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Windows 7: Cannot install Windows 7 to new HDD

11 Aug 2018   #1
alan1000

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 
Cannot install Windows 7 to new HDD

Hi everybody - this is probably not strictly speaking a Windows problem, but maybe somebody here has encountered it before and knows the answer! I'm having a problem with a Satellite P750 which I purchased as fully working though without a hard drive. I've fitted a new Western Digital HDD but I cannot find a way to boot from Windows 7 installation media.

The problem: When powered on, the Toshiba splash screen appears and seems to work though the POST okay, but it is followed by a blank black screen with just a blinking cursor in the top left corner. There are no error messages, no boot messages. The DVD drive can be heard winding over, if there is a disc in it, but the computer makes no attempt to boot from any device.

F2 BIOS settings and F12 Boot Order both come up normally on the appropriate key press.

On selecting either USB Boot or DVD Boot from the F12 menu, neither works, and the screen reverts to black.

Changing boot order settings in BIOS has no effect.

All boot devices including USB flash drives are fully recognised by their proper names, both in the BIOS and in the F12 boot order.

Boot speed is set to "Normal" (as opposed to "Fast") and "Legacy USB Emulation" is enabled.

There is no BIOS option to switch between UEFI and CSM boot modes, nor is there any option to turn off "Secure Boot". Neither of these gets any mention at all in the BIOS.

The BIOS is AMI v2.10. The USB flash drive was set up using the MS Windows 7 USB/DVD creation tool, and Windows 7 Home Premium ISO, both downloaded from the Microsoft website. The DVD I used is genuine Microsoft.

The computer itself is in brand-new condition and seems to be in perfect working order. I don't really know what to try next. Any suggestions?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2018   #2
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

It's possible both your install media are faulty. This Forum Tutorial might help you make sure your USB media is bootable. Another possibility is that the DVD drive is not working properly.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2018   #3
alan1000

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Thanks for your reply, Ranger4. The media are okay - I've checked them out on other machines (I have access to several). I've also tried using a freshly-burned DVD copy of the Windows 7 ISO download (which I assume would be up-to-date with all the latest patches?). I haven't yet swapped out the DVD player to see whether that makes a difference. Hope to do that tomorrow. I begin to suspect, though, that there may be a motherboard problem... but if so, why does the POST not show something??? I've never seen anything quite like this before... One other option which just occurs to me, is to see whether it will boot from a third-party disc, eg Hiren's Boot CD, or perhaps a Linux disc. Anyway, if I crack it, I'll let you know!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Aug 2018   #4
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

On BIOS, does it detect the HDD and the OOD drive? Is SATA enabled?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2018   #5
alan1000

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Yes, the drives are detected and properly identified - for example, the USB flash drive is correctly listed as a Sandisk. Sata is enabled. Out of desperation I've also tried IDE compatibility mode, but that makes no difference, as you'd expect.


It's possible to buy a new Windows restore partition from Toshiba, at a cost of around US$50; I consider that a reasonable price, and I might try it if it's the last option left, but there's no guarantee it would solve the problem, of course.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2018   #6
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

I'd say megahertz is asking whether the BIOS is detecting the new Western Digital hard drive that you have installed. Does the BIOS actually show it being detected, if not recheck the data & power connections both at the HDD end & the motherboard end.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2018   #7
alan1000

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Sorry, yes indeed, it is correctly recognised as a WD hard drive and listed by its model number.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2018   #8
alan1000

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

...however, I have just learned that there is almost certainly a Lenovo Windows 10 restore partition on this disc. I'm not sure if that could be a problem, but I will remove it, repartition and reformat it, then try again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2018   #9
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

You don't need to take out the HDD and format. Windows installation will do it.
Satellite P750 is a Sandy Bridge (2nd gen) so it shouldn't be any problem installing win 7.
On BIOS, set the 1st boot order to the HDD. Disable the 2nd and 3rd.
Start and press F12 (boot menu) and select your win 7 installation disk.

Go to install - advanced - delete all partitions - create new
Choose the big NTFS partition to install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2018   #10
alan1000

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Thanks for that, Megahertz07. It seems that LAN PXE boot is the only one which can be disabled in this BIOS version. The HDD, USB and DVD options can only be moved up or down. Highlight any one of them and press Enter does not bring up any sub-menus, but LAN boot can be disabled from within the Advanced settings menu, which is adjacent to the Boot menu. Considering this is not that old a computer, I am surprised (and frustrated) that the BIOS options seem to be so limited. It doesn't seem like a UEFI setup at all, more like an old-fashioned kind of BIOS. Incidentally, the email notification of your post is slightly different to the website version; it has a question about installation media. The media I've been trying to use are a Sandisk USB2 8GB flash drive (fairly new), a genuine Windows 7 Home Premium DVD in good condition, and a burned DVD using the ISO version downloaded from Microsoft. The DVD drive has been temporarily swapped out with a known good one, to no avail. The media have all been tested on other machines and appear to be in good working order.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cannot install Windows 7 to new HDD




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