Detecting RAID controller cards during Setup

Everyone is aware that if you need to install Windows Server 2003 on a server that has a hardware RAID controller card, you’ll need to press F6 during text mode Setup and supply the card’s driver on a floppy. But what if your server doesn’t have a built-in floppy disk drive? Well of course the solution in that case would be to connect a USB external floppy drive to your machine and use that instead.

But what if you connect a USB floppy drive to your system, insert the driver floppy, turn on the system, and text mode Setup doesn’t detect the presence of the floppy drive? This has actually happened to a few admins I know, and there are two things you can try to resolve this problem. First, try a different USB floppy drive in case the problem one is either not working properly or is not supported by text mode Setup. And second, if the first solution fails, check whether you have the latest update for your system’s BIOS. And while you’re in BIOS you might also check to make sure USB support isn’t disabled in the BIOS!

Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is THE book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. For more information see

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