Win7 install error: Unable to locate an existsing partition


B

Bob

Attempting to install Win7 via boot-from-CD to a pre-formatted,
pre-partitioned drive (100GB alloc'd for C:). I get to the partition
selection page, the installer does see the partition, but then
selecting it and attempting install yields the error:

"Set was unable to create a new system partition or locate an
existing system partition."

(I've also seen "Windows is unable to install to the selected
partition")

Error ID: 0x80300001

The drive was originally partitioned and formatted on another Win7
system, so it should not be a matter of compatibility. Still, I
thought I'd try deleting, then recreating the partition from the
installer page. It deleted, but the attempt to recreate yielded:

"Failed to create a new partition"

I've done a few installs of Win7 via CD before without hitches. Any
ideas?

Also, does Win7 absolutely need a primary partition as its boot
partition? I don't remember the format of the existing drive, but I
thought I had installed to an extended/logical in the past.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Bob.

It's not Windows that requires the primary partition. It's the startup
process for the computer BEFORE it gets to the point of selecting which
operating system to run. Windows itself can be in a logical drive, but the
startup process to FIND that drive MUST begin in a primary partition.

At the very primitive stage when the BIOS hands off control to the Master
Boot Record, the system does not yet know about partitions and such. All it
knows is to look to the first physical sector on whichever HDD is currently
set in the BIOS as the boot device. This must be a primary partition, not a
logical drive. In other words, it must be one of the FOUR (or fewer)
partitions listed in the Partition Table on that first physical sector,
along with the MBR (Master Boot Record) code - and that partition entry must
be coded as the Active (bootable) partition for that disk.

Once it has found that MBR, it goes to that startup partition and reads the
first physical sector there, the "boot sector", which points to either
WinXP's NTLDR (and NTDETECT.COM and Boot .ini) or Win7's "bootmgr", which
finds the BCD (Boot Configuration Data) and uses that to find Win7's
\Windows folder, with all the many GB of OS files.

The \Windows folder - counterintuitively called the "boot folder" - can be
on any volume (primary partition or logical drive in an extended partition)
on any HDD in the computer. But the few startup files MUST be in the Active
primary partition on the currently-designated boot device.

For years, I've been pointing users to the instructions in KB314470,
Definitions for system volume and boot volume. Recent changes have made
that KB obsolete, but I don't know a better official site. If you can find
the book, Windows 7 Inside Out, by Ed Bott and others, check out this
paragraph on page 900:
"Active partition, boot partition, and system partition The active partition
is
the one from which an x86-based computer starts after you power it up. The
first physical hard disk attached to the system (Disk 0) must include an
active
partition. The boot partition is the partition where the Windows system
files are
located. The system partition is the partition that contains the bootstrap
files that
Windows uses to start your system and display the boot menu."

Ever since it first appeared in Windows 2000 over 10 years ago, Disk
Management (diskmgmt.msc) is the tool to use to create, format and otherwise
manage hard disks. It has a detailed Help file that explains disk concepts.
It is arranged as a reference, not a tutorial, so we can't just read it like
a text book, but a few hours invested in studying this reference will pay
dividends for as long as you use Windows.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Bob" wrote in message
Attempting to install Win7 via boot-from-CD to a pre-formatted,
pre-partitioned drive (100GB alloc'd for C:). I get to the partition
selection page, the installer does see the partition, but then
selecting it and attempting install yields the error:

"Set was unable to create a new system partition or locate an
existing system partition."

(I've also seen "Windows is unable to install to the selected
partition")

Error ID: 0x80300001

The drive was originally partitioned and formatted on another Win7
system, so it should not be a matter of compatibility. Still, I
thought I'd try deleting, then recreating the partition from the
installer page. It deleted, but the attempt to recreate yielded:

"Failed to create a new partition"

I've done a few installs of Win7 via CD before without hitches. Any
ideas?

Also, does Win7 absolutely need a primary partition as its boot
partition? I don't remember the format of the existing drive, but I
thought I had installed to an extended/logical in the past.
 
