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Clean Install Windows 7 On Dell Inspiron 14z


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Clean Install Windows 7 On Dell Inspiron 14z

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I recently purchased a Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. I am looking to do a clean install of Windows 7 Home Premium. I am attempting to boot the installer from a USB drive and keep getting the error:

"A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash Drive, please insert it now.

Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD Drive, you can safely remove it for this step."

Has anybody else encountered this? 

This is also my first time working with a computer that has an SSD drive in addition to the main hard drive. Is there anything special that needs to be done when doing a clean install in regards to the SSD? I just want to make sure that I will be able to get the SSD operating the same way as it currently is. 

If anyone can direct me to a guide for clean installing on a 14z that wold be perfect.

Thanks for any info you may have.

All Replies
  • Hi MSchoen1,

    From your post, I understand that you are attempting to Boot from a USB Drive for Reinstalling the Operating system and you are getting the error message while trying to boot.

    With regards to the SSD there are no changes that needs to be done while reinstalling the OS. The SSD will work as a Cache and this is already set in the Bios.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rakesh R

  • Same problem here.

    I try to reinstall Windows Home Premium on my 14z, but during the install Windows asks for a device driver and it doesn't show any drives to install Windows on. This is when Intel Smart Response Technology is turned on in the BIOS under SATA Operation. If I set this to ATA mode, Windows can see the hard drive and the SSD but now I can't install the Rapid Start Driver from the Dell site.




    Janjaap Wijnker

  • Sounds like a missing driver in the WinPE media. Try downloading a PE version of the hard drive controller hardware and inject it into WinPE.

    Alternatively - try remaking the USB with a program like YUMI - I've never had a driver issue with this and have used USB to install on many platforms.

  • Not working. I think it's not the USB though. I think I need the driver for Intel Smart Response or Intel Rapid Start, but I can't find them anywhere. Only the exe files, but you can't install those during the Windows install.



  • You could possibly try opening the .exe with 7-zip or something similar. Some of the Dell installation .exe's are glorified archives and you can just extract all of the .inf files. You can also try running setup.exe /? at command prompt - some will explain different flags you can set to possibly just extract the files.

  • Still not working. Not the Chipset Driver and not the Intel Rapid Start driver. I suppose Dell would have a way to install Windows on this laptop. They did it before :P

  • Hi MSchoen1,

    Please follow the steps mentioned below :

    > Ensure Sata mode is set to RAID in BIOS or in some systems Intel Smart Response Technology

    > Go to RAID BIOS and disable accelerate option for SSD (Only if HDDs are not detected while OSRI) (Use Ctrl+I)

    > Initiate OSRI

    > Install all the drivers including Intel Rapid Storage Software

    > Then follow the steps below:

    1. Run the Intel RST software through the All Programs menu or the task bar icon.
    2. Click Enable acceleration under either the Status or Accelerate menu.

    3. Select the SSD to be used as a cache device.

    4. Select the size from the SSD to be allocated for the cache memory.

    Note : Any remaining space on the SSD may be used for data storage using the simple data single-disk RAID 0 volume that is automatically created.

    5. Select the drive (or RAID volume) to be accelerated. It is highly recommended to accelerate the system volume or system disk for maximum performance.

    6. Select the acceleration mode. By default, Enhanced mode is selected.

    Note: Enhanced mode: Acceleration is optimized for data protection.
    Maximized mode: Acceleration is optimized for input/output performance.


    8. Click OK. The page refreshes and reports the new acceleration configuration in the Acceleration View. Your system is now successfully configured with the Intel Smart Response Technology.

    Once this is done the SDD drive will not be visible in windows.

    I hope these steps were helpful.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rakesh R

  • That  looks helpfull, but how do I go into RAID BIOS? I tried pressing Ctrl+i when in BIOS, but that didn't do anything..


  • The easiest method is, Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings


    The longer method is, How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer


    Make sure to install the drivers in the correct order. desktop/notebook system utility and the chipset drivers first or the rest of the drivers will fail to install. How to Download and Install Drivers in the Correct Order





    What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it? 

    Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

    #DellWorld 2012

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    #MicrosoftMVP - Windows Expert-Consumer April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015

  • Thank you, but I know how to install Windows. The installer just won't find any harddrives when Intel Smart Response in turned on in the BIOS. It says it's missing device drivers..

  • Hello,

    Sorry to say, but I'm fighting exactly the same issue as Jaaplo:(

    It started a little different way for me. Hoping to have OS moved to SSD and boot off of it I imaged OS partition to the 32G mSata and, as I figured out soon, have broken ISRT and caused my factory Win7HPx64 not to boot.

    But, in the end, the problem comes to the same scenario: how to install fresh Win7 x64 to a Inspiron 14z, encorporating ISRT caching feature of mSata+Sata.

    Been trying to revive the original boot config (=restore original functionality), but am not able to:

    - install fresh Windows to a drive (no Windows installer sees a 500G drive in ISRT mode, neither with legacy bios nor uefi), in spite of Intel/Dell drivers served for SATA RAID by me on installation (iaStor.inf)

    - have not been able to see / find an option to configure RAID (ctrl + i) on boot, beforehand Windows installation

    I only managed to install Win7 x64 in legacy bios / AHCI mode, but after that, installing ISRT drivers/software results with bluescreen on next boot of Windows and only Last know good config / rollback ISRT driver revives it).

    Dell, please come up with solution....

    I'd appreciate a reliable way of entering raid setup (ctr+i style, or a piece of management software) and then providing Win7 x64 installer with a driver (which one should that actually be?) to be able to set up Win7 on 500/32G disk hybrid.


    Everywhere above I mean ISRT = Intel Smart Response Technology


    IT Services Administrator

  • The Ctrl + i did not work for me either.....

    Maybe, just maybe, I need to physically remove one of the disks to enter raid setup, like they did in here:

    Oor, is there a need/way to software erase some sort of "raid headers" on my disks for the raid controller to come up with raid/caching setup?

    Marek Pytel

    IT Services Administartor

  • Somebody told me that Ctrl+a or Ctrl+n could also work during the Dell splash screen to get into the "RAID BIOS", but that didn't work for me..

    Personally I don't think physically removing a hard drive will help because the drives are not the problem. I just can't believe Dell has not got a solution for this problem!!


  • Hey,

    I think I got it just figured:)

    I was able to get Windows installer to see the 500G drive in ISRT/raid mode AFTER I applied this hint from Ubuntu forums:

    post #3

    To clear HDD raid metadata I did:

    - boot from Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS x64 Desktop bootable cd (iso to dwnld here:

    - from terminal run the following commands:

    sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sda  (sda = my 500GB

    sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sdb ( sdb = my mSata 32GB, this command turned out not to be necessary)

    - reboot your Dell, enter bios, set up ISRT to 'enabled' and sata mode to 'ISRT'

    - boot from Win7 x64 sp1 installation CD and have your OS see the 500GB disk (surprisingly, on mine there were no additional drivers needed:)

    - install all Dell drivers, and the ISRT driver/soft package at last, then follow the ISRT illustrated guide above:)

    As another experiment, I'm gonna restore original Dell 500G ghost disk image to my computer - after I have cleared raid metadata using dmraid from linux and see if that boots up :)

    ..will keep you guys posted on progress


  • far, after erasing raid metadata from /dev/sda (500G) managed to install Windows 7 x64 SP1 and successfully turned on ISRT acceleration and booted Windows after the driver/soft install:)

    No Ctrl +i, etc was necessary.

    SUCCESS, hereby:)

    The test w/ factory image restore I'll perform tomorrow then.