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Problems Installing Win 7 on a Wiped Hard Drive

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 11, 2012 3:47:49 PM


Let me apologize in advance for this lengthy post, but I want to provide as much info as I can:

It seems I’ve made a mess of things. Without getting into why, I used WipeDrive6 and cleaned my hard drive (Western Digital Wd1001FALS-00J Sata 3.0).

I then installed a newly purchased full version (not upgrade) of 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium. At first I had difficulty when it got to the part about creating a partition, but I somehow worked through it after a few tries. I’m not sure if it was selecting New or Format that did the trick. Anyway, it installed on what appeared to be the X drive (or partition?) which was odd, but it worked. I then added the other users and restored all my backed up files (backed up from 32-bit Vista). Things seemed to work fine. I put the computer in Hibernate and went to bed.

Upon waking the computer up from Hibernate this morning, it rebooted and I was greeted with:
Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key.

The only way I could get anywhere was to insert the installation disk, which then started up the installation process again. First I selected repair, but it said that it couldn't find an OS. I then tried a Custom installation.

I eventually got to the same point I had reached last night (which I somehow worked through) where I was greeted with: Disk 0 Unallocated space 931.5GB, 931.5 Free.

From there, the options are Refresh, Delete, Format, New, Load Driver, Extend[/i]. Nothing seems to work. When I select New, I get this error message: Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer’s hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure the disk’s controller is enabled in the computer’s BIOS menu.

When I select Load Driver, it can’t find the driver it’s looking for. This is a 4-year old home build. I don’t have the original driver disk for the hard drive or motherboard.

Using my laptop I tried to find the drivers I need on Western Digital’s website, but surprisingly am having a difficult time finding them.

I downloaded a bunch of drivers for the motherboard (Asus P5Q Deluxe), including BIOS, chipset, audio, SATA and burned them onto a CD. When I put the CD into my desktop and select Load Driver and Browse to try to install them, it doesn’t recognize anything or do anything. I should add, that the files most of the downloads are applications, not just driver files. I don't see an option to just download a file.

My guess is that I need to reformat the hard drive before reinstalling the OS, but again, it seems impossible to find the drivers for this model of hard drive.

Should I purchase some connectors and somehow connect the internal hard drive to my laptop? Should I just buy a new hard drive, install the OS, then try to format and use the old hard drive as a backup?

I should add that prior to reformatting the hard drive, I had both 32-bit Vista and then 64-bit Windows 8 Pro working on this same desktop (same hard drive). I’m at wits end, and though I built this PC four years ago, I’ve forgotten a lot and am really just an intermediate user. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. -Rich
December 11, 2012 4:14:45 PM

The only thing i could think of is getting a hard drive caddy for your hard drive, and plug it into your laptop. from there, try and reformat it in windows. if it doesn't show up try going into "administrative tools" under control panel and then select "computer management", select "disk management" under storage and see if it shows up there, if it does, try and format it from there. make sure it has a drive letter as well.
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December 11, 2012 4:24:17 PM

You won't find a driver for HDD because there are no such drivers.

Windows 7 doesn't need any additional drivers for this mainboard to successfully complete the installation.

What is weird is that the OS installation vanished overnight. Was there any more errors involved?

Go to BIOS, storage configuration and set configure sata as to AHCI. See if that helps. First let it try to boot windows normally. If it fails retry the installation. Do a custom install and format the drive (in the installer) first.
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Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 4:42:15 PM

It depends on what you did with the drive, if it was partitioned, when you got to the bit in windows 7 setup it should of shown Disk 0 system /partition 1 and a third smaller one of about 100mb,that the install of windows 7 from dvd makes and uses to complete the install.
The default system or OS partition should be C: How ever yours is :X.
You will need to go into your bios and make sure the Partition or drive letter is set to the top of the boot device list. The bios should list the one drive as two,or three since it was partitioned. just send the X drive lettter to the top of the boot list and save before exit. If the drive is a Usb external drive set it to boot from usb first in the boot device list if the option exists, make sure Usb legacy mode is enabled in the bios also, and that usb 2.0 mode is also enabled in the bios.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 4:42:30 PM

- in the middle of your motherboard is a Lithium cell battery, it backs up your BIOS configuration. It might be dead or almost dead. If this is the case your cmos config info will be lost after a full power down. (system BIOS will revert to coded defaults after power loss)

- the only update you can do to your drive would be a firmware update
- the drivers you would need to use your drive would be the SATA drivers for your
motherboard sata controller (marvell I think) or Raid controller (from intel)

- your motherboard has a SATA 2 controller that runs at GB/s and a Intel raid controller. If you added a SATA 3.0 controller you will need to use its drivers during the install.
- installing on drive x, this would indicate you did not delete partition from a drive that was set up as a data drive.

