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Windows 7 can't install to empty SATA drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to install the win 7 beta both 64 bit and 32 bit on my ASUS mobo amd phenom based system on a blank fujitsu SATA hdd.  I have tried with the bios set to ahci and to non ahci.  I have tried without and with the drivers from my mobo for vista 32 bit or vista 64 bit where appropriate for ahci and non ahci installs.  In all cases it gets to the point where the formatter appears.  It always sees the drive and can format it, but only as a primary partition.  It has no facility to create a system partition.  When you click next, it says it can't find or create a system partition to install on.  If I use an external utility to create the ntfs partition and make it bootable, the win 7 partitioner sees the system partition, but still gives the same error message about not being able to find or create a system partition.  The drive is a blank freshly formatted drive with 118 GB free on it.  After backing out of the install, the drive is formatted as NTFS and works fine for data storage.  I have tried with the drive as unallocated space and after the installer creates the partition and formats it, it still gives the same error message.  It also says there is additional information in the log files, but I can't find any way to view them, if they even exist at all.

    help?
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 4:14 PM

Answers

  • OK, I finally got it working.  What I needed to do was boot back to my regular working OS, in this case Ubuntu Linux 8.10 and use some NTFS fix utilities on the drive, including the Linux equivalent of fixmbr. 

    For the Penguin crowd out there trying this, here's what you need to do.  Windows users can let their eyes glaze over for a bit.

    First install the ntfsprogs package:
    sudo apt-get install ntfsprogs

    Next download the ms-sys.deb file for your architecture (I used i386) from here:
    http://packages.debian.org/etch/ms-sys

    Just double click the .deb to install it.

    Now you're ready to do anything to an NTFS formatted drive.

    On my system, the drive in question was /dev/sdc 

    A quick sudo fdisk -l  will tell you what yours is.

    First, fix the ntfs file system:
    sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdc1

    When it's done, fix the master boot record:
    sudo ms-sys -m /dev/sdc

    That's it, Windows 7 will now correctly see and intall to the drive.

    As a plus, gparted now has total control over NTFS partitions and can create them as well as manage the flags, etc.


    Windows users can now unglaze their eyes...

    Finally, back in the Windows 7 64 bit installer, I left the motherboard driver disk in my second optical drive and when it reached the partition section, I loaded the Vista 64 bit AHCI driver, then proceeded with the install.  It is worth mentioning that I did not have to remove or reorder any of the other SATA drives (a total of 3) that were attached to the system.  The motherboard was left in AHCI mode throughout the entire install.  No errors were encountered.  Don't forget to remove the installer DVD on the first boot.  The system did run a chkdsk on the first boot without the install DVD in the drive, but it didn't seem to fix anything.  I think it just wanted to make sure the volume was clean.  It then rebooted and finished the entire install without any more issues.  Interestingly, my network and sound were both working "out of the box".  This was a first for me for a windows install, as I alway have to load a pile of drivers before doing anything else.  Or is it because I left the motherboard driver disk in the second optical drive, so it just pulled all the needed Vista 64 bit drivers off that without further prompting?  Whichever it was, it was impressive for a Windows install.  After getting onto my desktop, I opted for the Kaspersky antivirus as it had the longest free trial period of the 3, in this case 5 months.  I also succesfully installed Open Office 3.0 and Gimp2.6, so it's a bit more usable now.  I still haven't found the email program in Win 7 yet, so I may have to install Thunderbird or similar.  Too bad there isn't Evolution for Windows.  I have not yet installed Firefox, I thought I would give IE8 a shot for a while.

    I haven't figured out how to make it see my homes network or any of the other hard drives in the machine yet.  I feel a little limited by only 1 desktop, I'm used to 4.  Also, I have a TV tuner card in this machine and since this is Win 7 Ultimate, shouldn't there be some kind of TV utility for watching and recording TV shows built in?

    I have been using Linux for so long this is going to take a little getting used to, although I doubt it will replace Ubuntu as my main OS, it will be interesting to play with.  Also, I totally skipped VIsta, so I felt a little "out of the loop" so to speak.  This should be fun.
    Monday, January 19, 2009 11:12 PM

All replies

  • to view the logs, go to Vista, navigate to the Windows 7 drive, and search for .log files.    
    Allan®
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 4:49 PM
  • It must be time the Mods here did a sticky post about this issue.

    Disconnect the data and power cables to all drives except the HDD you intend to install to. Once the partition, format and install is complete, you can reconnect the other HDDs. You will need to run your Win7 boot with AHCI disabled in the BIOS.

    HTH and good luck.
    Cheers,
    Andy.
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 6:17 PM
  • AllanVS:
    There are no log files or any other kind of files on the drive.  It remains a blank ntfs drive.

    PumpkinL11:
    I need to disable AHCI in BIOS before installing windows 7 even if I have the AHCI vista drivers for my motherboard?  Are you telling me Windows still can't deal with AHCI?  Also, I tried it with the other HDD's disconnected and I tried it in non-AHCI mode and it made no difference.  It can only format the drive.  It then fails to find or create a system partition.

    Sunday, January 18, 2009 3:17 AM
  • ACHI also crashes for me, have to use IDE mode (Asus P5Q Pro).
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 3:20 AM
  • mgmiller44,

    Another poster here suggests that you access the drive that you want to install to, from your working Vista or XP installation, and re-format it from there (NTFS).

