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Win 7 installation won't let me format new hard drive

Hi all,

So I've assembled a new desktop pc with a brand new Western Digital Green 1TB SATA hard drive. BIOS detects the hard drive and I pop in the Windows 7 DVD and go through the installation process until the screen that asks where I want to install Win 7 on the hard drive.

I try to format the drive but it gives me an error saying that the drive has to be in "read-only" mode and that I need to do so. That prevents me from progressing through the installation process.

I got no idea what that means and there is no extra pc around to format the new HDD on. Obviously there is no OS installed on the drive so I can format it inside Windows. That HDD is the only hard drive connected to the pc.

Specs: AMD Phenom II 1055T, 6 GB RAM, GTX460 HAWK

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Sherrah
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about installation format hard drive
  1. Try plugging the drive into another SATA slot on the motherboard.
  2. Sherrah said:
    Obviously there is no OS installed on the drive so I can format it inside Windows. That HDD is the only hard drive connected to the pc.


    I assume that was a typo? With no OS on this drive, and no other drives installed, you should be booting off the Windows 7 disc, to do the format/install process.
  3. You're situation while trying to install (You cannot format a hard disk partition or partitions.) is described in this KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927520

    Give those steps a try. Also, there are others in the forum who ran into this problem such as the following who used the above KB to fix: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/254637-32-windows-clean-install-issue
  4. First of all, thanks for the replies.

    @soundguruman: I did try plugging the drive into all other SATA ports on the motherboard but still the problem persisted.

    @aford10: I did boot off the Win 7 DVD as you said, as I stated there was no OS installed in the first place.

    @ekoostik: Thanks for the link but the resolution suggested requires having another working OS on another separate machine which is not currently available for me.
  5. And what happened when you booted off the disc?
  6. Are there other partitions on the drive? Delete ALL partitions and try again. If that doesn't work, get yourself a zero-write utility (like DBAN) and completely wipe the drive back to factory. Windows should then be able to use the drive.
  7. @aford10: When I booted off the disc, I went through the normal installation process until it asked me where to install the OS on the hard disk. There was only one partition. When I selected it, it tells me that I cannot install OS because it is not in "read-only" mode. I cannot go further in installation process.

    @Zoron: There are no other partitions on the drive. All options are greyed out like delete drive or new partition etc.
  8. How far did you get in the format/install process? Look at the screenshots in this guide. How far did you get?
    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/operatingsystems/ss/windows-7-clean-install-part-1.htm

    You say there was 1 partition. Is that allocated, or unallocated space?
  9. Get a Windows XP SP3 CD with SATA/RAID Drivers included . Install it just for show. Make 2 partitions . After that, get your Windows 7 DVD to boot and erase all that you've installed previously ( win xp and stuff ).

    What model of mobo are you using ?
  10. Best answer
    Sherrah said:
    @ekoostik: Thanks for the link but the resolution suggested requires having another working OS on another separate machine which is not currently available for me.

    That's not what it's suggesting. The first few steps are for those who might have previously had an OS installed. You may be able to skip right to method 8. Try:

    1. Insert the Install DVD into the DVD drive.
    2. On the disk selection screen, press SHIFT+F10. A Command Prompt window opens.
    3. Type diskpart, and then press ENTER to open the diskpart tool.
    4. Type list disk, and then press ENTER. A list of available hard disks is displayed.
    5. Type sel disk number, and then press ENTER. number is the number of the hard disk that you want to clean. The hard disk is now selected.
    6. Type det disk, and then press ENTER. A list of partitions on the hard disk is displayed. Use this information to verify that the correct disk is selected.
    7. Make sure that the disk does not contain required data, type clean all, and then press ENTER to clean the disk. All the partitions and all the data on the disk is permanently removed.
    8. Type exit, and then press ENTER to close the diskpart tool.
    9. Close the Command Prompt window.
    10. Click the Refresh button to update the disk selection screen. This step lists the disk.
    11. Run Windows Setup to perform a clean installation of Windows.
  11. Best answer selected by Sherrah.
  12. Thanks alot, mate! My bad, didn't notice it was the right method for me. This definitely fixed my problem. Again, thank you very much!
  13. Guys i have the same exact problem here, i followed all your steps but after i typed clean all, and hit enter, the command prompt kind of stopped responding, it didnt freeze its just not responding to anything now what? Did it clean all? Can i now continue installing windows 7?
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