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Windows 7: Win7 does not detect hard drive on install

07 Jan 2011   #1

Win 7
Win7 does not detect hard drive on install

I have tried MANY things and now I am resorting to this forum to help find a solution to my problem.
I am trying to load win7 onto a hard drive - why is that so difficult?

The computer is an older Server which runs 2003 server OS. It has a SCSI card and 3 SCSI hard drives attached:
1 the boot drive
2 slave drive 130 GB
3 slave drive 130 GB with data like backed up digital photos and videos

That brands are Seagate Cheetah but I don't think that matters. I could be wrong.

The boot drive is only a 10GB partition where win 2003 server is installed. It is overfilled and old and my plan was to clear off and format one of the 130GB drives and load win7 on it.

I inserted my win7 dvd and chose to boot from dvd drive and after following install instructions, I get stopped every time at the screen to choose which drive to load the operating system on. Nothing is listed and it offers a message to load drivers for the drive so that windows can recognize it.

After several attempts to fix, I decided to put my WinVista dvd in and try to load Vista on the drive. That worked without a problem - went right past the screen I have been hung up on, it had my 130GB drive listed, I selected it and loaded Vista on the drive from start to finish. (That's why I said above that I don't think it matters what hdd I am using) However, my problem remains - I want to install Win7 on this drive and it is not being detected at initial install. Hardware requirements meet or exceed the recommendations for Win7 32-bit.

Here are the things I have tried (over and over and over. . .)
  • Booted up 2003server drive, went to Disk Management and checked the health of the 130GB drive. All looks fine. I was able to format, change drive letter, rename, make active partition, etc. It always shows up in Disk Management - No luck when installing win7
  • Downloaded a disk formatting/partitioning utility program GParted Live. Booted computer using this utility and I was able to clear partitions, format and basically get drive ready for use - No luck when installing win7
  • Attempted to download the drivers for this SCSI controller:Compaq 64-Bit/66-MHz Wide Ultra3 SCSI No luck being able to find it online because the company no longer supports this board - But hey, this isn't a driver issue because of several things - the drivers ARE detected when installing VISTA, and also when the 2003 server runs. I do not think the drivers are the issue here - I could be wrong - but why would Vista have no problem and Win7 not be able to locate?
  • Attempted to run the Win7 dvd while the Vista OS was running to see if I could use the UPGRADE choice rather than CUSTOOM INSTALL. At first it said I needed to have Vista SP1 installed in order to upgrade. After hours upon hours of ridiculous Vista Upgrades, I finally got SP1 loaded - tried the UPGRADE to win7 and it hits me with a message saying unable to load operating system on drive. I also tried doing this from booting the win7 dvd and it did not recognize the drive again!
  • I booted up the 2003 server OS again and connected a wireless adapter so that I could access the internet. Then tried to load win7 and have it search online for the most updated drivers for my hardware. As always, this didn't work. It just asked me to inset the disk that came with my hardware, blah blah blah - and didn't find the drivers. No luck - still unable to detect the hard drive.

Ok Win7, what gives??? Why can I load WinVista to this hard drive and not Win7? I am becoming bald from pulling my hair out of my head and my kids are learning all kinds of new curse words and colorful metaphors.

Please help.

The only thing I haven't explored yet is the system BIOS. However, I would assume that if the Vista dvd has no problem installing, then why would there be a BIOS problem concerning this drive.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


It's possible the SCSI drivers are in Vista installer but too old to be included in Win7 installer.

Have you tried an in-place Upgrade of Vista? If it's new without accumulated corruption it could be nearly perfect install and supply the drivers needed.

If not, make sure you have the latest BIOS update. If so, reset the CMOS: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS

Then wipe the target HD with zeroes, partition as given in Step 2.2 here to mark the partiiton Active to give the HD every advantage to be discovered.

Google the exact SCSI model to try to find Vista or Win7 driver to unzip to stick or CD, browse from Load Drivers link until it picks it up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Build 7600 (Final)

The company might have made Vista drivers that aren't compatible with Windows 7 so they aren't included on the disk. Check the manufacturers website for Windows 7 drivers and manually load them during the install and see if this fixes the problem.

I'd look for controller card drivers and hard drive drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Jan 2011   #4

Win 7

Well, whenever I go online to search for these drivers, numerous sites direct me to the adaptec website and directly to an error page. Then searching the adaptec site I have no success finding the correct download.

Anyway - I really don't think it's a driver issue. Just my gut feeling because it's not a problem with the Vista install and the 2003 install. I know win7 is new but the other two are not that out dated.

I'm looking for the driver for:
Compaq 64-Bit/66-MHz Wide Ultra3 SCSI

just to rule out the driver issue.

YES - another reason I don't think it's the driver is that I DID try to load an in-place UPGRADE from Vista after loading SP1 (for hours) and when I got to the area to select the drive it did not allow me to select it. It only said something like Unable to install operating system to this drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP


You weren't doing an In=place Upgrade of Win7 if it brought you to a screen where drives are selected.,

Try again choosing Upgrade instead of Custom, allow to remain connected to internet during isntall (to get latest drivers and updates), resolve any issues which will be issued specifically.

Vista drivers should be suitable so you can also look at the SCSI controller properties in Device Manager to locate it's filel location and back up the driver file to Load during clean install. But doing the in-place Upgrade will be easier and likely just as good with no accumulated corruption.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #6

Win 7

This did not work.
I did what you suggested.
I found the driver files for the controller in the win system32 drivers folder, saved them to a cd, tried having the installer load them, unsuccessful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP


What happens when you run an in-place Upgrade from the Vista desktop?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #8

Win 7

It was a monsterous disaster. First of all it took forever. Then, once the sp1 update was installed and I thought what could possible go wrong next, it brought me to the screen where you need to select the drive to install to and FINALLY it had my drive listed BUT a little message on the bottom of the screen said that I could not load to this drive. No other options other than to Exit. AHhhhhhhh!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #9

Win 7

Just went throught the process of Partition Magic and did another complete format of the drive, etc, etc. Then tried install and no drive was found. I'm out of options after about 30 attempts to fix this.

I just can't accept that Vista can load find this drive on install but win7 can not!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP


Again: there is no option to choose which drive to in-place Upgrade to. If you were at any point given a screen where you choose where to install, then you must have either booted or run the installer and chose a Custom or clean install.

Start Vista, place the Win7 DVD in the drive, run it, choose to remain connected to the Internet, then the Upgrade install - not Custom.

Partition Magic is not recommended at all for Win7. Use free Partition Wizard or better yet, use the installer itself to wipe your HD with Diskpart Clean all then create the Primary partition and mark it Active as given in Step 2.2 of this tutorial: SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

I am giving you dual-track advice here as doing a correct in-place Upgrade from Vista is your best first approach, then if it fails and issues cannot be sorted proceed to wiping the HD with zeros, partiitoning NTFS Primary to mark Active so you have the best slate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win7 does not detect hard drive on install

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