    He (or she) apparently succeeded in the install.

    The AHCI suggestion applies to your subsequent post-installation boot into Win7. Vista can and does read AHCI HDD configuration as AHCI is a part of Intel's RAID spec. I use a RAID0 striped array for my Vista installation and it works like a charm, so AHCI is not an issue with Vista. But it is most definitely a problem with Win7 32 as I cannot boot into Win7 with it enabled in the BIOS. It didn't seem to be a problem for the install - just the subsequent boots into Win7.

    If disabling the other HDDs hasn't worked for you, you could try connecting the Win7 HDD to the first position on the HDD bus (SATA0 in your case I think), again with no other drives connected.

    Let us know how you fare either way.

    Cheers,
    Andy.


    Sunday, January 18, 2009 4:12 AM
  • OK, I finally got it working.  What I needed to do was boot back to my regular working OS, in this case Ubuntu Linux 8.10 and use some NTFS fix utilities on the drive, including the Linux equivalent of fixmbr. 

    For the Penguin crowd out there trying this, here's what you need to do.  Windows users can let their eyes glaze over for a bit.

    First install the ntfsprogs package:
    sudo apt-get install ntfsprogs

    Next download the ms-sys.deb file for your architecture (I used i386) from here:
    http://packages.debian.org/etch/ms-sys

    Just double click the .deb to install it.

    Now you're ready to do anything to an NTFS formatted drive.

    On my system, the drive in question was /dev/sdc 

    A quick sudo fdisk -l  will tell you what yours is.

    First, fix the ntfs file system:
    sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdc1

    When it's done, fix the master boot record:
    sudo ms-sys -m /dev/sdc

    That's it, Windows 7 will now correctly see and intall to the drive.

    As a plus, gparted now has total control over NTFS partitions and can create them as well as manage the flags, etc.


    Windows users can now unglaze their eyes...

    Finally, back in the Windows 7 64 bit installer, I left the motherboard driver disk in my second optical drive and when it reached the partition section, I loaded the Vista 64 bit AHCI driver, then proceeded with the install.  It is worth mentioning that I did not have to remove or reorder any of the other SATA drives (a total of 3) that were attached to the system.  The motherboard was left in AHCI mode throughout the entire install.  No errors were encountered.  Don't forget to remove the installer DVD on the first boot.  The system did run a chkdsk on the first boot without the install DVD in the drive, but it didn't seem to fix anything.  I think it just wanted to make sure the volume was clean.  It then rebooted and finished the entire install without any more issues.  Interestingly, my network and sound were both working "out of the box".  This was a first for me for a windows install, as I alway have to load a pile of drivers before doing anything else.  Or is it because I left the motherboard driver disk in the second optical drive, so it just pulled all the needed Vista 64 bit drivers off that without further prompting?  Whichever it was, it was impressive for a Windows install.  After getting onto my desktop, I opted for the Kaspersky antivirus as it had the longest free trial period of the 3, in this case 5 months.  I also succesfully installed Open Office 3.0 and Gimp2.6, so it's a bit more usable now.  I still haven't found the email program in Win 7 yet, so I may have to install Thunderbird or similar.  Too bad there isn't Evolution for Windows.  I have not yet installed Firefox, I thought I would give IE8 a shot for a while.

    I haven't figured out how to make it see my homes network or any of the other hard drives in the machine yet.  I feel a little limited by only 1 desktop, I'm used to 4.  Also, I have a TV tuner card in this machine and since this is Win 7 Ultimate, shouldn't there be some kind of TV utility for watching and recording TV shows built in?

    I have been using Linux for so long this is going to take a little getting used to, although I doubt it will replace Ubuntu as my main OS, it will be interesting to play with.  Also, I totally skipped VIsta, so I felt a little "out of the loop" so to speak.  This should be fun.
    Monday, January 19, 2009 11:12 PM
  •  I had the same problem, and could not solve it by disconnecting SATA cables and power supply cables for the other drives which seems to have worked for other people in this forum. Based on mgmiller44's results, I surmised that the windows formatting tool does not set the new drive to be bootable. Because I did not have a linux system (base system is XP), I used MBR Wizard (http://mbrwizard.com/) to set the new drive to be bootable, and hey presto - everything worked fine.
    • Proposed as answer by Kyuss09 Saturday, February 6, 2010 11:49 PM
    Friday, February 6, 2009 1:04 PM
  • I had similar issues with a brand new sata drive. Windows just couldnt seem to write a system partition. i tried heaps of different things like preparing the disk before install etc. Turns out all i needed to do was remove my 4gig usb stick that i use for readyboost from my machine.

    Yes as crazy as it sounds as soon as i tried booting/installing with this usb stick out of the machine it worked first go.
    Saturday, February 6, 2010 11:52 PM
  • This makes absolutely no sense to me.  Windows XP 64 bit sp2 was able to recognize my new 3gbps Sata drives and get the OS installed, up and running in order to download the remainder of the drivers needed for the installation and it was on a CDR

    Now with Windows 7 which is on a 3+ gb DVD doesn't have the ability to recognize a new sata drive, format it in NFTS enable networking and then download the updates?  They did not include something as simple as this?  You pay more for a product which does less? I mean come on!  Glad I didn't spend the extra money on the cardboard box and instead bought the OEM version.

    Friday, June 8, 2012 8:05 AM