This paper investigates the use of a reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) to aid point-to-point multi-data-stream multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless communications. With practical finite alphabet input, the reflecting elements at the RIS and the precoder at the transmitter are alternatively optimized to minimize the symbol error rate (MSER). In the reflecting optimization with a fixed precoder, two reflecting design methods are developed, referred as eMSER-Reflecting and vMSER-Reflecting. In the optimization of the precoding matrix with a fixed reflecting pattern, the matrix optimization is transformed to be a vector optimization problem and two methods are proposed to solve it, which are referred as MSER-Precoding and MMED-Precoding. The superiority of the proposed designs is investigated by simulations. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed reflecting and precoding designs can offer a lower SER than existing designs with the assumption of complex Gaussian input. Moreover, we compare RIS with a full-duplex Amplify-and-Forward (AF) relay system in terms of SER to show the advantage of RIS.