Installation Issue with Windows 7, Intel RAID Storage Controller and Advanced Format Disk

I had to re-install Windows 7 on one of my machines. It’s important to note that I had to re-install it, means, I had Windows 7 already running on that box.

The installation started as expected, created the partition, copied the files, started to setup the system. And when it comes to start the services, the installation aborted, telling “Windows Setup could not configure Windows on this computer’s hardware”.

That was a little bit surprising, since Windows 7 was running on this machine before. Searching the Web, I found no explanation. Then I remembered that I already had some trouble when I changed the system’s hard disk to a new one having the so called “Advanced Format”. In my case, I switched to a Western Digital WD5000BPKT. After that, Windows Update did not worked any more. This was solved by installing a new driver for the Intel RAID storage controller.

The installation image I was using was a Windows 7 RTM. So I decided to create a Windows 7 SP 1 installation image, hoping the driver fix was already included in SP 1. What can I say… the installation did its job 🙂

Summary: To run into this problem, your machine has to have an Intel RAID storage controller and an Advanced Format disk, where you want to install Windows 7 RTM on it. My solution was to use Windows 7 SP 1 instead.

The Knowledge Base article 2455673, which I found later, describes the details and shows two other resolutions. But I do prefer the SP 1 way.

Extract Files From .msi

Usually it is possible to use your favorite compression utility to treat a Microsoft Installer Package (MSI) like it is a normal archive. Though, sometimes this does not work. In this case one can use the Windows Installer Tool (msiexec.exe) to extract the files from the MSI package. The tool can open a MSI package in “Administrator” installation mode, where it can extract the files without performing the install.
This command runs the setup giving the ablility to extract the files without actually installing the application:
Msiexec /a mypackage.msi
This command extracts the files to the specified location without user interaction:
msiexec /a mypackage.msi /qb TARGETDIR="C:\MyFolder"
Please note this can also be useful in case an MSI package has been configured to block install, which is used on certain versions of Microsoft Windows.
More Info MS KB Q227091
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