If you check over there you will see "strange" and "queer" things, like the "direct connection", and static IP that actually - up to a point - worked, but also "no longer than 6 foot network cable" , need to have NOT the "connector" (whatever it is) software installed and a few more, here and there, including one hinting that in some cases the actual disk drive inside the "server" needs to be "wiped" (actually most probably just blanking the MBR will be enough).
The "connector" software, is Microsoft server connector. I guess it could interfere with later stages of the setup.
Anyway, from what you report it seems like the TFTP part completes successfully, the booting files are transferred successfully and (presumably) the boot.wim is actually started.
Okay... This where the woodoo stuff comes in. I tried this 3 times in a row, and finally it actually triggered something. Now the setup software is doing "something" presumably copying the partition.table and volume.image to the system. I'm going to hope that it actually works. Fingers crossed, and all that. Now i REALLY wish i had it on the switch, so i could peek at what is being done. While typing, it says "success" but that it might take 5 minutes for the WHS system to finalize, and reboot.
Most probably it would be possible to take the disk out of the device and image "directly" the "partition.table" and the "volume.image" to it, but we don't know if the setup (through its "mysterious ways") post processes it, so there is the risk to lose time (in understanding how to deploy those) and at the end have anyway a non-booting, not-configured system.
The "partition.table" file, assuming that is -as the name would suggest - a copy of the MBR (or of just the partition table in it) should be 512 bytes in size (or less).
If you compress it in a .zip and upload it to somewhere providing a link to it I can have a look at it.
As well, if you could extract from the "volume.image" the first 100 sectors, i.e. 51200 bytes, and do the same, it would be enough for me to understand if - as probable - it is a known format (either a RAW image or a compressed one or a .wim. etc.) and thus see if this alternate route can be taken.
At this point it seems to be an academic matter, for me. Truth be told, if a fix for this could be permanently documented, i think a lot of people would be happy. I have NO idea how to go about extracting the first 100 sectors, but i DO have the image of the install media on hand, i could easily hook you up with a link. That said, it is currently an almost 3gB archive, i could break out the iso for the server recovery alone, but it is still 4.4gB, so most of those 2.8gB is that image, compressed.
Or, here is a thought... Any idea on how to extract those 100 sectors for you?
If you could procure, borrow or steal an older machine with a (slightly less) stupid OS, possibly other than the one you have now with Windows 10 it would be IMHO an easier attempt to make.
I had a XP laptop stored for this, and this alone. But, it wont boot anymore, and after opening it up, there is a bit of a mess on the motherboard, that looks like electrolyte... or cat pee, and i don't have cats.
Which kind of ethernet port/nic is there on the device? I mean 100 Mb or 1000 Mb?
Which kind of ethernet port/nic is there on your PC? (Being Windows 10 it is likely to be 1000 Mb)
Maybe there is a negotiation issue between the two cards (if they are not matched)?
The Data Vault X310 is a 1.6Hz Atom, with gigabit networking.
The laptop doing the heavy lifting, as it were, was a Acer 3100, that i've given a bit more RAM & CPU. It's a sempron 3200+, and i stuck a Turion TL-64 X2 in it. The laptop is a spare i had laying around, and was "willing" to have tied up in this project. If , like now, something managed to work out, the laptop would be stuck there for a couple of hours, and i didn't want my daily driver stuck like that. Anyway, being a Acer aspire 3100, it has a Realtek 10/100 NIC.
At this point the connector is installed on the laptop, and the server supposedly is downloading updates, and installing them. I can SEE the unit on the network from anything on the local LAN, but i can not yet log in to it. Since the connector is stuck in limbo, while the updates are applied. Once that all is done, i'll use the connector, to remote desktop in to the system, and add my personal user, with remote desktop rights, and set up filesharing and so on. I think you got it fixed for me. Still, as i wrote above. If you want to take a look at the image and stuff, let me know how, and i'll do what i can. If the thread i started can end with a permanent fix that anyone can apply, then all this might not have been for nothing.
Fixed as per pro tip below.
Edited by Mr B, 12 January 2018 - 08:41 PM.