Installing Windows 7 on a K9A2 Platinum V1.0


Senior member
Jun 28, 2004
I've been struggling to load my K9A2 Platinum computers with Windows 7 or Windows 2008 Server (now running Windows XP x64 or Windows 2003 Server) with RAID enabled on the HD (RAID 1 to be specific). Here is what I think I know!

1. The MSI BIOS is confused by an empty (defined RAID array) without any partitions and doesn't correctly load at post unless it is the ONLY RAID array defined to the AMD RAID controller.

2. Windows Installer hangs if the additional Promise RAID controller is enabled in the BIOS.

3. Windows Installer hangs if there is a SATA DVD/CD Drive enabled on the AMD RAID controller so use an IDE DVD/CD drive for the Windows 7 install. I have 2 SATA DVD's and 1 IDE DVD. The IDE DVD ONLY exists for Windows 7 install or repair.

5. Once you get Windows Installer to progress to the point that it wants RAID drivers, it borks on the 64 bit drivers because they are not signed properly so, instead, load the 32 bit unsigned drivers and then upgrade to the 64 bit drivers once Windows 7 install is completed for maximum performance.

6. After Windows 7 is installed, enable the additional Promise RAID controller and then install the drivers in Windows 7. Works great.

7. Install the AMD Chipset drivers from the MSI Drivers Disk. This will install the AMD Promise Drivers for the AMD RAID so that the Promise WEBPAM ...29 software will be able to control both the AMD RAID and the Promise RAID controllers from Windows 7. After installation, upgrade to the most recent Windows 7 drivers. If you don't do this, you cannot access the AMD RAID controller with WEBPAM! (Update: It turns out tthat WEBPAM has reduced functionality so I use AMD RAIDXPERT).

8. As to RAID and 4 TB Drives on the K9A2. There is a caveat! The BIOS ATI RAID will not let you define a Mirror Set > 2 TB. (Not sure if the Promise RAID will either but I am thinking that I remember it would not). So:
  • Install Windows 7 on a drive (any drive but not your only 4 TB drives to be used as a Mirror Set as this will be a temp install)
  • Install drivers and RAIDXpert.
  • In RAIDXpert, set both RAID arrays to NOT AUTOMATICALLY REBUILD! This is important. If you fail to do this and, for instance, one of the RAID drives has a connector come loose, the RAID controller will redefine your mirror set as 2 single JBOD drives that you can't do anything with, for instance, you can't play the game of erasing just one of the drives and then upgrading to a MIrror. Your only recourse is to backup up one of the JBOD drives, Blow them both away and define them as a 4 TB mirror set again and then restore the data. On my computer, it takes about 3 days for the backup and 3 days for the restore from my removable 5 TB USB drive! Plan on 7 days total!
  • Define your RAID arrays in Windows 7 with 4 TB drives to use the full 4 TB. Now you can blow away the 2 TB RAID array temp drive (on 4 TB drives), unplug them and install your REAL Windows 7 on your 4 TB array.
  • Now you can plug back in your second set of 4 TB drives, enable your Promise RAID with your third set of 4 TB drives and configure the RAID as 2nd and 3rd 4 TB Mirror sets.
  • Because the BIOS RAID setup/utilities cannot properly handle 4 TB drives, I would never recommend RAID 0 or RAID 5 for this motherboard and drives > 2 TB. If a BIOS rebuild ever started, I believe you would loose all your RAID 0 or RAID 5 data with drives > 2 TB.
The MSI K9A2 platinum remains a very capable motherboard with Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) or Windows 2008 (x64)! Obviously it is limited to less than state of the art video but it still performs flawlessly. Recent games still work extremely well using the latest video cards available for this motherboard. There seems to be a hard 8GB memory limit (4x2GB) but this doesn't seem to be an issue at this time.

I have one of these running as a DLNA server with 8GB RAM, 8GB (2x4 GB) RAID 1 with the OS on a 500GB RAID 1 on the Promise Array. It performs flawlessly. I have another running as my primary "workstation" with dual monitors, Phenom, 8GB and such. A third and fourth both run (Phenom, 8GB) as domain controllers and file share servers on my home network. All of my storage on my home network is configured RAID 1 (Mirror).

I would like to hear other experiences.
Last edited:


Senior member
Feb 5, 2001
I have the same MB with a Phen2 1100, 4gigs and a Sam/Evo 850 250Gig, It has been a great MB with the only problem ever being the onboard NIC and the Promise raid drivers.
The onboard NIC would not get drivers installed with XP and windows 7, I would use the Realtech drivers from a selected list and it would work fine until
Windows would find an update and then I would get BSOD cycling until I remember "Oh yeah, Forgot to tell it to not update that driver"

The Promise raid controller was another, Worked in XP, Had to mod the install and got it to work fine in windows 7.
Did a fresh install of Win7 and got Win 10 installed and lost it.
I went around Win 10 signature detection and got it installed again, Worked great until MS now seeing the controller in Win 10 thought they should force a hardware update
with a non-working driver sending me into endless BSOD until it would revert back to old, Only to force a reinstall the next day.
Had to DL a fix from MS to shut that driver update off, But I may have shut all updates off accidently as I have not received one in 4 months now.
I stopped using the Promise all together as it got flakey, I think some of that forced update may have not gotten all removed.

I get about 285 Mps sequential through the SATA II ports.

Mondobyte, What memory you use or try for getting above 4Gig, Are they the Chinese 4Gig sticks and what were the issues otherwise?
Have you gotten any SAS drives to work on the Promise?, I tried an older one and no go, But it may have been faulty already.

The book or website stated in a fineprint you cannot use non-HDD drives on the Promise.