What I would do.
1. enter BIOS set ide mode to ACHI, power off the machine with power switch, power on and check to see the BIOS is still correctly set to ACHI. if it is not you have to replace the battery. (even if it is ok, the battery may still be weak)

2. make sure the drive is connected to a SATA 2 port, Not to a RAID port, not to a SATA 3.0 add on card

3. boot your windows install disk, get to the advanced options and delete all partitions on the drive then create a new Primary partition. Format the partition with your filesystem (most likely ntfs) do a full format not a quick format if you have a option and the drive is a used drive.

4. after the full format, you can install the OS as you normally would.

errors: if there is damage to certain locations on your drive, you might get a error but
we can deal with that if it comes up.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 4:49:45 PM

Hi,

If all that fails it means the drive is probably failing.

Install it on another computer and download Hard disk sentinel trial for a health report.

Good luck
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December 11, 2012 4:53:00 PM

The new Windows install creates a virtual drive "X" during the installation.
It uses this to decompress the install files - but the drive will not (does not) persist.
Typically Win7 grabs 100MB for itself, unmarked and assigned no letter, which it calls a system partition on the new blank harddisk.
You can then use 100% of the remainder (simple) or divide into for example 2 x 500GB (advanced).
But (as mentioned) it's funny the drive is not recognised during the install...
It's like 10 years ago, when you needed to press F6 and supply SATA drivers to install to SATA drive (when only IDE had native support).
But LoL, your motherboard is not old is it?
You know, Win8 may have written a hidden system partition that is resisting your attempt to do what it perceives as a downgrade...?
This of course assumes your HD is properly detected and set up in BIOS.
Yes, as mentioned AHCI is used mostly these days on new mobo's with new (SATA3) or solid-state drives.
Choose carefully because a HD that was not formatted in AHCI mode, instead formatted while in IDE mode, can never be attached.
You cannot select AHCI for certain SATA connections and IDE for others - it's all or nothing.
I believe you should purchase a ~128GB Solid State drive for your OS.
Then, you would have a 1000GB storage drive.
However, Windows will not install on the SSD until it can first put that 100MB hidden (System) partition on your WD 1000GB drive.
I believe your WD may be not "factory fresh" and still has partitions on it...
Perhaps created by Win8?
Something going on anyway... (and no drivers to download will help).
Regards
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December 11, 2012 4:56:03 PM

Bejusek said:
You won't find a driver for HDD because there are no such drivers.

Windows 7 doesn't need any additional drivers for this mainboard to successfully complete the installation.

What is weird is that the OS installation vanished overnight. Was there any more errors involved?

Go to BIOS, storage configuration and set configure sata as to AHCI. See if that helps. First let it try to boot windows normally. If it fails retry the installation. Do a custom install and format the drive (in the installer) first.



No wonder I couldn't find the HDD drivers.

Anyway, I just followed your advice above. First reboot was unsuccessful. Then went to custom installation. When I get to "Where do you want to install Windows?" the Format option is not selectable. Only Refresh, Load Drive and New are. I tried New, but it eventually came back with "Failed to create new partition" The one thing I find interesting is that it's only showing 931.5GB as being free. It's a 1TB hard drive. I presume that's all my files taking up that space.

You asked about other errors in the previous installation. The other obstacle I encountered was that I created the other user accounts after Restoring files from the backup I had created in Vista. My account was fine and all my files where there. But when I went into the other accounts, no files were visible from the Start menu. Using File Manager, I found there were now duplicate accounts for the other users. Accessing user "Jodi" from File Manager for example, everything was where it should be. But there was another user named Jodi.FirstBuild (the name of my computer) and no files were there. I moved a sample doc from Jodi into Jodi.FirstBuild and it was then visible from the Start menu. So I moved all the files into the corresponding folders from Jodi to Jodi.FirstBuild and did the same for the other users. After doing that, everyone's files were accessible from their Start menus and everything worked fine.

