Upgrading Computer / Clean Install of Windows 7

I'm converting a Dell PowerEdge 830 into a workstation.
I removed the RAID controller and plugged all the hard drives into the SATA ports on the motherboard.
The hard drives have been formatted and there's nothing on them.

When I go to install Windows 7 from an install CD, I use Custom install and then select Drive Options Advanced.
At this point, the installation stops because it can't find drivers for the hard drives.
And, it gives the opportunity to browse for their location.

There are also limitations in dealing with this it appears:
I'm doing the install from a CD and it does appear that I can swap disks in the middle of the process when drivers are being asked for.  So that will be the likely method.
A USB thumb drive is NOT seen at this stage.
The computers floppy drive is NOT seen at this stage.

Anyway, what do I need to put on the "driver" CD in order to proceed?
I haven't been able to figure that out, including looking on the Dell website for the PowerEdge 830 drivers.
LVL 27
Fred MarshallPrincipalAsked:
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Fred MarshallConnect With a Mentor PrincipalAuthor Commented:
In the end, I got advice suggesting I try the Adaptec CERC SATA1.5/6ch, v., A00
DRVR_WIN_R180082.EXE which appears on the Dell website for the PowerEdge 830 under MS Windows 2008 x86.
This one was recognized and worked.

Since I really wanted to stay with 32-bit this worked out great.
There's another one for 64-bit R180080 but I didn't try it.  
It shows up under Windows 2008 x64.
Kyle AbrahamsConnect With a Mentor Senior .Net DeveloperCommented:
You need the sata driver so it can see the hard drive.  You can swap disks during that process.
Joshua GrantomSenior Systems AdministratorCommented:
In the BIOS I would check to see if you can change the SATA mode to IDE instead of AHCI?
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Andrea AntonangeliCommented:
Have a look to BIOS version and check if it needs an update.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Make sure that in BIOS your drive mode is not set to RAID. Set it to AHCI or SATA. Then Windows 7 must see the drives.
Because your Windows 7 install CD does not include the Dell drivers.
You must build a Windows 7 disc that includes the latest drivers for your hardware,

See guide by techradar.com
Windows 7 doesn't come on CD's it is too large for that. Only DVD's...

Have you tried installing the OS via a USB stick? it would be easy to include a drivers directory with the Server's Disk controller to that stick.

Also, why won't you keep using the RAID controller? You may be able to use the Dell OpenManage CD/DVD that came with the system to set it up. You boot the server from that CD or DVD, it helps you prepare the system (setup the RAID array etc.), and it also allows you to select the OS you want to install. Although you won't find Windows 7 in the list, you could try selecting Windows 2008 r2 (it uses the same drivers as Windows 7), and then when everything is ready, the CD or DVD pops out and you can insert the Windows 7 DVD. That way all the necessary drivers should be present. If only Windows 2008 is in the selection, you can also try that, as Windows 2008 uses the same drivers as Vista does, and those are usually also compatible with Windows 7....
The question stated;
"A USB thumb drive is NOT seen at this stage."
Thus  the comment by: rindi2014-10-10 at 01:21:29ID: 40371061
"Have you tried installing the OS via a USB stick? "
Shall not work.

Did I type Windows 7 install CD ... doh ...edit it to read Windows 7 install DVD

My bad...
Actually I was referring to the Author's Question, not your comment. He already said CD.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
OK.  I reinstalled the RAID controller and have set up 3 arrays - one for each hard drive since I don't intend to use RAID at all.  They come out as "striped" but that seems all that's available that makes any sense.

I can see the hard drives depending on what I boot with.  arghhhhh!

If I boot with the Windows 7 install DVD then using the control prompt the disks aren't showing with a letter or any other way that I can think of.  

I'll see if I can go back and find the Dell OpenManage disk.  If not, then I'm sure I could build a different install medium BUT I still don't know what/where those "drivers" are!  If I try to install the SATA driver for the RAID card, it doesn't like this computer and won't run.
The drivers would be those for the RAID controller.
Kyle AbrahamsSenior .Net DeveloperCommented:
Why not use the raid?  It doesn't hurt anything unless you're repurposing the disks?
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
One of the problems I'm having is that the Dell site provides .exe driver installation files.
I rather have to believe that the Windows 7 installation is looking for a different file type....???
noxchoConnect With a Mentor Global Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes, you are right. It is looking for .inf file. Normally these exe files unpack the driver to temp directory and then run installation. So you can see where it is unpacked and then copy out the driver.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I could try that.
Since I am able to run the installation program (under Windows 7 command prompt)  and because it fails to complete, I fear that there is no Windows 7 driver for the PCI-e SATA / RAID card on this machine.  But it's sort of a chicken or egg problem this early in the boot / preparation process.
So, I'm trying the motherboard SATA ports again with the hope that perhaps they can be made to work.

