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Windows 7: "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate existing"


13 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 
"Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate existing"

Last night after 8 hours of toil, I finally completed a clean install using a usb drive on my asus ux32vd using the brand new SSD drive I had just bought. The reason it took so long was I kept getting this error -> "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition." What I did to finally get it to install was get to the c prompt during the installation and run diskpart and make the integrated 32GB SSD 'offline' and then I selected the SSD and used the 'clean' command and left the SSD unpartitioned and raw. I had read that with SSDs on a clean install you should leave it raw and windows will install on it. And it worked.

Now here's problem number 2, which feels worse than problem number 1. After installing everything went swimmingly. I started updating drivers, etc. I got to the point where I needed to do a Windows Update. There were 91 things that needed to be updated/installed. So I ran update with all 91 and that went fine until it went to restart - it wouldn't boot into windows. Instead it kept going into that startup restoration program over and over saying it couldn't fix the problem. I tried to delete the updates manually through cprompt by running dism, but this failed and I figured to hell with the hassle I'll just reinstall Windows since I know how now and then update windows one update at a time.

BIG MISTAKE. I tried doing EXACTLY what I had done before - doing diskpart, offlining the integrated SSD, etc - however this time the error isn't going away. It's still saying "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition." I don't get it. I'm doing exactly what I did when I got it to work, but it's not working now. I can only surmise that the system is still recognizing the integrated SSD somehow. Does anyone have any suggestions? And is there another way to turn off the integrated SSD (I went into bios and made sure that it wasn't being loaded)? You guys are my only hope. I have 60 tabs open on my desktop trying to find a solution.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Aug 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

The steps to get a perfect reinstall are now a tutorial at Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

To troubleshoot your install, unplug all other HD's and peripherals, boot into BIOS setup, check that the SSD is set to boot first, set SATA controller to AHCI to try install - later try IDE mode if necessary.

If this fails, Clean again and define a Primary NTFS Active partition as shown in Step 2.2 of SSD - HDD Optimize for Windows Reinstallation. Close the Command Box, Install Now to the partition created.

If these fail post back at exactly what step and any verbatim error message: Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 

Thanks gregrocker, I have actually followed the Clean Reinstall tutorial. I have no peripherals connected except the USB drive which contains the windows installation files. Now, the thing is - I had previously installed Windows after I 'offlined' the integrated SSD using diskpart, however this time it is not working. Another thing I noticed is that when I go to Load Driver - there's an X drive noted. I think that it's part of the USB drive, however when I go to disk part - there is only one volume noted - the C: on the USB that contains the windows install. I have no idea where the X: is located and how to disable it if it is part of the integrated SSD.

SSD is first to load, then USB. I've tried both AHCI and IDE mode to install. I have also done the SSD - HHD Optimization and defined a primary NTFS active partition on the SSD and that also gives me the same error. I don't understand how it worked the first time when I offlined the integrated SSD, but not when I do it this time...

Do you think it's this mysterious X: drive that shows up when I try to browse to Load Drivers? It's titled Boot (X and under it are 4 folders - Program Files, sources, Users, Windows. Are those my old Windows files from my previous install? I feel like this is the key to getting it to work. I don't remember Boot (X being there when I installed the first time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Aug 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

X is your installer drive. You should only have it and the SSD plugged in.. What other drive is there?

You should never have to load an SSD (ACHI or SATA) driver which are all in the installer. This almost always means the installer is bad. Write another to stick using Step 1 and 2 of tutorial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 

The other drive is the volume on my USB drive. It contains the installation files and the drivers. I never unplugged it when I installed last time. Actually when I unplug and try to install to SSD. I get an error that it can't install. I tried to make the USB Drive offline in Diskpart, but it won't let me it says, "The operation is not supported on removeable media."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

This is a USB stick? Keep it plugged in. How did you write it?

What do you mean by you took it offline? Online or offline is irrelevant in boot mode. Plug in the stick and SSD and install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 

I used the Windows 7 USB/DVD application. It loaded the ISO to the USB. I always leave that USB in when I install. Originally when the installation worked the first time - I went to the command prompt -> ran diskpart -> list disk -> noted the integrated 32GB SSD -> selected that disk (happened to be disk 0) -> offline disk -> select disk 1 (the SSD I bought) -> clean -> exit. I entered the installation it asked "Where do you want to install Windows? Inside was Disk 0 30 GB (this is the integrated SSD) and it said it was Offline. There was also Disk 1 Unallocated Space. I clicked on next and it worked.

Ran windows update, it restarted computer, kept rebooting into startup recovery. Was unable to run DISM to delete the updates. Decided to just reinstall Windows.

Tried all the steps I noted above (that worked), but this time I'm getting the original error that I was having before making the integrated SSD offline.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 

Okay this is weird, I pressed next to see the error to copy it down and put it in my last response... and it started installing. I have NO idea what I did differently. I did the same thing I've been doing this entire time - diskpart - making disk 0 offline - then reentering the windows install and trying to get it to install. Thanks for the help. I'm worried if I have to reinstall windows ever again I'm going to have this issue again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Do you have an EFI Bios? Check in BIOS setup for an EFI Boot disk in BIOS boot order or a choice for Legacy BIOS.

It seems like there is another HD in there somewhere which actually is the one wiped, hence Unallocated space. Can you post a camera snap of the drive selection screen you're seeing during install?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 

There's no EFI Boot disk or Legacy Bios in boot order. I think there's some confusion. My computer comes with 32GB of integrated SSD (which I don't want to use). I took the HD that was in the laptop and replaced with the OCZ 60 GB SSD. Disk 0 is the integrated SSD (which has to be offline in order to install). Disk 1 Unallocated Space is the SSD I'm trying to install to. The only time I was able to install to that drive was to leave it raw and not partition it. If I attempted the diskpart - primary partition - format ntfs, etc - it would not work. I would get the error.

But now it's worked... after I did the same thing I've been doing countless times. I don't know what changed to make it install right now. I'm afraid that if I ever have to reinstall, I'm going to run into the same problem again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate existing"




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