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Windows 7: Stuck in an install loop (unable to locate harddrive for installation)

16 Jul 2016   #1

Win7 Professional 64
Stuck in an install loop (unable to locate harddrive for installation)


What steps should I follow with my HDD to insure a proper installation?

Previously, I was stuck in an installation loop between BIOS - which saw my western digital black harddrive - and the windows installer which got to "where do you want to install windows" and then gave me a message saying something to the effect could not find a hard drive to install on.
Then, I would be sent back to the BIOS and the loop would start over again.

The harddrive was blank with no partitions and I was not given the option to create any.
I had to buy some type of partition recovery software and then windows installed.
The harddrive is my current operating system HDD.

Having alot of computer issues and want to just wipe the darn drive and start from scratch.

Issues like.........
some 21:9 resolution desktop (it wasn't my desktop) replaced my 5760x1080 resolution desktop. then disappeared. it only had 3 folders on the blue desktop, I had never seen before. "pictures" "profile" "Misc"

while typing, hear DING! my cursor disappears and my keyboard won't respond for a few seconds. Happens very often.

My task bars will unhide/hide by themselves one monitor, then next one, then next one.

Just now, while I was typing, this browser dialog box was highlighted, I was unable to type and I heard a click noise as if I had clicked on a file.

Would just give me piece of mind just wiping the drive instead of just re-formatting it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2016   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

What steps should I follow with my HDD to insure a proper installation?
Take a good look and slow read of Brinks tutorial.
It's what I use.

Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2016   #3

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Yep do as Layback says mate and for my two cents worth I always at least "clean" in DISKPART any drive I intend to install on.

The other little thing that did cross my mind was how old is that drive and what was on it before you did this??
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jul 2016   #4

Windows 7 HP 64

You have to give us more information.
What is your hardware specifications ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2016   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1

@ 7of9, is this problem part of the problems you are having with your other Thread in Hardware & Devices.

How to control all USB case power (power surge warnings) USB 2.0
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2016   #6

Win7 Professional 64

Holy cow....I've hit the motherload in responses! Thank you all!

@ Ranger4
No, this "stuck in a loop" post was an old issue I had, the last time I re-formatted. I've had so many issues recently, my friends keep telling me to just start from scratch.
I just wanted to make sure I didn't run into that situation again. Or know what to do if it happens again. It was a huge hassle.

My Western Digital Black at the time, was about 2.5 years old. Just thought it was strange that the setup read there was ~ 1.5TB of unallocated space, but wouldn't allow me to create any partitions for the operating system (greyed out).
After using partition recovery, I was able to install windows on the harddrive I'm using at this moment.
I don't know what diskpart is but I'll google it.

@ Layback bear
Thank you so much. I will have a read.

@ Megahertz07
My apologies. I filled out the computer specs when I signed up. I thought that info was available for all to see. sorry.

Just in case, age is a factor (I know, my parts are me), I put approximate years next to the items.
Windows 7 Pro 64bit (2012)
3x 23" Asus Gaming monitors (2012)
i7 2700k (2013)
asus p8z77 Deluxe mobo (2013)
1050w Seasonic modular PSU, (2013)
2 x HD6970 gpus (only 1 card installed right now) (2012)
2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM at 1600mhz instead of the mobo default of 1333mhz. (2013)
1.5TB Western Digital Black as my main harddrive (2012)
2.0 TB Western Digital black as my backup harddrive (2014)
60GB SSD (2013) Originally, after installing Win7, Couldn't get some programs to stop installing on this and it filled up too quickly. Now, I just install games on it.

128GB SSD Empty. Would like to install windows on it, but a) how do I wipe a SSD? I'll google it I guess. b) I don't know anything about editing registries to prevent programs other than windows from installing on it. It seems complicated and I don't want to screw it up.