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B

Boris

Hi, Bob.

It's not Windows that requires the primary partition. It's the
startup process for the computer BEFORE it gets to the point of
selecting which operating system to run. Windows itself can be in a
logical drive, but the startup process to FIND that drive MUST begin
in a primary partition.

At the very primitive stage when the BIOS hands off control to the
Master Boot Record, the system does not yet know about partitions and
such. All it knows is to look to the first physical sector on
whichever HDD is currently set in the BIOS as the boot device. This
must be a primary partition, not a logical drive. In other words, it
must be one of the FOUR (or fewer) partitions listed in the Partition
Table on that first physical sector, along with the MBR (Master Boot
Record) code - and that partition entry must be coded as the Active
(bootable) partition for that disk.

Once it has found that MBR, it goes to that startup partition and
reads the first physical sector there, the "boot sector", which points
to either WinXP's NTLDR (and NTDETECT.COM and Boot .ini) or Win7's
"bootmgr", which finds the BCD (Boot Configuration Data) and uses that
to find Win7's \Windows folder, with all the many GB of OS files.

The \Windows folder - counterintuitively called the "boot folder" -
can be on any volume (primary partition or logical drive in an
extended partition) on any HDD in the computer. But the few startup
files MUST be in the Active primary partition on the
currently-designated boot device.

For years, I've been pointing users to the instructions in KB314470,
Definitions for system volume and boot volume. Recent changes have
made that KB obsolete, but I don't know a better official site. If
you can find the book, Windows 7 Inside Out, by Ed Bott and others,
check out this paragraph on page 900:
"Active partition, boot partition, and system partition The active
partition is
the one from which an x86-based computer starts after you power it up.
The first physical hard disk attached to the system (Disk 0) must
include an active
partition. The boot partition is the partition where the Windows
system files are
located. The system partition is the partition that contains the
bootstrap files that
Windows uses to start your system and display the boot menu."

Ever since it first appeared in Windows 2000 over 10 years ago, Disk
Management (diskmgmt.msc) is the tool to use to create, format and
otherwise manage hard disks. It has a detailed Help file that
explains disk concepts. It is arranged as a reference, not a tutorial,
so we can't just read it like a text book, but a few hours invested in
studying this reference will pay dividends for as long as you use
Windows.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Bob" wrote in message

Attempting to install Win7 via boot-from-CD to a pre-formatted,
pre-partitioned drive (100GB alloc'd for C:). I get to the partition
selection page, the installer does see the partition, but then
selecting it and attempting install yields the error:

"Set was unable to create a new system partition or locate an
existing system partition."

(I've also seen "Windows is unable to install to the selected
partition")

Error ID: 0x80300001

The drive was originally partitioned and formatted on another Win7
system, so it should not be a matter of compatibility. Still, I
thought I'd try deleting, then recreating the partition from the
installer page. It deleted, but the attempt to recreate yielded:

"Failed to create a new partition"

I've done a few installs of Win7 via CD before without hitches. Any
ideas?

Also, does Win7 absolutely need a primary partition as its boot
partition? I don't remember the format of the existing drive, but I
thought I had installed to an extended/logical in the past.
Hey RC, thanks for this. I've never felt very comfortable about my (even
skimpy) understanding of the interplay between these functions. Your
description is the clearest explanation I've ever read. It's a keeper.
 
B

Bob

Hi, Bob.

It's not Windows that requires the primary partition. It's the startup
process for the computer BEFORE it gets to the point of selecting which
operating system to run. Windows itself can be in a logical drive, but the
startup process to FIND that drive MUST begin in a primary partition.
Very informative, RC! That makes sense of this, and a couple other
problems that I've seen over the years. In the case of the CD-based
Windows 7 installer, the CD has obviously booted already, but maybe
it's just trying to say that it can't find an appropriate partition.
It would have been nice to have a more expliticit error message to
that effect.
 
B

Bob

Hi, Bob.

