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Windows 7: Replacing Boot Drive - Don't want to lose mirrored discs. How!

29 Oct 2013   #11

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I followed the instructions and tried to install to the SSD but I am getting this error "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the setup log for more information."

In the window listing the disks it showed this disk as disk 4 with one type System partition. I have removed the old boot drive. The other 0 thru 3 drives are the 2 pairs of mirrored drives. I then tried deleting the one partition on the disk and creating a new one. It then showed a single type Primary partition and when I try installing to that one I get the same error message.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2013   #12


Is this a UEFI BIOS requiring special steps to install? UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums

If not, enter BIOS setup to check SATA controller setting, set to AHCI, Save change and Exit.

Boot into Installer, at first screen press Shift + F10 to open a Command Prompt. Type the Commands from Step 2.2 in SSD - HDD Optimize for Windows Reinstallation to clean the SSD and define an Active partition for install. Make absolutely sure you are choosing the correct HD by disk number which might be different in Diskpart - choose by size, if in doubt abort operation.

If this fails then to avoid having to remove the other HD's and break the mirror I would install to the SSD in another PC with it plugged in alone, move it back to the target PC to plug it in. If it won't start boot Paragon Adaptive Restore CD to P2P adjust Win7 to start on different hardware.. Once it starts see if it recognizes the mirrors, and if not swap back in the other HDD.

Another option is to shrink the current install if your satisfied with it to transfer an image to the SSD - Install and transfer the Operating System . Most new SSD's come with software to achieve this. I use Acronis which has a premium free version if any Seagate or WD drives are involved. Others prefer Macrium - Image your system
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2013   #13

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Okay - I am starting to get very frustrated here. I tried installing with only the SSD and DVD drives connected on every BIOS SATA setting - SATA, AHCI & RAID and the same thing happens every time - I get an error saying "Windows cannot install required files. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation." I did some research on this error and the most of the things I found pointed to the install media or the PC memory. I have tried 2 different Windows installation DVDs and a bootable USB drive all of which have worked to install previously. I also booted with Hiren's Boot disk and ran a memory test utility for hours which found absolutely nothing wrong with my memory. Finally I took out the SSD and tried it in another computer and the SAME thing happened.

What seems to be happening each time is when the install gets to the screen where it copies, uncompresses, etc. the copy step goes by very quickly - just a few seconds then the decompress starts then the error pops up. If I go back to the primary install screen and hit SHIFT-F10 to get a DOS window I can see the SSD as drive C: I can copy files to it, read it - everything looks fine. I have no idea what is going on. For some reason the install can't copy the files to the disk. Also, when in the DOS window there is an X: drive on the system in addition to the C: and install media drives. I don't know what that is about. Please help me I am getting to the end of my rope here...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Nov 2013   #14


Unplug all other HD's and peripherals,

Boot into BIOS setup, reset to defaults, save changes. If an EFI BIOS you'll need to decide if you want UEFI BIOS vs. Legacy BIOS. If UEFI follow these special steps for Install, otherwise enable Legacy BIOS or Compatibility Support Module to proceed with normal install:

Set DVD drive first to boot, SSD second, set SATA controller to AHCI, Save changes and Exit.

Then boot into Windows 7 installer DVD or flash stick burned or written using tool and latest ISO for your licensed OS version here. I would use a fresh ISO written with tool in Step 2 as yours is in question.

At first installer screen Press Shift + F10, or enter System Recovery Options to open a Command Box, type:

SELECT DISK 0 (after confirming Windows 7 target HD #)

Next click Install Now, then Custom install to Clean Install Windows 7 to the partition you created. If it fails then report back at which step and the verbatim error message.

In addition read over these steps to understand the tools and methods which work best to get and maintain a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. The steps are the same for retail.

After install you can adjust partition size or Create new partitions for data, etc. in Disk Mgmt. You are creating the partition here for the purpose of wiping the HD and marking Active which overcomes certain install failures.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2013   #15

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

It is important to understand what RAID is and what it is not. I will exclude RAID 0 as it offers no redundancy and is not relevant to the present situation.

The purpose of RAID is to allow continued access to your data in the event of a drive failure. This is a big deal on a busy server where downtime is very disruptive to normal business activity. When a drive fails replacement can be deferred to a more convenient time.

The purpose of RAID is NOT to protect your data. It offers protection only in the event of drive failure, and even that cannot be relied on. For the numerous other causes of data loss it offers no protection whatsoever.

To protect your data you NEED to make backups. There is no substitute. All files of any importance need a backup copy while those of particular importance need 2 or more backup copies. Having no backups is asking for trouble.

Use RAID if you think you must. But be sure you do it for the right reasons.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2013   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Thanks Greg - I will do as you suggest.

LMiller7 - what software and hardware configuration would you suggest using to keep 4 Terabytes of data backed up in real time on a computer? Wouldn't that require another PC running all the time of a heck of a lot of external drives?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2013   #17

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Okay - I did as you suggested and the result is exactly the same every time. I tried on another PC that has UEFI. I did not find any BIOS compatibility settings so I followed the instruction in the UEFI install link you provided. Everything seemt o go okay, then it gets to the screen with all the steps on it and tried to copy the files - it flashes 100% after a second or two then a window pops up that says "Windows cannot install required files. Make sure all files required...". There are no error codes or numbers. If I back up and go to a DOS window to look at the C: drive, there are no files on it. Apparently no files are copied during the install process. However if I manually copy files in the DOS window from the install drive to the C: drive it works fine.

I am wondering if I manually copy the files that the install wanted to copy then continued the install if that would work. Ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2013   #18


I've not heard of this as a workaround, but there's no reason you can't try it.

UEFI adds a layer of complexity and failure that is unwarranted for the paltry benefits it offers, especially when you consider that what never fails is to Bypass UEFI to Install WIn7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2013   #19

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I am not getting anywhere with this. What do you think about this idea - manually copy all the files that the install process would copy over to the new drive then see if the process will work. Do you know how I can determine what all the files should be?

It seems that after the failed copy step when the install tries to expand the files it errors out with the "Windows cannot install required files" error.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2013   #20


Have you tried to Bypass UEFI to Install WIn7 which always works? I doubt whether you'll get anywhere with UEFI workarounds as it usually either works or doesn't, and if it doesn't then bypassing it always works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Replacing Boot Drive - Don't want to lose mirrored discs. How!

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