 = “Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver”, iaStor.sys, \

    scsi = iaStor_ICH8R

    ;———– Component Section ———–

    iaAHCI_ICH9R = “Intel(R) ICH9 SATA AHCI Controller (Desktop/Server/Workstation)”
    iaStor_ICH8M = “Intel(R) 82801HEM SATA RAID Controller (Mobile ICH8M-E)”
    iaAHCI_ICH8M = “Intel(R) 82801HEM/HBM SATA AHCI Controller (Mobile ICH8M-E/M)”
    iaStor_ICH8R = “Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R SATA RAID Controller (Desktop/Server/Workstation)”
    iaAHCI_ICH8R = “Intel(R) 82801HR/HH/HO SATA AHCI Controller (Desktop/Server/Workstation)”
    iaStor_ESB2 = “Intel(R) 631xESB/632xESB SATA RAID Controller (Server/Workstation ESB2)”
    iaAHCI_ESB2 = “Intel(R) 631xESB/632xESB SATA AHCI Controller (Server/Workstation ESB2)”
    iaStor_ICH7MDH = “Intel(R) 82801GHM SATA RAID Controller (Mobile ICH7MDH)”
    iaStor_ICH7DH = “Intel(R) 82801GR/GH SATA RAID Controller (Desktop ICH7R/DH)”
    iaAHCI_ICH7R = “Intel(R) 82801GR/GH SATA AHCI Controller (Desktop ICH7R/DH)”
    iaAHCI_ICH7M = “Intel(R) 82801GBM SATA AHCI Controller (Mobile ICH7M/DH)”
    iaAHCI_ICH6M = “Intel(R) 82801FBM SATA AHCI Controller (Mobile ICH6M)”

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaAHCI.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaStor.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaAHCI.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaStor.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaAHCI.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaStor.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaAHCI.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaStor.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaAHCI.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaStor.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaAHCI.inf
    catalog = disk1,

    driver = disk1, iaStor.sys, iaStor
    inf = disk1, iaAHCI.inf
    catalog = disk1,


    value = “”, tag, REG_DWORD, 1b
    value = “”, ErrorControl, REG_DWORD, 1
    value = “”, Group, REG_SZ, “SCSI miniport”
    value = “”, Start, REG_DWORD, 0
    value = “”, Type, REG_DWORD, 1

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2922&CC_0106″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_282A&CC_0104″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2829&CC_0106″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2822&CC_0104″,”iaStor”
    id = “USB\VID_08BD&PID_1100″, “usbstor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2821&CC_0106″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2682&CC_0104″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2681&CC_0106″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27C3&CC_0104″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27C6&CC_0104″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27C1&CC_0106″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27C5&CC_0106″,”iaStor”

    id = “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2653&CC_0106″,”iaStor”

  32. Chris:

    You, my friend, are a genius….take the rest of the day off with pay!

  33. Chay:

    Absolutly the man!….. I tried numerous angles before finding your post. Thankyou for taking the time to both find the solution but more importantly post it..

  34. Gary Barnhard:

    The value of your hack endures. I had to gen a W2K3 R2 server on an Intel Modular Server today. While it did not work for a Sony USB floppy (most likely due to naming/pid issues on a unusual workstation) it worked like a charm using a Mitsumi USB floppy (id = “USB\Vid_03ee&Pid_6901″, “usbstor”).
    Thank you very much for posting it.

  35. Robert:

    Worked like a charm! I have IBM x3400 with ServeRaid 8i-l and am using an iomega usb floppy

  36. Don K:

    An IBM rep referred me to this page. We also have an IBM x3400. Used a Sony USB floppy drive Model MPF88E. Fix worked with the line “id=”USB\VID_054C&PID_002C”,”usbstor”

    Thank you for your post and expertise.

  37. tg:

    Please do yourselves a favor and just go buy a cheap usb floppy drive and be done with it! Performing some of the processes above wasted more time than the cost of another drive. I bought a cheap drive, installed it, and moved on with my upgrade.

  38. Ricardo Lopez:

    Thank you very much! You really are the best when others can make your solution work!! Thanks again, bye!

  39. Lukas:

    Hey Luke skywalker!

    Thank you sooo much! May the force be with you!

    Cheerio Lukas

  40. Matthias:

    YOU ARE GREAT!! Thank you very much!

