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Windows 7: No drives were found when installing windows 7

21 Jan 2014   #1

Windows 7 N 64-bit
No drives were found when installing windows 7

My hard drive was dead so I sent it away to "KnowHow" to get a replacement, when i got it back it was running extremely slow, so i decided to install windows 8 (because I had the CD laying around) to see if it would run any better, midway through the install I canceled and decided to install window 7 instead, when I got to "where do you want to install windows" there was no drives and a message saying "No drives were found. Click load driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation" I then go the AHCI SATA driver for motherboard, still the same error, so I then went and did a chkdsk, but got an error saying "the type of the file system is NTFS. cannot unlock drive. Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected" I have tried a full format of the drive, also when in diskpart if i try to create a primary partition I get a big error message, I will provide it if needed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP


Back up any files, 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, HD 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
22 Jan 2014   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


so i decided to install windows 8
cannot unlock drive.
Windows 8 locked drive.
Can't boot into windows 8,hard drive locked, can't refresh
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jan 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP


If the above commands do not clear the "Read Only" error, then boot into Diskpart as above to run attributes disk clear readonly on the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 No drives were found when installing windows 7

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