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Can't install Windows 7 on partition

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 30, 2011 7:34:23 PM


I've just built a new computer, and, because I can't afford a new HD as well right now, I'm trying to use a 600GB SATA drive from my old computer as the boot drive for the new one. Specifically, I have a 100GB empty partition at the beginning of the HD, and a 500GB partition with data on it that I want to keep. I set up the HD in this fashion in Windows XP with Partition Magic.

The new build went perfectly fine, but, when I go to install Windows 7 on the 100GB partition of the HD I described, I get an error message saying that Windows can't locate a partition or create a new one. Both partitions show up just fine, and I am able to select the 100GB partition, but can't proceed any farther.

Initially, I had two HDs connected, and the other hard drive kept showing up as disk 0, even if I swapped the SATA connections, so I tried switching the order in BIOS, and then I just disconnected the other disk for now. So the 600GB drive, of course, is now showing as disk 0 with the 100GB partition as partition 1. But I still get the same error message.

Also, I disconnected everything I could disconnect, including everything USB, even the mouse. Still the same problem.

I'd really like to get this to work, but I'd also like to save the data I have on the 500GB partition. I don't have any space elsewhere to copy it to, so I'd like to avoid any options that would involve reformatting the entire drive. I realize, for example, that I could use DISKPART and CLEAN if all else fails, but I don't want to lose the data.

Also, the drive was used for storage on my old computer, so it never had an OS install on it.

Anyone have any suggestions as to how I could get this to work? I can't afford a new HD right now on top of the new build, and I really need to keep the data on the drive.

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a b $ Windows 7
December 30, 2011 11:08:10 PM

The 100GB partition must be the first partition on the HDD, and it needs to be a Primary (not Logical) Partition, and set to Active. If you cannot load W7, you may want to verify the partition settings so it can accept the OS.
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December 31, 2011 2:49:39 AM

Best answer selected by fractl.
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December 31, 2011 2:58:48 AM

treefrog07 said:
The 100GB partition must be the first partition on the HDD, and it needs to be a Primary (not Logical) Partition, and set to Active. If you cannot load W7, you may want to verify the partition settings so it can accept the OS.


Thanks for the help. I was afraid to set the drive to active since I was preparing it in my old computer and didn't know what would happen if I had two drives set as active simultaneously. I was thinking that maybe a reboot would be required, meaning that I wouldn't be able to avoid having two active drives at once during a reboot (while not knowing if this would confuse the OS).

But I gave it try, and was happy to find that a reboot wasn't required, meaning that I could just shut my computer down and remove the drive, install it in my new build, then still be able to reboot the old computer with only one active drive if I still needed it. So, whether there would have been a problem or not, I didn't even have to risk it.

I guess I was being overcautious, but I didn't want to lose any data. But your comment gave me the courage to go ahead and try setting the drive to active, and all was well from then onward.

Thanks again.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 31, 2011 3:05:40 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr.
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