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I can see the drives, I just can't install to them

Last response: in Storage
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November 18, 2012 8:53:04 PM

I've read a lot of similar problems on this forum and others. However unless I am completely missing something, which is likely since I'm more or less a novice, then my issue is a little different and the other suggested fixes haven't worked which is why I am posting here.

That being said here is my machine:

AMD A8 5600K
Biostar TA75MH2 - AMD A75 FHC Chipset
1x OCZ Agility 4 SSD (64GB)
2x Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB HDD

The two HDD are in a RAID1 array (Intended for file storage).

The SSD is not in an array (to my knowledge) and windows XP is installed and running fine.

I first had a lot of trouble getting XP to install, but finally used nLite to slipstream the XP RAID drivers that came with the motherboard and that led to a clean install and the current state.

I am now trying to install windows 7 pro x86 upgrade. Here are the two scenarios I encounter:

1) I run windows 7 setup from XP, I get to the screen where I select the installation drive. I can see both drives (~58GB SSD and ~1.4TB LD) however, I am told that windows cannot be installed to either because it needs an AMD AHCI compatible RAID controller. I have said driver which came with my motherboard. I attempt to load it and windows setup informs me that it cannot find any drivers (I know they are there). Sometimes I can get windows identify drivers but they are generally hidden by the checkbox for drivers that are incompatible with my system. I'm at a loss here.

2) A similar scenario, but I create a bootable USB drive (I don't have an optical drive). I get to the same screen where I have to choose the volume to install on. I see them both but neither can be installed to. Windows setup actually recognizes more drivers by booting into setup this way, however each time I try to load the driver (theoretically its loading and I can hear the HDDs whiring while the progress bar moves across the screen) I still cant install. Again, I am at a loss.

So, Ive been working on this for a couple of days reinstalling windows and trying different configurations. It seems like the machine itself is stable and its also stable in RAID in windows XP but I just cannot get it into 7.

I would appreciate any help you could give.

More about : drives install

a c 323 G Storage
November 18, 2012 11:37:52 PM

Do a clean install of Windows 7 with only the SSD attached and then set up the RAIDed drives later. Use the Microsoft USB tool ( http://download.cnet.com/Windows-7-USB-DVD-Download-Too... ), and if you need an image and cannot make one from your disk, just download a trial version (of the same Win 7) image from softpedia and use your key.
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November 19, 2012 12:47:41 AM

I had actually done that first. I installed windows 7 with the SATA controller set to native IDE. Then when I went back and configured the two HDDs for RAID1, windows 7 gave me a milisecond long BSOD and then reboot. I had read that you install windows with RAID enabled in order to get it to load the necessary drivers. So I reinstalled XP with RAID which worked fine, then went to the Windows 7 upgrade. I cant control each SATA port individually so the SSD and both of the HDDs are in RAID mode but the SDD is set as an individual disk while the other two are in a RAID1 array.

I just don't understand why I can get this completely set up and functional but Windows 7 install doesn't even recognize the AHCI RAID drivers.

*Edit- I only have a windows 7 upgrade disk so I can't do a purely "clean" install.
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November 19, 2012 8:42:36 PM

You need to set the drives as AHCI RAID. Not just plain AHCI. Ensure that the SSD is set as the lowest drive in your controller (IE - Port 0), put the other two as (1,2), and the DVD as the last port. First boot order should be CD/DVD, then HDD. In the HDD boot order have the SSD first. If you can deselect the raid drives in this boot order then do so, if not, don't fret - as long as they're after the SSD in the order.

When you boot up the computer you should get a RAID controller screen before booting off of the DVD. Create your array at this point. Continue booting up and see if you can format that SSD in the Windows setup without installing any drivers. If that option isn't available and it wants a driver pop in your DVD and navigate to the RAID driver subfolder for your card. See if that helps and get back to use with your progress.
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