Genuine Windows 7 issue:
I bought 2 "oem" copies of Win7Pro (for computer builders). I bought 2 motherboards. I installed "my" win7pro on 1 motherboard. Gave that mobo to a friend and upgraded. I accidentally gave my unregistered but genuine copy of win7pro to my friend so both OS are associated with the same motherboard.

Do you think MS will let me re-install win7 and allow it to be official? I did buy 2 separate copies. They were just installed with the wrong motherboards.

Thank you all for your responses. I'll leave this open for a couple of days, just in case you have any comments/suggestions from my response.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2016   #7

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Do you think MS will let me re-install win7 and allow it to be official? I did buy 2 separate copies. They were just installed with the wrong motherboards.
Generally speaking and from my own past experiences if you explain the Microsoft - on the phone your predicament ie the drive has died or the mobo gone bad they will let you use the sane activation code. Now it goes before saying they are going to be suspicious if you do that more than at max twice.

Worth a try mate nothing to lose except your spare copy - whatever way it turns out make sure the drive is ok and ready before you install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2016   #8

Windows 7 HP 64

A 128G SSD is big enough to hold Windows and programs if you have \Users on a HDD. In this manner you have the speed of an SSD and the space of a HDD. I've seen huge games that wont fit on the SSD C: drive, but they can be installed any place else.
To do so, follow Kari tutorial User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation
Attached is Kari tutorial in pdf.
Even it's possible, I don't recommend to move ProgramData.
You need the SSD and a HDD that can be completely erased.
This is what I would do:
- Back up your data. You can use Windows Easy Transfer to back up your data and settings.
- Update your BIOS
- Configure the BIOS and set Storage Boot and PCI device to UEFI and XHCI Hand off to enable. Set SATA to AHCI.
- Detach all storage devices leaving only the 128G SSD on first SATA port and HDD on the second SATA port.
- Boot with your Win 7 installation disk or USB flash disk, on UEFI option.
- Go to Install, choose custom, delete all partitions on the SSD and on the HDD.
Only on the SSD, set New (it will create 3 partitions) and begin installation on the third and biggest one. Leave the HDD raw (unformatted).
- When it stops and asks for user name, follow Kari tutorial.
- Once you’ve reboot in audit mode as Administrator, format the HDD and assign D: to it. Partition or Volume - Create New
- Launch Device Manager and load all missing drives.
- Follow the tutorial and transfer \Users to D:
- Attached is the Relocate.xml.txt file. Rename it to Relocate.xml.

- Once finished, attach the others HDD's and restore your data.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Relocate-users_W7.pdf (1.23 MB, 0 views)
File Type: txt Relocate.xml.txt (776 Bytes, 3 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2016   #9

Windows 7 HP 64

To be done after moving C:\Users to D:\Users

Type this cmd
fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

It will give you one of two results, either a 0 or a 1. A zero indicates that TRIM is enabled correctly, a one means that it is not. If you have a TRIM-compatible SSD, but find that Windows 7 hasn't enabled the command, you can easily do so by running this command:

fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

1)Move Virtual Memory to HDD
Computer-Properties-Advanced system settings
Performance settings - Advanced - Change
- C: None
- D: Custom sise: Max & Min = 32768 - Set

2)Startup and Recovery
Make diretory D:\System\Memory Dumps
Make diretory D:\System\Memory Dumps\Mini
Make diretory D:\System\Temp

Computer-Properties-Advanced system settings
Startup and Recovery settings

Small memory dump
Small Dump file: D:\System\Memory Dumps\Mini

Kernel memory dump
Dump file: D:\System\Memory Dumps\MEMORY.DMP

OK (Ingnore alert)

Environment Variables
Up Window
Temp - %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp
TMP - %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp
Down Window
Temp - D:\System\Temp
TMP - D:\System\Temp


- Create D:\Program Files and install on it Antivirus, antimalware, antispyware and very large programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2016   #10

Win7 Professional 64

Thanks again for all your help.

The only real problem I had was downloading the loop this time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Stuck in an install loop (unable to locate harddrive for installation)

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