  41. Trk:

    That was very helpful. Thanks a lot!

    And also thanks to Bartek for the Sony PID.

  42. feroz:

    hi can anyone give the drivers of raid controller my floppy was corrupted…plz.. i have IBM System x3400 server and when im installing the OS it is saying “SETUP DID NOT FOUND ANY HARD DRIVES” plz help me..

  43. Aleksandr:

    2_feroz: may be you must set the type of emulation for your USB Floppy in motherboard BIOS, set it manually – Floppy
    it set Automatically by default
    may be this your problem :)

  44. steve:

    Ok I am so damn confused. I mean what file are you editing. You cant edit a file on the bootable cd (windows 2003) so where is tis textoem file at that you all are writing to?

  45. tim:

    THANK YOU!!!!

  46. Alfredo González:

    Thanks a lot…

    Here you have PIDs of several USB Floppy Drives

    id = “USB\VID_03F0&PID_2001″, “usbstor” #–HP
    id = “USB\VID_054C&PID_002C”, “usbstor” #–Sony
    id = “USB\VID_057B&PID_0001″, “usbstor” #–Y-E Data
    id = “USB\VID_0409&PID_0040″, “usbstor” #–NEC
    id = “USB\VID_0424&PID_0FDC”, “usbstor” #–SMSC
    id = “USB\VID_08BD&PID_1100″, “usbstor” #–Iomega
    id = “USB\VID_055D&PID_2020″, “usbstor” #–Samsung

  47. Dan:

    Fantastic, it finally works !!! Thanks a lot…

  48. TAPPS:

    i am trying to repair my windows 2003 standard edition on an IBM X3250 but it wont find any hard drive,so i was thinking you are the most likely person to give me a solution that works.there is no RAID configured.

  49. Rich Holton:

    I need more details.

  50. TOSHI:

    I’m having the same problem like TAPPS
    My Windows Server 2003 can no longer BOOT, missing “ntoskrnl.exe” got the original Windows Server 2003 CD’s try to repair but when it runs, the setup says; it cannot find the Hardrive installed on the system.

  51. Anant:

    I have an IBM X3400 machine with server 2003 installed. Having 2 Partitions on it.I want to format only my C: drive and then want to install same OS on it again.
    I tried directly by booting from Server2003 cd but it doesn’t identify SCSI drive and shows a msg during installation like”no hard drives are detected press F3 for quit”.
    I tried Server Guied7.4.17 cd to boot from but it also not working.
    system gets strated by Server Guied7.4.17 and shows serverguied’s screen but then it doesn’t proceeds at all.
    is there any solution for it.
    please help me out ASAP….

  52. XP - SATA-Treiber in XP-CD slipstreamen ohne Unattended Installation - MCSE Forum:

    [...] Ein alternativer Ansatz: USB floppy drives during Windows Server 2003 R2 setup Lukas Beeler’s IT Blog Blog Archive [...]

  53. Dias:

    general routine is:
    1. save SCSI controller drivers onto floppy disk
    2. make sure your BIOS recognizes USB floppy disk drives (PRIMERGY RX200 S4 has “USB devices:” option set to “ALL”)
    3. make sure you include the abovementioned string “id = ….” to announce your USB floppy disk to Windows setup
    4. connect USB floppy disk drive ***before*** powering on the server

    this is how I did it

  54. arth:

    i have a windows server 2003 r2 client on windows xp lock usb storag devicd???????????????
    my mails on

  55. Fernando Navarro:

    Dude…. you are a GOD!!!

    There’s no way I could’ve figured this out even if I spent a week on this on my own.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to post your fix. It worked like a charm, and thanks to the dude that also posted how to find the PID and Product with regedit.

  56. Cornads:

    IT WORKS. Thank you my savior!

  57. Arthur:

    I know it has been 3 years since you posted this, but I just had to use this workaround today! Thanks to you (and Internet search engines) I’ve got a working server again. Cheers!

  58. PaulATL:

    It works. Thank you very muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You are super!!!!!

  59. Darren:

    Our problem was due to a Sony USB floppy drive, we wasted a day trying all the above tweaks but eventually sorted it by using a cheap SmartDisk USB floppy drive.

    I tried HP support and got no joy from them, what a waste of time and money!

    Not Happy.

Leave a comment