Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (2024)

Follow the steps below to install either Windows 10 or Windows 7 using a Pre-OS Package on a Dell system using a separate RAID controller card (LSI, PERC, or Intel/F6).

Table of Contents:

  1. Installing Windows 10 on a Dell computer with RAID controller card
  2. Installing Windows 7 on a Dell computer with RAID controller card

Installing Windows 10 on a Dell computer with RAID controller card

To install Windows 10 onto a Dell system with a RAID controller card, the following are needed to get started:

  • Actual Windows 10 Install Media (Recovery Media will not work for this process)
  • Pre-OS Driver

Get Windows 10 Install Media:

  1. Download the Microsoft Media Creation Tool (Figure 1) from the following link: Microsoft - Create Windows 10 installation mediaInstalling Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (1)

    Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (2)
    Figure 1: Click Download Tool Now to download the Microsoft Media Creation Tool

  2. Run the tool (if saving, do not save it to the USB you will be formatting)
  3. Click Accept
  4. Select the option Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC
  5. Ensure that Language, Edition, & Architecture match with what was sold on the system
  6. Select USB Flash Drive
  7. Select the drive
  8. The media should then download & start burning automatically
  9. Ensure the Finish button is clicked at the end
  10. Safely eject the USB

Get Pre-OS RAID Controller driver:

  1. Go to for your Dell computer
  2. Set the Category dropdown box to sort by Storage (sometimes the driver will be in Storage Controller, as well)
  3. Download the driver that ties in with the controller in Service Tag Lookup
  4. Download the driver, choose to Run the driver, select the Extract option, and extract it to a blank USB

    Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (7) NOTE: This CANNOT be the same USB where the Windows media was installed in the previous section

For additional reference on loading the Pre-OS Driver, refer to the following Dell Knowledgebase Article: How to Install the Storage Controller (F6) Driver During the Windows Installation Setup Process.

How to perform a clean installation of Windows 10:

Once you have the Windows media and controller driver downloaded to the separate USB drives, follow the steps below to install Windows 10:

  1. Insert the Windows 10 Boot USB
  2. Power up the system while tapping F12 on the keyboard
  3. Select the USB UEFI option
  4. Make sure Language, Time/Currency, & Keyboard Input are all correct for your region
  5. Click Install Now
  6. Select I don’t have a product key (this will be loaded in later)
  7. Select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)
  8. Insert the Pre-OS Controller Driver USB made from the steps in the previous section
  9. Select Load Driver and select the driver once prompted
  10. Select the partitions one at a time and select the Delete option

    Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (8) NOTE: If there are multiples drives in the system, please ensure that only the OS drive is cleared (typically Drive 0)

  11. Once the Drive shows only Unallocated Space, select Next and let the installation begin

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Installing Windows 7 on a Dell computer with RAID controller card

To install Windows 7 onto a Dell system with a RAID controller card, the following are needed to get started:

  • Windows 7 Install Media (DUSB/DirectUSB media will not work for this)
  • Pre-OS driver

Use the Dell OS Recovery Tool to create the USB recovery media:

  1. Download the tool from the following link: Dell - Download OS Recovery Tool (Figure 4:

    Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (9)
    Figure 4: Click on Download OS Recovery Tool

  2. Run the tool (if saving, do not save it to the USB you will be formatting) and install the tool
  3. Launch the Dell OS Recovery Tool
  4. Hit Get Started and then Next
  5. Click on Other Computer, enter the computer Service Tag, and hit Next
  6. Choose to download the Windows 7 Image (Figure 5):

    Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (10)
    Figure 5: Select the Windows 7 Operating System to download

  7. Once the download completes, hit Next
  8. Select the USB to burn the operating system to and hit Burn OS (Figure 6):

    Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (11)
    Figure 6: Select USB Drive and click Burn OS

  9. Once the process finishes, exit the tool and eject the USB

Reference the following Dell Knowledge Base article for additional reference on the above steps: How to Download and Use the Dell OS Recovery Image in Microsoft Windows.

Get Pre-OS RAID Controller driver:

  1. Go to for your Dell computer
  2. Set the Category dropdown box to sort by Storage (sometimes the driver will be in Storage Controller, as well)
  3. Download the driver that ties in with the controller in Service Tag Lookup
    • Intel controllers will use the Intel Rapid Storage Technology enterprise F6 Driver (Figure 7):

      Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (12) NOTE: F6 may not always be in the description

      Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (13)
      Figure 7: Download the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver

    • LSI controllers will use LSI <Controller’s #> drivers for Windows 10 (Figure 8):

      Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (14) NOTE: There are several different LSI controllers. Ensure the Model Number matches with the one in Service Tag Lookup.

      Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (15)
      Figure 8: Download the LSI Storage controller driver for your system

  4. Download the driver, run it, select the Extract option, and extract it to a blank USB

    Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (16) NOTE: This CANNOT be the same USB where the Windows media was installed in the previous section

For additional reference on loading the Pre-OS Driver, refer to the following Dell Knowledgebase Article: How to Install the Storage Controller (F6) Driver During the Windows Installation Setup Process.

How to perform a clean installation of Windows 7:

  1. insert the USB recovery media made using the Dell OS Recovery Tool
  2. Power up the system while tapping F12
  3. Select the USB Legacy option (if the computer has a PCIe/NVMe SSD hard drive, then this will be UEFI instead)
  4. Make sure Language, Time/Currency, & Keyboard Input settings are all correct for your region
  5. Click Install Now
  6. Select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)
  7. Insert the Pre-OS Controller Driver USB made from the steps in the previous section
  8. Select Load Driver and select the driver once prompted
  9. Select the partitions one at a time and select the Delete option

    Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (17) NOTE: If there are multiples drives in the system, please ensure that only the OS drive is cleared (typically Drive 0)

  10. Once the Drive shows only Unallocated Space, select Next and let the installation begin

Reference the following Dell Knowledge Base article for additional reference on the above steps: How to Download and Use the Dell OS Recovery Image in Microsoft Windows.

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Refer to Symptoms section.

Installing Windows 10 or Windows 7 on a Dell computer with a RAID controller card (2024)

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