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Windows 7: "Setup was unable to create a new system partition..." Help please!

18 Sep 2015   #1
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 
"Setup was unable to create a new system partition..." Help please!

"Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing partition".

I had my PC multi-booting between Win7 & XP, using EasyBCD to create the boot menu at startup. But there has been a problem with the XP installation and today I deleted it and installed a different version (of XP). Big mistake of course, as I forgot about the Easy BCD setup. From then everything went wrong.. for instance, neither of my Windows Image backups, including one done in Acronis, are 'valid' (apparently!) and in desperation I have wiped the XP partitions and tried to reinstall afresh. I have used various tools - Partition Wizard, Paragon Rescue, the original Windows 7 and Windows XP CD-ROMs, but (to cut to the chase) when I try to reinstall Windows from the original Windows 7 CD-ROM, I get the 'setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing partition' error when I choose the partition I want to use.

I have spent all day Googling this and have had to face defeat, so I have a non-booting PC now. I thought this would help:

Setup was unable to create a new system partition

.. I followed instructions as per post #6, with diskpart, but rebooting after the format was complete, I still get the same error message.

Nice YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aCrnJLJkiY

but at 5:25, my PC doesn't create a 100MB system partition and I still get the same error..

I really hope someone can help here. Why doesn't Win7 want to install on the drive I have prepared (SSD)? (I'll keep Googling meanwhile!! Nil desperandum,)

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Sep 2015   #2
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

OK, might have got this working (??) At least Windows 7 is installing now, though really slowly...

I had to change one thing extra over and above the steps in the video: I also had to change the SATA config in the BIOS from Enhanced to Compatible.. then followed through the same way, but did not format the partitions at the end..

I still didn't get a 100MB system partition created though, not sure if that's going to be a problem... (Will it be??).

Will report back later!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2015   #3
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

If you have XP installed you won`t get a SR partition, because XP is already the active partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Sep 2015   #4
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

No, I don't have XP. Not yet anyway.. will try the dual boot again later
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2015   #5
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Single HDD setup or have a couple? Remove all HDD other than the one you are trying to install. Also plug the disk into the first SATA port (whichever, SATA-0 or SATA-1).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2015   #6
MicroSuck

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate 7600-16385
 
 

If you can connect that drive to another pc (I love my ide/sata to usb cable) with windows, format it on that in NTFS. If you can do it in diskpart, do it that way. Once you format, though, you'll need an nt60 bootstrap, the one for bootmgr, which is different than the nt52 bootstrap used by xp. There is a command line tool that will do this for you, and you have it, it's in the folder boot on your windows 7 installation dvd, it's called BOOTSECT.EXE. Use this line but put the drive letter of your drive in for "X:"
bootsect /nt60 X: /force

Then, once you do that, copy EVERYTHING on the installation dvd to the hard drive, then install it back in the computer, and start it. You don't need the installation dvd, it will be on the hard drive already. Just install into the same partition, the setup will leave the installation as a boot option in bootmgr, in case you ever need to install it again. If this can start the installation (PE) from the hard drive, then there is already a valid partition, and your error can't occur. The installation will also only take 10 or 15 minutes, it's 3 or 4 times faster than doing it from a dvd.

What you'll be doing is the exact same thing as making the installation dvd into a usb drive, but to your hard drive, instead. There is a program called win2usb that will do this, I think. But you might have to use an ide to usb cable to connect the hard drive for it, I'm not sure. Also, there is Unetbootin and iso2usb, those would do it, too. But I like that console bootsect, it leaves open all kinds of possibilities.

Footnote: I use a program called AOMEI Partition Assistant, because it has an NTFS - FAT32 converter in it, I like to convert the system partition to fat32, but this will give you an nt52 bootstrap. Bootsect.exe works on fat and fat32 partitions, as well, so you can use that to make your converted to fat32 system drive boot windows 7. The advantage is that fat32 does NOT SUPPORT Windows file security! That means no more "take ownership" or permissions, ever! I have a full installation of Windows 7 on my 32gb usb flash drive, and I converted that to fat32 because I still use the thing as a flash drive, and I want it to be readable in devices other than just pc's running windows.

I even put a bootstrap on a floppy disk, then copied the boot folder and bootmgr from the C:/ drive over to that, and deleted them from the hard drive. Alternately, you can just rename the bootmgr. With that done, ONLY the floppy disk will boot the system, so I can use it like a key. Take the floppy with me, and nobody can run my computer while I am gone. You could do it to a usb drive, as well, or an optical disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2015   #7
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for the input...

"Remove all HDD other than the one you are trying to install." Yes, lots of people advise that. But NeoSmart, who make EasyBCD, advise just the opposite: "If you’re installing Windows XP to a separate physical drive, do not disconnect the Windows Vista or Windows 7 drive, and do not change the drive boot order in the BIOS. This will not help and will make it terribly difficult to get your dual-boot working again!"

https://neosmart.net/wiki/easybcd/du...alling-second/

Last time I installed XP onto the Win7 PC, it all went perfectly without unplugging any drives (you have to be very careful which partition to use of course, when it comes to choose in setup!). My problem, as I say, was that I deleted the XP partition and put a different copy of XP there instead - doing this after I had set up EasyBCD! Bad idea.

I had no problem getting the dual boot originally. Thanks for the explanation re. copying the CD-ROM to the hard drive: it may well be a way to go if there's a 'next time'.

The YouTube video showed the way remove the "Setup was unable to create a new system partition..." error, though I had to make some additional changes in the BIOS first (change the SATA Configuration from 'Enhanced' to 'Compatible'.

OK, I am now setting up the dual boot again now. Again a problem - I kept getting BSOD as Windows started to install (0x0000007B). Changing the SATA drives to IDE in the BIOS cured that.. I'll change them back after I have everything running again. Fingers crossed!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2015   #8
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You may find this helpful later then - AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista

Quote:
change the SATA Configuration from 'Enhanced' to 'Compatible'
It is important to know what they mean by these words. Modes are SATA/RAID/IDE. So I guess Enhanced is either SATA or RAID (but since you got BSODs I believe it is RAID, in which case you needed to install pre-install drivers (from motherboard CD or support site)). Compatible is IDE (sometimes called as Legacy).

If Enhanced is RAID then instead of above link, simply install RAID drivers and enable Enhanced in BIOS should do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2015   #9
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

I did load SATA drivers from a floppy (before the BSOD). 'Enhanced' is a separate option from the SATA/IDE selection (it's not a RAID config option) - it was set to 'Enhanced' when the PC was delivered, so I set it back to that after installation. All seems to go fine then.. There's a discussion of this here:

sata - What do the "ATA/IDE Configuration" options in ASUS motherboard BIOS? - Super User
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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