I guess it would be good for me to understand what a "disk driver" is in the context of the eventual operating system that will boot.  Presumably the driver is needed before there's an operating system *context* at all.  That confuses me.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Onboard SATA ports could be configured to use a RAID mode (most of the motherboards have nowadays fake RAID controllers) and in this case you will need a driver for it as well. But if the HDD mode in BIOS is set to SATA or AHCI then Windows 7 must be able to install over it without a problem in 98% cases. And if you set it to IDE Compatible mode then in 100%.
rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There is no "Disk Driver" (or that is generic), it is the Disk Controller's driver you need. As I mentioned earlier you can use the Windows 2008 r2 drivers, as Windows 7 (at least the 64 bit version) uses the same drivers. Go to the dell site and download the RAID controller's driver (that server seems to come with two versions of the controller, PERC 4e/DC and PERC 4/DC, so you need to make sure you get the correct one. Then expand it and copy it to a USB stick., or if you really won't use RAID (for which I still don't understand the reason for), it would be the CERC SATA driver.

But as I mentioned earlier, I would first try to use the OpenManage DVD, it may work. Besides that, with that DVD you can upgrade the firmware (BIOS, RAID controller etc) of the server before proceeding.
noxcho, on servers you often can't change to IDE or compatible modes, so you will often also need the drivers for the SATA controller.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
rindi:  Thanks!
OK.  So I'm starting to get the different drivers sorted out.
I'm intending this to be a 32-bit install for now but if that's not a good idea then I could switch to 64 if the processor will handle it.  But will it?  I see mention that the 64 bit driver for Server 2008 will work - so supposedly it might.
Using a Windows 7 32 install disk, none of the drivers that seemed likely would work during the Windows install.
I tried:

Adaptec CERC SATA1.5/6ch, v.,
A00 CERC SATA 1.5/6ch Device Driver for Windows Server 2008 x86

LSI Logic PERC 4e/DC Driver
This package provides the LSI Logic PERC 4e/DC Driver and is supported on Enterprise Servers and Powervault models that are running the following Windows Operating System: Windows Server 2008.

LSI Logic PERC3/DCL, PERC3/DC, PERC3/QC, PERC3/SC, PERC 4/Di, CERC ATA 100, PERC 4/SC, PERC 4/DC, PERC 4e/DC, Perc 4e/Di, PERC 4e/Si, v., A04  View details  
RAID_DRVR_WIN_R99973.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (1 MB)
Release date 08 Aug 2007
Last Updated 03 Nov 2011  

LSI Logic PERC 4/SC, PERC 4/DC, v.352D, A22  View details  
RAID_FRMW_WIN_R151923.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (5 MB)
Release date 18 Jul 2007
Last Updated 03 Nov 2011  
Version 352D,A22

LSI Logic PERC 4e/DC Firmware Update  View details  
RAID_FRMW_WIN_R186638.EXE | Update Package for Microsoft® Windows® (5 MB)
Release date 07 Oct 2008
Last Updated 12 Dec 2013  
Version 5B2D,A18  

PE830_BIOS_WIN_A04 which did work to update the BIOS.
rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Windows 2008 r2 is 64 bit only, so the drivers will likely only support the 64 bit version of Windows 7. I would install the 64 bit version of Windows 7. Besides, servers normally have more than 4GB RAM anyway, and with a 32 bit Windows Desktop OS you'd only be able to address up to 4 GB, so it is likely you'll waste the server's capabilities.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
rindi:  OK.  Thanks.
I see Windows [Server] 2008 R2, 2008 x86 and 2008 x64 on the list of drivers on the Dell site.

This machine doesn't have much RAM and, at that, it's ECC.
So I was trying to avoid increasing it.
I'll see what happens with Windows 7 64.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
"The subsystem needed to support the image type is not present"
Obviously, Windows isn't installed yet and this comes from the command line when trying to install the drivers.
None of the drivers are recognized by the Load Drivers process.
And, forcing them to be listed doesn't seem to provide any that will load either.
Is that when you try the installation via the OpenManage DVD, or manually? Which driver did you try?
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
I'm jumping in kinda late here; but, two thoughts:
1) I doubt that Windows 7 really needs any drivers to work with that 2005 7230 chipset in the 830!
2)  Every Dell BIOS has one real peculiarity; you have to manually turn on any of the SATA ports you want to use!

So, try putting one of the drives back on the SATA controller and then enable that port in the BIOS.  I'll bet it works after that.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
The real issue was selecting the right driver.

The terminology is confusing because the motherboard has SATA ports and the RAID card has SATA ports and the necessary driver for the SATA/RAID card is called a SATA driver and not a RAID driver.
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