Had a conversation with a friend this week about my disk installation issues. He recommended I take a look at the Linux distributions known as Knoppix. Now, I’m familiar with security tools version called Knoppix-STD and have used it on a couple of occasions but, somehow, I missed the original. Wonderful distro! Detected my USB keyboard and all of my devices including the drive on the IDE RAID *and* mounted all of my partitions including the NTFS ones.
It’s about a 700M ISO image. Boot it and run it from CD.