Is there another way I can format this drive first? I mean without the interesting idea of buying a caddy and connecting it to my laptop.
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December 11, 2012 5:28:02 PM

Ok, here are some answers to some of the things raised:

It appears the HDD was not partitioned. During Install, you don't see one listed and therefore Delete option is not selectable.

BIOS shows the HDD listed once -- with no drive letter that I can see. It is still correctly set to ACHI after powering down and then powering up.

I've tried booting with HDD listed first and CD-Rom listed first. Same results.

Drive is not connected to a Raid port and I don't have an add-on Sata 3.0 card.

I used Wipe Drive 6 before installing Win 7. Win 8 files wouldn't have survived that, would they?

Motherboard is Asus P5Q Deluxe. Four years old. At this point I'm thinking I should just get a new hard drive. Should I get Sata 3.0 drive like I have now, or can I go with Sata 6.0?
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 6:44:59 PM

Hi

before replacing your hard disk you need to test it using software provided by the manufacturer
you mentioned WD so I assume it is a WD hard disk
they produce a ISO image of a dos floppy disk which you burn to a bootable CD
one of the easiest software utilities to use to burn a ISO to CD is ImgBurn

Unfortunately this WD software does not like modern PC's with large amounts of RAM so if it fails try the Seagate version.

If the PC had any modern Windows installed you could use the WD Windows Hard Disk diagnostics

These products also have the option to clear the partition cylinder or whole hard disk so you can be sure all partitions have vanished before a fresh install of Windows

Hard disks contents vanishing is a symptom of a failing hard disk

best of luck
Mike Barnes
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December 11, 2012 7:25:55 PM

Maybe this has already been said?

If Delete is not click-able, on the partition screen then there is no partition to begin with and the entire drive was unallocated space.

When installing Windows 7, when selecting where to install, you:

1. have to create a new partition using NEW
2. format it using FORMAT.

If the above 2 things work successfully, then the drive shouldn't disappear, unless its going on the fritz...

Technically, using the WipeDrive6 would be redundant, because when you install windows, you can delete the partition that was there, create a new one, and then format it, (i.e. the steps above :)  ) and it would be the same as wiping the drive.

But WipeDrive did work, because when you went to install it was all unallocated space.

Maybe I'm a little dense, but every time I come to the partition screen for the Windows 7 install, it always buffaloes me and I have to concentrate to get the steps right! HA!

Dry
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December 11, 2012 7:44:22 PM

DryCreamer said:
Maybe this has already been said?

If Delete is not click-able, on the partition screen then there is no partition to begin with and the entire drive was unallocated space.

When installing Windows 7, when selecting where to install, you:

1. have to create a new partition using NEW
2. format it using FORMAT.

If the above 2 things work successfully, then the drive shouldn't disappear, unless its going on the fritz...

Technically, using the WipeDrive6 would be redundant, because when you install windows, you can delete the partition that was there, create a new one, and then format it, (i.e. the steps above :)  ) and it would be the same as wiping the drive.

But WipeDrive did work, because when you went to install it was all unallocated space.

Maybe I'm a little dense, but every time I come to the partition screen for the Windows 7 install, it always buffaloes me and I have to concentrate to get the steps right! HA!

Dry


Yes, that was the conclusion I came to, that there is no partition to delete because none was created.

I followed the installation procedures you noted. When I select New, then Apply (using default size), I eventually receive the error message "Failed to create new partition." I never get to the point where I can format.

Someone else correctly pointed out that using Wipe Drive was redundant, since Windows can reformat during installation. The reason I did the Wipe Drive is because I had Windows 8 Pro on the system. Long story short, it locked up on me. Since my wife hated it anyway, I decided to go with Windows 7 using a full version, not upgrade. However, Windows 8 would not let me install Windows 7 even when I booted up directly to the Win 7 installation disk. Out of frustration and concern over Win 8 files messing things up, I decided to wipe the drive.

I'm at a point right now where I'm thinking of rebuilding the whole system: new motherboard, CPU, and hard drive. I'll likely check out some of Tom's other forums for recommendations. Thanks so much everyone for your help. -Rich
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December 12, 2012 11:13:37 AM

There is no need to completely rebuild the system.

