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Windows 7: Unable to install Win7 to new hard drive. X:\windows\system32> error.

13 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Unable to install Win7 to new hard drive. X:\windows\system32> error.


I'm installing Win7 64bit Home Premium on a Dell Inspiron 1545.
Right after the Starting Winoews logo screen it gets stuck at a Dos terminal.
Withing the Dos terminal it says: X:\windows\system32>
The window itself is titled Administrator: X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe

I am using the OEM disk that came with the laptop and I also downloaded one from Dell's website. Both give the same error.

Thank you for any help you can give.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Try to get into Command prompt of the Repair section of your installation disk and run those commands: (each individually and followed by Enter)

List disk
Select disk n (where n is the number that was given for your HDD in List disk)
Create partition primary
Format fs=ntfs quick

Then try to install into that partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

How do I get into Command prompt of the Repair section of the installation disk?

All I can select is: Windows Setup [EMS Enabled]
The keyboard only recognizes "Enter" so I cannot select F8 for advanced options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jun 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

With a 'normal' installation disc you can always get into Command Prompt. Maybe you can borrow one. There are also some livr CDs around that contain Command Prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #5


If it's the Dell Reinstallation DVD it should have System Recovery Options to get to Command Prompt to run commands Wolfgang gave you.

Otherwise everything you need is in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thank you everyone for your advice. I think there may be something wrong with the hardware that Windows doesn't like.
When I try to install Win7 is always goes to my original problem. This is with the original factory disk, one burned from the Dell website and one loaded to a USB drive from here:
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

I installed the 3rd version onto a USB drive on another Win7 PC as advised here:
Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool[2]=General%20Tips

I can never get to Option Two, part three, as shown here:
System Recovery Options

It just goes straight through with the install until it gets to the error I originally posted about.

What is very odd is that the only input that is accepted from the keyboard is ENTER when I try to install Win7.

So I tried installing WinXP. That wouldn't even let me use the ENTER key. F3 to exit works fine though.

To toss even more mystery into this mayhem I thought I would try linux. I was able to install Linux Mint just fine and everything works. Even the keyboard!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2012   #7


Does your BIOS have the latest Update?

Reset your BIOS to defaults: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS

If this doesn't help then wipe the HD by slaving it to another computer, or booting Darik's Boot and Nuke or free Partition Wizard CD. Quick erase will be sufficient.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unable to install Win7 to new hard drive. X:\windows\system32> error.

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