Windows 7/2008 installer does not detect hard drives, BIOS does – hard drives from RAID?

Spent hours on this one thinking it was a motherboard issue. The fix only applies to a specific scenario.

If the hard drives were used in a RAID array (mine were from an Intel Matrix RAID), then the hard drives are formatted in a way that the Windows 7 installer can no understand.

You have two options:

  • Run an XP installation over the top of the hard drive (yes, XP will be able to install onto the hard drive). You do not need to go through with the full XP install. When files start to copy on the blue screen with the yellow bar, just reset the PC and install Windows 7/2008.
  • Format the hard drives in Linux or similar (put an ext3 filesystem on it). Putting the hard drive into an USB case and formatting it in Windows does not resolve the issue.

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