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I have 1 EIDE HDD as a primary O/S disk and 2 SATA drives in SATA 2 & 3 on my mobo, which are BIOS configured for RAID. This setup has been working fine for several years.

However, the EIDE HDD with Windows XP installed is failing, so I have purchased a new Western Digital SATA drive and installed it in SATA 1 on my motherboard. Besides that the mobo has two remaining SATA ports, labeled SATA 4 & 5. The rear panel has an eSATA connector.

With the new drive installed it shows up as a "single-disk" device in the RAID device list (but not as part of an array). In the main BIOS HDD list, the new drive does not show up as a SATA drive (neither do my two RAID drives).

When I boot from the Win 7 install disk, intending to install Win 7 to the new SATA drive, it can't see the SATA drive, only the old EIDE drive and I can't proceed. However, the new drive shows up in WinXP Computer Management as a drive, and it allows me to format it. I tried disconnecting the power from the EIDE drive but Win 7 installer just shows no available disks. AFAIK, there are no RAID drivers required for my HW RAID - the disks just appear to Windows XP as an ordinary single drive.

What do I need to do to get Windows to install to my new drive?

EDIT 2010-10-15: Yes, my MSI motherboard does have RAID drivers, so the question becomes, how do I get the Win7 installer to install to a disk controlled by my BIOS RAID controller?

(Note that I am leery about breaking my existing RAID array, even just temporarily, since reconstituting the contents from my backups is a tedious task and there's always the chance I might lose something.)


System Summary:

Mobo       : MSI 790GX-G65
CPU        : AMD Phenom II 965 BE at 3.6 GHz
Memory     : Corsair DDR3 1600, at 1333 MHz and 9-9-9-21
HDDs       : 1 EIDE (WinXP), 1 SATA (to be Win7), 2 SATA in RAID-1 (Data)
DVD        : 1 EIDE LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1673S
Card Reader: Aero cool multi-card reader and removable USB drive bay.
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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

To install the RAID driver during the Windows install you need to have the driver on a CD or USB drive. When you reach the hard drive list option it will be empty, there is a button to load drivers. Choose this option and then insert the cd/usb drive and locate the driver. If all works properly, you will then be able to see the drive and install Windows 7 on it.

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Also, very important is to disconnect the old IDE drive first. Otherwise Win 7 will install the RAID capable boot-loader on the IDE drive as a dual-boot system, and the startup repair facility does not load the RAID drivers correct so there's no way to boot from the Win 7 one you remove the IDE drive. –  Lawrence Dol Oct 16 '10 at 19:14

Perhaps you need to enable the drive in the BIOS.

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As I said, main BIOS doesn't show it; it shows up instead in the list of RAID devices as a "single disk". –  Lawrence Dol Oct 15 '10 at 4:46

Check the BIOS settings for the SATA ports, they might be on the wrong setting and need to be changed to SATA or AHCI

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