I've set up WIN7 on the SSD with the HDDs detached so Windows can create its additional 100mg partition on the SSD and not touch any of the four harddrives. Before installing, I set up the bios to handle the SSD in AHCI mode. Once Windows was set up, I powered down, connected the HDDs, booted into the bios, and changed the SATA settings from AHCI to RAID mode so I can make a RAID10 volume out of the four harddrives in the bios, as opposed to making it in Windows. It creates the array, but there is no option to format the newly created partition. I exited, and prioritized the SSD in the bios so that it will boot into the windows installation.
Now, when I start the machine, it reads the SSD and the RAID10 array, and continues to attempt to boot into windows but locks up half way through, and flashes a bsod for a second before rebooting. I was pretty sure the problem is with the AHCI vs RAID mode in the bios.. so I deleted the RAID array, jumped back into the bios, and switched back to AHCI mode. Now the bios shows all the drives separately [no raid] and boots into the SSD's windows installation just fine.
--My question is... How am I to set up a RAID array in the bios, and still be able to address the SSD in AHCI mode so that it can successfully boot into the OS??