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Windows 7: Installing Windows 7 From Windows 8 - No Disk Space?

29 Jun 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Installing Windows 7 From Windows 8 - No Disk Space?

Hi All,

I recently installed Windows 8 to have a look over it to decide whether it was for me or not. After a week or so of playing around with it, I have decided that I'd prefer to roll back to 7. However, when trying to do this, I have not had much success.

I've booted from a USB Drive (that I have used before with success) and attempted to format the win8 drive & delete the partition. So far so good. I've then tried to create a new partition and install win7 onto it. This is where the issue begins. I successfully create the new partition, however when trying to click 'next' from the 'Where do you want to Install Windows?' screen, I'm presented with the error:

Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition see the setup log files for more information
After doing a bit of Googling I found it may well be the case that the partition creation tool is a bit shonky, and that it was worth using DISKPART instead. So I tried this, yet found this on the list disk step:

Disk # Status Size Free
Disk 0 Online 931GB 0B
Disk 1 Online 119GB 0B
Disk 2 Online 298GB 100MB
Disk 3 Online 372GB 1024KB
Disk 4 Online 7500MB 0B

(apologies for the rubbish table, postimage does not seem to like my image, or Linux... )

I have tried:
  • Removing all Unnecessary HD's
  • Creating a new USB
  • Formatting & re-installing Win8 (this works without incident)

I can't see anything untoward in the system logs, but I'm no expert. Happy to get screenshots if anything thinks it will help.

System Details:

Asus M4A97 Evo
AMD X6 1100T Black Edition Processor
AMD 6790 1GB Graphics
128GB SSD (Install Drive)
320GB HD
400GB HD

No overclocking of any kind on the above components.

All help appreciated!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2014   #2

Win7 Ultimate X64

If you are trying to install to the SSD then according to the list above it would be Disk 1
There is no reason why you would need to create a partition during the installation process, windows will automatically create a 100MB system reserved partition for you during the install

The list disk you put above looks correct it shows the four HDDs connected to the machine plus the USB drive last that you are installing from

If you would like a step by step for a perfect clean reinstall then have a look at this tutorial Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

If you do not want the system reserved partition which is what I suspect you are trying to do here then all you need to do is access diskpart from the installer screen during setup (shift + F10) then all you need to type is

list disk (to confirm which disk is which)
select disk 1 (if the setup is the same as above)
clean (this will wipe previous partitions on the disk)
create partition primary (this will make a partition the size of the disk)
format fs=ntfs (format the new partition with ntfs file system)
active (marks the new partition active ready to accept win installation boot files)

if you are going to do this I would strongly recommend you unplug all other drives and only leave the SSD plugged in and make sure it is connected to the lowest numbered sata port you have (typically sata_0) ie swap the 1TB drive with the SSD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for your response. My sole objective here is to get a working copy of Win7 installed and working by any means. I'm not looking to dual boot or anything fancy like that, just get something working.

I have done what you have suggested, yet unfortunately I'm still in the same situation. Please view the below workflow and advise if you believe I'm missing anything.

I've removed all drives but for the SSD, as requested.
I still find it a bit weird that the 'free' column is displaying 0 bytes. Can anyone explain why this is the case?

Gone through the disk part steps... Everything looking good so far.

Boom. No joy. Not a peep.

This piqued my interest somewhat. Why is it even giving me the opportunity to upgrade. I [i]still[i] think there might be some variety of Windows 8 boot manager caught up in here somewhere, but I'm unable to prove or delete it.

Anyone have any further thoughts? By and large I'm out of ideas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Jun 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Have you deleted it down to un allocated space.

I just went through a small battle with an HP 6300 SFF and a new Seagate 500 GB drive, it gave me the same message you got until I just deleted the drive to un allocated space.

Are you getting the message " Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The disk is of the GPT partition style. ???

The disk needs to be converted from GPT to MBR

Solution: With Gregs help I just had to convert the disk to MBR, not sure if that`ll help you out.

cant install windows 7 in the preinstalled windows 8 laptop
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2014   #5


Work through the steps for Overcoming Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums

It may be in the stick formatting, so when you get to that step I'd write it over again just to be sure.

If all the steps fail without missing a single one, then I'd test the HD with maker's HD Diagnostic extended CD scan, followed by a full Disk Check done on the partition you create.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

OK, well I'm writing this on a perfectly serviceable Windows 7 machine, which is currently beavering away downloading system updates, so the issue has been fixed.

I believe that the issue here was, as Greg suspected, the stick formatting. I attempted to re-format the disk using Rufus to a UEFI compatible format (GPT), however for whatever reason my copy of Rufus was not displaying this as an option. (Possibly because I was working off a Windows XP backup machine?)

At this point I was reasonably sure that this was having an impact and was doing some further reading regarding workarounds and such. After pfaffing around with a couple, I decided that the issue was to do with the stick, and that I couldn't fix it. I nipped out to Staples and bought a few DVD+Rs and figured it might just be easier if I abandon the whole stick idea and go with a CD. At least this way I could rule the media out.

Armed with some DVDs I tried to use the Windows USB ISO tool to create a boot disk. However it was having none of it. I don't really know the reason why, but I gave up pretty quickly with this and thought about alternative solutions. In the end I made a LiveISO of Ubuntu, booted that up and burned the ISO using K3b.

I booted off this disk successfully, and wrote directly to the formatted partition that I had made yesterday. Happy days.

So, in conclusion; for anyone having issues similar to mine whereby they're coming down from Win8 to Win7, my advice is simply to abandon the USB idea and burn an ISO to a bootable, physical DVD. Of course this won't work if you don't have a DVD writer to hand, nor if the machine you're trying to set-up doesn't have an optical drive, but if the option's there, take it.
Also, don't rule out the concept of using a Linux Distro to dig yourself out of a hole. It may be possible to create a functional GPT formatted Windows 7 USB stick through Ubuntu or similar. I haven't tried, but I dare say it's do-able if you're keen/desperate enough.

Either way, thanks to the chaps above for pointing me in the right direction regarding UEFI issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2014   #7


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jul 2014   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks Greg,

Indeed - I did try to go through Rufus, in the second setting in the Rufus main page, I did not get an option for 'GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer'. I was given the other for both UEFI/BIOS, which didn't work.

I wonder if it was due to the fact I was running XP on that machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Installing Windows 7 From Windows 8 - No Disk Space?

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