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Windows 7: Hard drive not detected - bad breakup with Win 8 Consumer Beta

27 Nov 2012   #1

Win 7 home premium 64 bit
Hard drive not detected - bad breakup with Win 8 Consumer Beta

Let me state at the outset that this is a story of major folly, so please feel free to get all your kicks in (as long as you are also trying to help :)).

Am trying to get Win 7 Home Premium back on a system on which I had installed the Win 8 Consumer beta, relatively new notebook. I wanted to upgrade to Win 8 Pro, and for whatever reason, the installation kept failing. Gave up and tried to get Win 7 Home Premium 64 back on. What I am about to relate has happened over several iterations and several days, so my memory may be a bit faulty.

The notebook has two hard drives - one 750GB SATA and a 32GB mSATA. When I tried to install Win 7 as clean install, there was no drive seen in the "Where do you want to install Windows" box. When I tried to do that from within Windows 8, it started installing, but there was an aborted install followed by a BSOD. Tried doing both ways a few times, but no joy.

At this point, I stepped completely out of my comfort zone and did some fairly stupid things. Downloaded MiniPart and started fooling around with the partitions on the drive. Long story short, at some point, I removed all partitions and wiped the entire hard drive clean with zeros (I did say "major folly"), on the general principle of going the whole hog. Now, when I start the notebook, I get a message "Operation System not found". (not "Operating System").

Both drives show up when I go into System Settings at boot. Here's what I've tried:
  • Used a MiniPart boot disk to look around at the disks, and they both show up. The main disk is empty except for about 86MB. I've set the main disk as "Active" through the MiniPart boot disk. The mSATA has two partitions, one of 8GB.
  • Used command prompt from the Win 7 installation disk, went to Diskpart, and it says "There are no fixed disks to show."
  • When I try to install Win 7 (just for kicks), it still shows no drive in the "Where do you want to install Windows" box and there's a yellow exclamation mark at the bottom that says "No drives were found. Click Load Driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation.".

Any help is much appreciated. This is a fairly nice system that, at this point, is good for a door stop and not much else. Please let me know if any other information is needed. Fortunately, there was no data on this disk I cared about, so all I want to do is to go back to the way things were before I took up with that flashy Win 8.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


You load your Sata controller drivers here:

Clean the HD Drive, using Step one in this tutorial:
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
& than Reboot PC

Clean Install Windows 7
If you have a uEFI BIOS. How to install Windows 64 bit on a uEFI BIOS:
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2012   #3

Win 7 home premium 64 bit

Thank you! Will try this over the next couple of days and let you know how it worked out. I really appreciate the help!

One question: how would I know if I have a UEFI BIOS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Nov 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


The only reason there would be a 32 bit SSD on board is if it's a laptop model with the SSD caching chip. You should read in your Manual on Support Downloads webpage for your PC model how this works. It will also explain if its UEFI and how that figures in.

We have helped a few users who wanted to break the RAID which joins the HD with SSD as caching chip to install Win7 to the SSD alone. The was done by setting SATA controller in BIOS to AHCI and pre-partitioning the SSD using Partition Wizard CD as Primary NTFS Active, installing Win7. There is only room for a small page file and key programs so everything else must go on HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard drive not detected - bad breakup with Win 8 Consumer Beta

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