It's not Windows that requires the primary partition. It's the startup
process for the computer BEFORE it gets to the point of selecting which
operating system to run. Windows itself can be in a logical drive, but the
startup process to FIND that drive MUST begin in a primary partition.
PS: I don't suppose that there is any way to turn the first partition
into a primary? The E: partition is large, and loaded with data. I
didn't want to go through the backup-restore process if not necessary.

I had Acronis-imaged C: (XP Pro) and D: (XP MC) from the previous
working system, so I presume that C: must have been a primary. I'm
wondering if simply restoring the old C: and D: will set up the
partitions adequately for a subsequent clean install of Win7 to C:
That would theoretically allow the E: partition to maintain its data.

Think that would work?
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Bob.
PS: I don't suppose that there is any way to turn the first partition into
a primary?
Sorry, that's just not the way it works. :>( I've never tried to do that,
but I don't see how it could work.

We often ask users to tell us (A) where are you now and (C) where do you
want to end up; then we can help you figure out (B) how to get from A to C.
You've told us A and some of B, but I don't yet know about C: Do you want a
dual-boot or triple-boot system with Win7 and WinXP (Pro and/or MC)? Or do
you want to end up with only Win7?

The Golden Rule of creating a multi-boot system is to install the NEWEST OS
LAST. That means, in your case, that you need to make sure that WinXP is
booting and running properly first. Then boot from the Win7 DVD (Win7 is
much too large for a CD!) and follow the prompts to add Win7 to the existing
system.
I had Acronis-imaged C: (XP Pro) and D: (XP MC) from the previous working
system, so I presume that C: must have been a primary.
I've never used Acronis (though I've heard good things about it) or other
imaging program, but I think you are right.
I'm wondering if simply restoring the old C: and D: will set up the
partitions adequately for a subsequent clean install of Win7 to C: That
would theoretically allow the E: partition to maintain its data.
That sounds to me like your best plan. Then decide what you want your final
configuration to be: Win7 only? Multi-boot? Upgrade from WinXP to Win7 is
not a straightforward path and I haven't done it (I ran Vista before Win7),
but if that is what you want to do, tell us and someone here can tell you
how to get there from here.

Before upgrading, use WET (Windows Easy Transfer) on your OLD system to save
your settings from your WinXP to a folder on your Drive E: - which will also
be accessible from Win7 after the installation. After the upgrade, run WET
again from Win7 to import all that from the folder on E:. WET won't save
Everything - you'll still need to re-install all your apps so that they can
create the entries they need in Win7's Registry - but it will make the
transition much easier.
The E: partition is large, and loaded with data. I didn't want to go
through the backup-restore process if not necessary.
You should not lose any data, but you may need to have your re-installed
Word and other apps browse to find their documents the first time you use
them.

You haven't given us any numbers, Bob. Many of us remember when 20 MB (yes,
MB!) was a "large" HDD. But Win7 is much larger than WinXP. Once you've
run WET from WinXP, you might want to delete Drives C: and D: (you'll still
have their images, right?) and let Win7 Setup create a new Drive C: using
all that vacated space from both those partitions. Since you've installed
Win7 before, you know what a space-hog it is, both on installation and as it
grows as we use it.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Bob" wrote in message
Hi, Bob.

It's not Windows that requires the primary partition. It's the startup
process for the computer BEFORE it gets to the point of selecting which
operating system to run. Windows itself can be in a logical drive, but the
startup process to FIND that drive MUST begin in a primary partition.
PS: I don't suppose that there is any way to turn the first partition
into a primary? The E: partition is large, and loaded with data. I
didn't want to go through the backup-restore process if not necessary.

I had Acronis-imaged C: (XP Pro) and D: (XP MC) from the previous
working system, so I presume that C: must have been a primary. I'm
wondering if simply restoring the old C: and D: will set up the
partitions adequately for a subsequent clean install of Win7 to C:
That would theoretically allow the E: partition to maintain its data.

Think that would work?
 
B

Bob

Hi, Bob.


Sorry, that's just not the way it works. :>( I've never tried to do that,
but I don't see how it could work.