Do as suggested - test your HDD for errors to eliminate the possiblity of mainboard being faulty.
Download and burn to CD the Ultimatebootcd:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

Run the DLG Diagnostic (Western Digital) tool to check your HDD.
There are plenty of useful tools there, including tools for partition management, which you can use to verify is there really is no partition on the drive or try to reformat it.

Btw. your HDD is advertised to be 1TB but in fact it has 1 000 000 000 000 bytes what equals to 931.322575 gigabytes. It's a common practice on HDD market.
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December 12, 2012 11:42:40 AM

Bejusek said:
There is no need to completely rebuild the system.

Do as suggested - test your HDD for errors to eliminate the possiblity of mainboard being faulty.
Download and burn to CD the Ultimatebootcd:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

Run the DLG Diagnostic (Western Digital) tool to check your HDD.
There are plenty of useful tools there, including tools for partition management, which you can use to verify is there really is no partition on the drive or try to reformat it.

Btw. your HDD is advertised to be 1TB but in fact it has 1 000 000 000 000 bytes what equals to 931.322575 gigabytes. It's a common practice on HDD market.


I really appreciate the help. Very practical suggestions. Thanks!
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a b $ Windows 7
December 12, 2012 3:36:29 PM

if you are still looking for more ideas:

- Confirm the drive has power and is spinning, listen for heads moving, and retract when power is cut.
- Change the SATA port
- Change the SATA cable
- Confirm that your BIOS does not have a write protect feature that is turned on
- Confirm that your Hard drive does not have a write protect jumper enabled

maybe reflash BIOS or reset to defaults
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December 12, 2012 9:29:01 PM

Wanted to let you guys know I decided to go ahead and upgrade my system. The main reason I upgraded my OS was to add more memory. But it turns out that DDR2 is so expensive that for what I would spend on DDR2 RAM, I could buy a new motherboard and DDR3 RAM.

Well seeing as how I was planning to upgrade sometime next year anyway -- this build is now 4 years old -- I decided to bite the bullet and do it now. I figured after everything is up and running (on the new HDD), I'll install the old HDD (with new cables) and run the DLG Diagnostic on it. If it turns out to be okay, I'll format it and use it as an internal backup.

These components are on the way:

- Intel Core i5 3570 CPU

- ASRock z77 Extreme 4 motherboard

- Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD

- Cooler Master 212 EVO CPU cooler

- G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 SDRAM

I have a couple of questions (which I should probably post elsewhere) regarding the 32-bit Vista backup which I will use to restore my files on my new Windows 7 64-bit system.

(1) Is there anything I need to do to make sure my Windows settings don't get messed up when I use that Vista backup to restore my files?

(2) There are four user accounts on the backup. I should create the user accounts on Win-7 before running Restore, right?
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December 13, 2012 12:34:55 AM

Hey everyone on here, i would have LOVED to not make myself look like an ass by asking a question on someone elses thread, but Toms Hardware is being an ass and will NOT let me post a very dire question. My copy of Windows 7 came with my Prebuilt iBuyPower desktop, and since it came with it i tried reinstalling it after wiping my rive due to errors and OOPS...No Validation Key. How do i fix this, possibly without having to dish out 100 USD for a copy of the same OS? Anyone who gives me a straight up answer i can use is a SAINT, because my computer is about to not work anymore x( THANKS!
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a b $ Windows 7
December 13, 2012 8:02:04 PM

Hi


If you are re installing Windows on the same PC there is usually no problem

If a Manufacturers OEM Windows 7 they are usually pre activated and do not use the key on the Windows label on the PC.

If a Microsoft Hologrammed Windows DVD you need the key on the Windows label to activate on line or by telephone

Before you did the Windows re install it would be easy to find the Windows key using various utilities
(Nirsoft Produkey - Keyfinder - System Info 4 Windows ...)

You have a short time to use this PC before Windows 7 stops working (no longer lets you login);
you may be able to re arm the count down timer (use Google)

If the company which made the BuyPower is still around they may be able to help you

Getting a Windows 7 DVD or ISO is easy getting a legal key will cost money if you do not have the Windows key label

regards

Mike Barnes
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