See my specs for the hardware
In the mobo BIOS I turned off all my onboard SATA ports, and set my USB DVD drive as first boot item, then the RAID array on the Adaptec RAID card as only hard drive.
I got 2 Crucial m4 SSD's in 64GB capacities, updated with latest firmware 000F via burned bootable ISO on my desktop when plugging them individually to mobo directly (successful firmware update on first attempt for both)
-installed them onto my Adaptec RAID card
-created array, 16K cluster
-marked as bootable
-booted off my Win7 Ultimate SP0 dvd
-loaded (one) adaptec driver
-chose the 118gb "drive"
-got it installing
-Copying Windows Files: 100%
-Expanding Windows Files: 100%
-then an error popped up:
"Windows could not set the offline locale information. Error code: 0x80FF0000"
When I reboot and not start the process again, I get a warning that BOOTMGR is missing (hence no boot record)
The SSD's aren't faulty, chkdsk'd them via USB adapter to my laptop (/f /r /b /x), and reformatted/reverified using adaptec BIOS.
-No cables are loose
-No scratches on DVD
-tried 16K, 32K, and 64K clusters
-tried installing the OS onto one of the SSDs with RAID array broken, and it wouldn't continue (as if it's detecting another set of drives on another channel)
In Adaptec RAID BIOS *defaults*:
-Array Based BBS Support is ON
-Write Cache (Legacy/Non-Legacy Configured) is ON
-Device Security Lock is ON
-Allow Read Ahead is ON
-SMART is ON
After researching this, I came to the conclusion that I am not setting up a mobo BIOS setting, RAID card BIOS setting, or not loading a driver (there is only 1 available!).
Any clues would be appreciated.