We often ask users to tell us (A) where are you now and (C) where do you
want to end up; then we can help you figure out (B) how to get from A to C.
You've told us A and some of B, but I don't yet know about C: Do you want a
dual-boot or triple-boot system with Win7 and WinXP (Pro and/or MC)? Or do
you want to end up with only Win7?
Goal is Win7 on C:, XP on D:.

I had XP Pro on C:, and XP Media Center on D:. Somewhere along the
line, the C: XP Pro partition got whacked, but the D: XP MC partition
still boots. Since I need more drive space, I imaged C: and D:, and
formatted a new drive. I thought I'd restore the partitions to C: and
D: just to make sure the partition tables and boot info were correct.
Then boot the Win7 DVD (yes, I'm in the habit of calling them CD's) to
do the install to C:
The Golden Rule of creating a multi-boot system is to install the NEWEST OS
LAST. That means, in your case, that you need to make sure that WinXP is
booting and running properly first. Then boot from the Win7 DVD (Win7 is
much too large for a CD!) and follow the prompts to add Win7 to the existing
system.
Yes, that's what I've always done before.
I've never used Acronis (though I've heard good things about it) or other
imaging program, but I think you are right.
I'll remount the drive later and double-check. I could have sworn that
I got systems running using only extended-logical, but apparently
that's not correct.
That sounds to me like your best plan. Then decide what you want your final
configuration to be: Win7 only? Multi-boot? Upgrade from WinXP to Win7 is
not a straightforward path and I haven't done it (I ran Vista before Win7),
but if that is what you want to do, tell us and someone here can tell you
how to get there from here.

Before upgrading, use WET (Windows Easy Transfer) on your OLD system to save
your settings from your WinXP to a folder on your Drive E: - which will also
be accessible from Win7 after the installation. After the upgrade, run WET
Thanks, I will take note of that for the future. In this case I don't
want to risk upgrading the old XP Pro, as I'd prefer to have a clean
install of Win7. It will be messy soon enough anyway.
You should not lose any data, but you may need to have your re-installed
Word and other apps browse to find their documents the first time you use
them.
That's what I was trying to ask above. The current drive is
partitioned as one large extended, with logical C: D: E:. If it's
necessary to turn C: into a primary, I'd need to repartition the whole
thing, right?
You haven't given us any numbers, Bob. Many of us remember when 20 MB (yes,
MB!) was a "large" HDD. But Win7 is much larger than WinXP. Once you've
run WET from WinXP, you might want to delete Drives C: and D: (you'll still
have their images, right?) and let Win7 Setup create a new Drive C: using
all that vacated space from both those partitions. Since you've installed
Win7 before, you know what a space-hog it is, both on installation and as it
grows as we use it.

RC
The new drive is 1TB, with roughly 100GB for C:, 100GB for D:. I've
run Win7 in that size partition before, but if you think it should be
increased, I'm listening.

Thanks, RC.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Bob.

First a long but slight digression:
In 1998, I was still running Win95 when I got a HUMONGOUS new HDD: an IBM
with 9 GB of space! Win95 and FAT(16) couldn't handle a partition larger
than 2 GB, so I had to divide that big drive into 4 partitions of 2 GB each,
plus a 5th one for the leftover 700 MB. (Let's don't get hung up on the
differences between marketing sizes and actual HDD capacities, OK? These
numbers are approximate. <g>) That's when I started using the extended
partition with logical drives, and I still use the same basic pattern today.
I created a single primary partition of 700 MB at the start of the HDD,
followed by an 8 GB extended partition. I installed Win95 into the primary
partition, which became C:, and divided the extended partition into 4
logical drives of 2 GB each. Drive D: was for Apps; E: was Data; F: was
Archives and G: Other. Then I got WinNT 4.0, my first exposure to NT, and
installed it as a dual-boot with Win95. Soon after that, Win98 arrived and
I updated from Win95 to a Win98/NT4 dual-boot. But WinNT4 could not use
FAT32, so I had to keep using FAT(16). Wasn't long until 9 TB started to
seem small, so I moved up to bigger and bigger HDDs. Had to keep Drive C:
small and FAT(16) for compatibility until Win2K came along, followed by
WinXP, Vista and Win7. Starting with Win2K, I have become very familiar
with Disk Management, too. ;<)

