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Windows 7: Windows 7 cannot install on new hard drive. Stuck on disk partition

29 Aug 2014   #1

Windows 7 64-bit
Windows 7 cannot install on new hard drive. Stuck on disk partition

Hello everyone,

The main issue is that I have an ISO file on a USB and I've been trying to boot Windows from it. I get to the screen where it asks me which hard drive I want to install the OSS. I bought a new hard drive and as such it appears as Disk 0: Unallocated Space. From there, I select it and hit "next" but it gives me the error message: "Setup was unable to create a system partition or locate an existing partition."

I tried partitioning it, and then I tried formatting and that didn't work. Also, even though it is a SATA Hard drive, it is set as IDE on the BIOS.

One part I should point out is that the SATA cable I'm using is for my old hard drive which was a SATA 3.0 gb/s. This one is 6.0 gb/s. I'm pretty sure that they are backwards compatible but just in case this could be an issue too I should let people know.

Also, would it help if I burned the ISO on an empty DVD disk instead? I heard sometimes the culprit is things on USB.

Thank you

EDIT: Should point out that this is an old motherboard, but because I took the old hard drive out, it is a clean install, meaning that I have no OS at all

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP


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

In BIOS setup are there any settings for CSM, UEFI, Secure Boot or Legacy BIOS, or does the BIOS Boot menu show any UEFI devices listed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2014   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

The new drive you bought is probably formatted as GPT, you have to convert it to MBR.

When you get to the language window, hit shift and F10 to open up command prompt, then....

Use option 2 step 2 of this tutorial. It`s very simple

Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk

A big Thank You goes out to Greg for helping me with this issue when I first encountered it.

And Yes to your last question, it`s much easier to use a dvd to install Windows 7 until you master how to use the flash drive, it can be quite tricky.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Aug 2014   #4

Windows 7 64-bit

Thanks guys for all your help! Wow, this is the first time i've been on a computer help board that wasn't filled with snarky comments.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2014   #5
Microsoft MVP


You're welcome.

I notice you marked the thread Solved. Which step do you think resolved the problem?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2014   #6

Windows 7 64-bit

Honestly I'm not really sure. What I do know is that I didn't do any of those steps before and I followed it exactly to the tee.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 cannot install on new hard drive. Stuck on disk partition

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