1st Issue: The missing RAID drivers
Since they didn’t exist when Windows 7 SP1 was put together, I had to load them manually inside of Windows 7 Setup.
This was simple enough, though:
- I got on my laptop and downloaded the Intel RAID drivers from the ASUS support page for my Sabertooth X79 motherboard, then extracted the files to a USB drive.
- I unplugged the USB disk from my laptop and loaded the driver from within Windows 7 Setup by connecting the USB drive to my main computer while in the “Where do you want to install Windows?” screen. I clicked “Load Driver” and browsed to the “Driver\Disk\64bit” folder. The next screen let me choose which driver to install (only gave me one choice).
- The driver loaded in a couple of minutes and the disk showed up, just like a good student to school.
2nd Issue: “Setup was unable to create a new system partition”
This issue was a little trickier. To my disappointment, Windows 7 wouldn’t let me install on the RAID disk array I had chosen, giving the following error message:
“Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information”.
Unlike the last time I had issues at this stage of Windows 7 setup, the root cause was not the size of the disk or that it wasn’t formatted. Formatting it did nothing. I even tried using SHIFT+F10 to open a Command Prompt within Windows 7 setup to run DISKPART. Nothing, nada, zilch.
Apparently, the issue was caused by some odd problem related to disk prioritizing!
The solution is simple, but not apparent:
- I exited Windows 7 setup and rebooted into the BIOS setup for my motherboard.
- Went into the “Advanced mode” section of the BIOS.
- Clicked the “Boot” tab, then “Hard Drive BBS Priorities”.
- Clicked “Boot Option #1” and selected the correct disk (in my case the “Intel KingstonRaid1”).
- Clicked “Exit” and chose “Save Changes & Reset”.
- Entered Windows 7 Setup again, loaded the RAID driver again, and selected the disk.
Now Windows 7 installed without a hitch!