Even now, with a mirrored pair of 1 TB HDDs, plus a 200 GB and a 300 GB, I
still keep the same basic pattern on each disk: first a small primary
partition (set Active so that it can become a System Partition and be used
to boot the computer when I want or need to), followed by an extended
partition covering the rest of the disk. The extended partition is divided
into multiple logical drives, which I can expand or shrink or delete and
re-create as I need them, all without disturbing the small system partition.
This worked very well during the several years when I helped to beta-test
Vista and other OSes. As each build arrived, I would create a new logical
drive and install the new build there. After the later build was installed,
I could simply delete the partition that held the prior version and reuse
that space. I could even use the old Xcopy.exe to move entire boot volumes
from drive to drive, even on different disks, and still run the OS from its
new location. And I learned to NOT get hung up on "drive" letters; Windows
does not really use them except to communicate with us humans - it uses Disk
numbers, starting with zero, and Partition numbers, starting with one on
each disk. So I always give each volume a name - a label - which gets
written to the disk and does not change when I reconfigure my hardware.
Windows does not care if it runs from C:\Windows or X:\Windows; we humans
may get confused, but Windows does not.


With that digression out of the way, Bob, let's return to your current
dilemma. ONE way (of several) to solve your problem might be to shrink your
Drive E: by about 100 GB. Then you can shrink the extended partition that
holds C:, D: and E: by that same 100 GB, leaving room to create 1, 2 or 3
new partitions in that space following the extended partition. Create a new
primary partition of 100 GB there and mark it Active. So long as it is a
primary partition in the Partition Table in Sector 0 of the disk, and set
Active, the system doesn't care if it is at the front, back or middle of the
boot device designated in the BIOS. Boot from the Win7 DVD and install Win7
to that new partition. (When Win7 Setup detects WinXP already installed, it
will create the proper startup files on your new System Partition.) Since
you are booting from the DVD, Setup will not know what drive letters have
already been assigned, so it will assign C: to that new partition - then it
will assign new letters to your existing volumes; you can use Disk
Management later to change these letters.

Or, since you have Acronis, you might be able to shrink your current
extended partition (and the logical drives inside it) from the front, which
Disk Management cannot do, and put your new primary partition ahead of the
extended partition. It won't matter to the computer, but it might make more
sense to you. I don’t have Acronis, so I can't help with this.

One more comment on "drive" letters: When installed by booting from the
DVD, Setup has no idea about existing drive letter assignments, so it starts
from scratch, assigning C: to its own Boot Volume (where it installs the
\Windows "boot folder"), then assigning letters to the other partitions -
which often results in the old familiar Drive C: becoming Drive D: so far as
Win7 is concerned. But if we boot into WinXP, then run Setup from the Win7
DVD, Setup can see and "inherit" the letters that WinXP has already
assigned. So you can boot into WinXP and use Disk Management to assign X:,
for example, to the partition where you plan to install Win7, then run Win7
Setup from the WinXP desktop and tell it to install into Drive X: - and it
will, without changing other letters that WinXP has already assigned. That
way, both WinXP and Win7 will see X: as the boot volume for Win7.

Short recap: Shrink logical Drive E:. Shrink extended partition. Create
new primary partition. Install Win7 in the new partition.

OR: Backup everything on the disk. Boot from Win7 DVD. Tell Setup to
reformat the disk and install Win7 into a new 100 GB partition. Boot into
that Win7 and create new extended partition covering the rest of the disk.
Create new logical drives to hold old folder/files. Restore everything into
these new logical drives. Repair Win7's startup files so that you can
choose WinXP on reboot.

I'll quit now, Bob, before I get confused. ;^}

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Bob" wrote in message
Hi, Bob.


Sorry, that's just not the way it works. :>( I've never tried to do that,
but I don't see how it could work.

