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Windows 7: New desktop computer build - Windows can't find the hardrive

03 Feb 2015   #1

W7 x64
New desktop computer build - Windows can't find the hardrive


New desktop computer build:

Gigabyte 970A-DS3P AM3+ DDR3
WD 1TB SATA lll Desktop Hardrive
Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATA ll Desktop Hardrive
Gigabyte GV-N210SL-1GB GeForce 210 Graphics Card
Crucial CT51264BA160BJ 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz x2
Alpine Blue 700W 38 AMP Single Rail PSU

Turned it on for the first time last night, lovely... Spent 6 hours trying to get Windows 7 to find any hard drive...

If I dumb the BIOS down to IDE and Legacy boot mode I can manage to get the Install Windows GUI to appear but it won't see any hard drive... It will recognise a USB stick with the SATA AHCI Driver unzipped drivers on but only if I untick "Hide drivers that are not compatible with hardware on this computer". Anyway, I select one of the four 'AMD SATA Controller(C;\SATA_AHCI Driver\AHCI_w7\W764\amd_sata.inf)' and click Next and after it looks to be installing the driver all I get is "No drives were found. Click Load Driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation."

It's a new Western Digital hardrive... I had it in my regular computer and fully partitioned it with NTFS default settings and left a completely empty 70GB C:\ drive all ready for a fresh new Windows theory. There is also a 250GB SATA ll hardrive in there just for data... It doesn't see that one either.

If I leave the BIOS at AHCI it doesn't get past the Starting Windows screen...

Any ideas? Thanks in advance?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #2

W7 x64

Mystery solved. After 6 hours tooling around with the manual and the BIOS a bright spark suggested setting the BIOS back to the default and Bingo !! I had to delete the MBR partitions that I previously created, it didn't like them ("On EFI systems windows can only be installed to GPT disks" ) but I now have W7 installed on a GPT setup.

Many thanks for any interested readers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #3
Microsoft MVP


As most new BIOS' are UEFI, need to install to UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums.

Using a flash stick installer requires special formatting from Option One of UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

Then the DVD or stick needs to be booted as a UEFI device. Always unplug all other drives during OS install to avoid problems.

As you found, all partitions must be deleted if the disk was previously normally MBR formatted so that the installer can reinitialize the disk as GPT format used for UEFI installs. More here on UEFI BIOS vs. Legacy BIOS - YouTube.

With the frequent UEFI Firmware (BIOS) Updates most users are able to get installed to UEFI now, however previously some who got stuck elected to Bypass UEFI to Install WIn7 and reported that they noticed no significant difference in boot speed nor did they care about having mouse support or graphical interface in the BIOS. This was fairly common up to about a year ago but now we are able to get installed to UEFI without protracted problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 New desktop computer build - Windows can't find the hardrive

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