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Windows 7: Cannot create system partition.

15 Jul 2011   #1

Cannot create system partition.

I'm trying to install Windows 7 on a new machine but when selecting the install location I get the error "cannot create system partition". In the past I've managed to get past this but without the system partition I cannot install SP1.

What do I do? What are the specs of a System Partition so I can just make one in Linux because Windows 7 is clearly incapable of doing anything itself.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Jul 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64

are you trying to boot from the sp1 update disc?
You run the disc from inside of windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2011   #3


No no no. I currently don't have Windows 7 installed. I did have it installed but without a system partition meaning I couldn't apply the update. I am trying to do a fresh install this time with a system partition so I can apply SP1 once it's up and running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Jul 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello davidmn, welcome to Seven Forums!

Perhaps you would have better success if you do a complete wipe secure erase of the entire Hard Disk Drive first and then start the clean install process from there, have a look at Step Two #3 of the Optimize tutorial below to see how to create a "System" System Reserved partition and the reasons for its use and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

Additional Secure Erase / Wipe Information

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP


Did you not have a System partition because you were using GRUB boot loader to boot Windows 7?

If so, wipe the HD as specified and reinstall Windows 7 without the GRUB corruption. If you need to install Linux distro I would put it on another HD booted via BIOS Boot menu to avoid corrupting Windows 7.

If it wasn't because of GRUB then please explain more fully how you were without a System (contains boot files) partition and how this interfered with SP1 install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2011   #6


I don't have GRUB on this drive.

I think Barefoot Kid's post contains the solution. I'll have a go once I come back from Ikea.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Be sure to post back here with an update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2011   #8


No joy!

I have created a partition on the drive I want to install it to called System Reserved, it's 200MB. Then I created a 100GB partition called Windows 7 to install the OS to.

When try to install to the Windows 7 partition I get the same message:

"Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information"

Where are these log files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

There is no need for the 100MB (or 200MB) partition. Just define your 100GB partition. But you have to make it "active" - else the MBR will not find it.

When you have a predefines partition where you install, the bootmgr will be set into that partition.

Two ways to do that. Either with Partition Wizard bootable CD (last entry on webpage). Or you define the partition with Command Prompt on your installation CD. The commands are:

List disk
Select disk n (where n is the number of the disk where you want to define)
Create partition primary size=100000

Note: the size must always be given in MBs - thus the 100000
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cannot create system partition.

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