We often ask users to tell us (A) where are you now and (C) where do you
want to end up; then we can help you figure out (B) how to get from A to C.
You've told us A and some of B, but I don't yet know about C: Do you want
a
dual-boot or triple-boot system with Win7 and WinXP (Pro and/or MC)? Or do
you want to end up with only Win7?
Goal is Win7 on C:, XP on D:.

I had XP Pro on C:, and XP Media Center on D:. Somewhere along the
line, the C: XP Pro partition got whacked, but the D: XP MC partition
still boots. Since I need more drive space, I imaged C: and D:, and
formatted a new drive. I thought I'd restore the partitions to C: and
D: just to make sure the partition tables and boot info were correct.
Then boot the Win7 DVD (yes, I'm in the habit of calling them CD's) to
do the install to C:
The Golden Rule of creating a multi-boot system is to install the NEWEST OS
LAST. That means, in your case, that you need to make sure that WinXP is
booting and running properly first. Then boot from the Win7 DVD (Win7 is
much too large for a CD!) and follow the prompts to add Win7 to the
existing
system.
Yes, that's what I've always done before.
I've never used Acronis (though I've heard good things about it) or other
imaging program, but I think you are right.
I'll remount the drive later and double-check. I could have sworn that
I got systems running using only extended-logical, but apparently
that's not correct.
That sounds to me like your best plan. Then decide what you want your
final
configuration to be: Win7 only? Multi-boot? Upgrade from WinXP to Win7
is
not a straightforward path and I haven't done it (I ran Vista before Win7),
but if that is what you want to do, tell us and someone here can tell you
how to get there from here.

Before upgrading, use WET (Windows Easy Transfer) on your OLD system to
save
your settings from your WinXP to a folder on your Drive E: - which will
also
be accessible from Win7 after the installation. After the upgrade, run WET
Thanks, I will take note of that for the future. In this case I don't
want to risk upgrading the old XP Pro, as I'd prefer to have a clean
install of Win7. It will be messy soon enough anyway.
You should not lose any data, but you may need to have your re-installed
Word and other apps browse to find their documents the first time you use
them.
That's what I was trying to ask above. The current drive is
partitioned as one large extended, with logical C: D: E:. If it's
necessary to turn C: into a primary, I'd need to repartition the whole
thing, right?
You haven't given us any numbers, Bob. Many of us remember when 20 MB
(yes,
MB!) was a "large" HDD. But Win7 is much larger than WinXP. Once you've
run WET from WinXP, you might want to delete Drives C: and D: (you'll still
have their images, right?) and let Win7 Setup create a new Drive C: using
all that vacated space from both those partitions. Since you've installed
Win7 before, you know what a space-hog it is, both on installation and as
it
grows as we use it.

RC
The new drive is 1TB, with roughly 100GB for C:, 100GB for D:. I've
run Win7 in that size partition before, but if you think it should be
increased, I'm listening.

Thanks, RC.
 
G

G. Morgan

Bob said:
I've done a few installs of Win7 via CD before without hitches. Any
ideas?
Use a partition manager like Easeus Partition Manager:

http://www.easeus-download.com/download/epm.exe

Delete all empty partitions.

Make sure the *BEGINNING* of the drive has unallocated space, otherwise
move the data to the end of the disk.

Run Windows setup, choose advanced drive options and create ONE primary
partition to install the OS on. Setup will create the 100MB loader
partition automatically at the very beginning of the disk.
 
B

Bob

Hi R.C.

I haven't forgotten about the thread. I'll follow up after the current
distraction. I did get so far as to load the partition manager
recommended by G.Morgan here (thanks G) and surprisingly, was able to
transform the first partition into a primary with no hassel at all.
(Why can't Microsoft do that?)

I'll follow up again when I have a chance to try the Win7 install.
 
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G

G. Morgan

Bob said:
I haven't forgotten about the thread. I'll follow up after the current
distraction. I did get so far as to load the partition manager
recommended by G.Morgan here (thanks G)
YW.

and surprisingly, was able to
transform the first partition into a primary with no hassel at all.
(Why can't Microsoft do that?)

