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Setup cannot find or create a system parititon error

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Last response: in Windows 7
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March 27, 2011 11:06:57 AM

After 8 long years I've finally upgraded my wheezy old pc, and now am drooling to play with this beastly new machine I've just assembled. My system specs should be in my sig below.

But after 12 long hours of trying to install windows 7 pro, I'm more kinds of frustrated than there are words for.

All over the net are forum posts specifically about this, but nothing that precisely mirrors my situation, and I hope someone here can help.

As in the topic title, I'm up against the "setup cannot find or create a system partition" error. My machine has a single 2 TB Hitachi Sata 3 hard drive, so there is no raid to muck things up, which seems to have been the primary cause of everyone elses troubles with this error. Using my old rig, I partitioned the new drive and transferred all the data from the old drives, leaving the first 75 GB partition empty and waiting for windows 7.


Then "the troubles" began. Research ensued.

First thing I tried was to load updated sata 3 drivers from the mobo install disk. No help.
Then I tried downloading the latest drivers from Asus and loading them from a flash drive during installation. No dice.
Then I tried changing bios settings from Sata to IDE. No dice.
Tried all of the above again with minor tweaks. No dice. Grrrr.

Using the setup tools, I deleted that first partition and tried to make it again but setup gives me the title error.
Well, of course I need that partition back so after some more research, I downloaded gparted, booted it up, but the video output is messed up and impossible to read.

Then I slept for 6 hours. :p 

I woke up, tenacious and desperate, and figured I'd try diskpart (well above my paygrade) to make the first partition active and/or primary. Diskpart won't allow it.
Then really REALLY desperate, I dissassembled my new system, plonked the old system back into the case, booted up into winxp off the old hard drive and with Easus partition manager and tried the same thing as with diskpart, but with the same results. No dice.
Then, clearly somewhat crazy at this point, I put the new machine back in the case and tried ALL OF THE ABOVE AGAIN. No dice.

So now here I am on the old wheezy PC begging you all for some heeeellllp.


I should mention one last thing which might be relevant. Upon boot, POST sees the hard drive, but its not detected in bios. I don't know whether this is a hard drive problem, a mobo problem, a configuration problem, or completely normal for my gear. In any case, windows setup lists all the partitions.

Please, please, help me get installed!

Thanks,
Jay
March 27, 2011 11:10:44 AM

Whoops, my sig didn't come through, so here are my simple system specs.

cpu: i7-950
mobo: Sabertooth x58
ram: 24 gb
vid: pny gtx-480
hd: HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 2TB
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a b $ Windows 7
March 27, 2011 11:16:15 AM

It sounds as if you have manually partitioned the disk, leaving no unallocated space. This is not the best way to install Windows 7. Windows 7 creates a small partition (about 100Mb) as well as the System partition. It may be that you have not left room for this extra partition and that is what is causing your problem.

I would recommend that you delete the partition that you have created for the OS and on installation tell Windows to use all unallocated space. Also, make sure that you have a maximum of two primary partitions in addition to the unallocated space (else Windows won't be able to create another two).

Actually, for the easiest install, I would suggest that you started with a totally blank, unpartitioned disk, but that isn't essential.
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March 27, 2011 11:47:29 AM

Alright, I'll try to leave about 600 GB of unallocated space in the front of the drive and see what happens. I tried this using a 100GB unallocated chunk o drive, but maybe the 600 will work. Crossing fingers in three... two...
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a b $ Windows 7
March 27, 2011 12:16:22 PM

100GB should be fine. How many other partitions do you have?
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March 27, 2011 3:02:41 PM

ijack, "Jay Ray" here.

Your suggestion worked!

Windows wanted, but was too coy to ask for, a larger partition. :whistle: 

To clarify, my original partition was 75 GB, not 100 as I stated.

So, to install 64 bit windows 7, set wants an unallocated space somewhere between 75 GB and 580 GB. :D 

Thank you!
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