I'll follow up again when I have a chance to try the Win7 install.
Please do, your reply will help others down the road...
 
C

Char Jackson

I haven't forgotten about the thread. I'll follow up after the current
distraction. I did get so far as to load the partition manager
recommended by G.Morgan here (thanks G) and surprisingly, was able to
transform the first partition into a primary with no hassel at all.
(Why can't Microsoft do that?)
Microsoft's Disk Management console has slightly improved over the
years, but it still has a small percentage of the functionality that's
been widely available in third party tools for a decade or two. Many
people manage to get by with it and, heck, many people probably never
see it at all, but for anyone who needs to do more than the most basic
and simple tasks, it falls flat.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Char.

You are right about Disk Management. It is all most of us need most of the
time.
...it still has a small percentage of the functionality that's been widely
available in third party tools for a decade or two.
It took me a long time to realize that DM is only a "front end" - a pretty
UI - for the much more powerful DiskPart.exe shell, which has long been
available in Windows, since Win2K, I think.

For example, we can't create an extended partition directly by using DM.
When we add a 5th volume to a disk, DM creates an extended partition, then
changes our existing 4th primary partition into a logical drive in that
extended partition, and then adds the 5th volume as another logical drive.
But by using DiskPart.exe, we can create an extended partition on a blank
disk, or one with 1, 2 or 3 existing partitions. I don't know if it can
convert a logical drive into a primary partition; I've never tried to do
that.

Note that the DiskPart.exe shell is not at all the same as the very limited
DiskPart command that was on the Win98 CD, along with the Recovery Console.
For this one, we enter the shell from an Administrator Command Prompt
window.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Char Jackson" wrote in message

I haven't forgotten about the thread. I'll follow up after the current
distraction. I did get so far as to load the partition manager
recommended by G.Morgan here (thanks G) and surprisingly, was able to
transform the first partition into a primary with no hassel at all.
(Why can't Microsoft do that?)
Microsoft's Disk Management console has slightly improved over the
years, but it still has a small percentage of the functionality that's
been widely available in third party tools for a decade or two. Many
people manage to get by with it and, heck, many people probably never
see it at all, but for anyone who needs to do more than the most basic
and simple tasks, it falls flat.
 
B

Bob

Please do, your reply will help others down the road...
After a couple side-tracks, I finally got back to the Win7 install
problem. As mentioned, I used the partition manager suggested by
G.Morgan to convert the first partition to 'primary'. This did the
trick. I did have XP booting from that disk before, so I'm not sure
why Win7 had trouble.

Also odd that Win7's installer couldn't manage more coherent,
plain-English error messages. That was the main hitch, actually.

I installed Win7 to C:, and oddly enough, it didn't recognize that
partition D: was a bootable XP partition. So now I've got to figure
out how to get that working. I did know this at one time, but you know
how that goes. There's no boot.ini on the Win7/C: partition, so
nothing to edit, and I'm hesitant to just start hacking. There's got
to be a way to do this from within Win7's Admin functions.
 
P

Paul

Bob said:
After a couple side-tracks, I finally got back to the Win7 install
problem. As mentioned, I used the partition manager suggested by
G.Morgan to convert the first partition to 'primary'. This did the
trick. I did have XP booting from that disk before, so I'm not sure
why Win7 had trouble.

Also odd that Win7's installer couldn't manage more coherent,
plain-English error messages. That was the main hitch, actually.

I installed Win7 to C:, and oddly enough, it didn't recognize that
partition D: was a bootable XP partition. So now I've got to figure
out how to get that working. I did know this at one time, but you know
how that goes. There's no boot.ini on the Win7/C: partition, so
nothing to edit, and I'm hesitant to just start hacking. There's got
to be a way to do this from within Win7's Admin functions.
bcdedit or EasyBCD ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bcdedit#Boot_Configuration_Data

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyBCD

I used EasyBCD, back when I had a virtual machine with two OSes
inside it, and one of the OSes was the test version of Windows 7.
Seemed pretty easy to set up at the time. Never used it on my laptop.

Paul
 
B

Bob

bcdedit or EasyBCD ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bcdedit#Boot_Configuration_Data

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyBCD

I used EasyBCD, back when I had a virtual machine with two OSes
inside it, and one of the OSes was the test version of Windows 7.
Seemed pretty easy to set up at the time. Never used it on my laptop.

Paul
I just tried EasyBCD, and it does create the Boot.ini file and creates
an NTLDR file in an \NST folder on C:. That looked promising, but
unfortunately, when trying to boot XP, it gets to the point where it
displays the XP logo, then re-cycles back to the BIOS boot.

That looks to me like the Win7 install hosed something on the XP
partition, or that there was some essential XP boot component still
missing even after EasyBCD.

I'll try to do a 'repair install' on the XP partition, but I'm betting
that this will now screw up the Win7 install. That's the way it
usually goes, right?
 
P

Paul

Bob said:
I just tried EasyBCD, and it does create the Boot.ini file and creates
an NTLDR file in an \NST folder on C:. That looked promising, but
unfortunately, when trying to boot XP, it gets to the point where it
displays the XP logo, then re-cycles back to the BIOS boot.

That looks to me like the Win7 install hosed something on the XP
partition, or that there was some essential XP boot component still
missing even after EasyBCD.

I'll try to do a 'repair install' on the XP partition, but I'm betting
that this will now screw up the Win7 install. That's the way it
usually goes, right?
What about "fixboot", running from the WinXP recovery ?

The "fixmbr" program, reloads 440 bytes or so in the MBR (Sector 0).

The "fixboot" program, loads two or three 512 byte sectors or so,
located in the C: partition (at least, that's what TestDisk tells me
when I probe there). These sectors also contain boot code,
and may be the next thing in the boot sequence after the MBR. I think
I use "fixboot", when copying my WinXP from one partition to another,
formatting, and copying it back. To make it bootable again, I have to
use fixboot. Fixboot works fine, as long as you type in the correct
drive letter.

What I do on my machine, is each Windows partition, contains an empty text
file announcing the OS type. For example, my WinXP C: would contain
"winxp.txt", the Win2K C: partition would have "win2K.txt" and so on.
I don't know if I could write into the root of the Windows 7 drive,
and I doubt there is a reason to do so. But for the older OSes, that's
the trick I use. And the reason for needing that trick, is the repair
environment and command prompt, don't show the disk label, so I can't use
the labels I placed on the partitions as identification. As a result,
I've taken to placing some empty files as "bread crumbs". Using the
"dir" command, I can then verify I'm pointed at the correct partition,
before pulling the trigger.

So as long as you've positively verified which partition is which,
you should be able to "fixboot" or "fixmbr" yourself out of trouble.

The Windows 7 repair environment, has the "bootsect program". I think
it does the same as "fixmbr". Windows 7 repair tools are different
than the ones in WinXP, so you won't find fixmbr and fixboot. Bootsect
is kinda an overlap. And bootrec in Windows 7 is completely different.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749177(WS.10).aspx

"For example, to apply the master boot code that is compatible with
NTLDR to the volume labeled E, use the following command:

bootsect.exe /nt52 E:
"

So that last example, would be a way of putting back a WinXP MBR, without
having the WinXP CD. I don't know if there is a way to fake a fixboot
though, from Windows 7 repair.

HTH,
Paul
 
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B

Bob

What about "fixboot", running from the WinXP recovery ?

The "fixmbr" program, reloads 440 bytes or so in the MBR (Sector 0).
[snipped much good advice for brevity]

I keep getting side-tracked, so I haven't been back to attempt the
latest installment on the problem system since the last post. But I
have read through your very informative post, and I'll be trying your
suggestions. Just wanted to thank you for that. Great idea for ID'ing
drives! It's always an adventure trying to figure out which partition
is which.

Anyway, I'll try to follow up here when I get back to it. Thanks again
to all.
 

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