Installation Problem ("System could not create a partition...")


New Member
In the last couple days I've been trying to install Windows 7 over Windows XP (clean installation).

Unfortunately I'm having a problem pretty early on in the process. Whenever I try to press "Next" on the screen that has you select which partition you want to install it on, it says for me:

"Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the setup log files for more Information"

I've tried deleting all of them, making a new one a certain size etc. with no luck. I even tried to load the C: drive but it said it wasn't able to reformat it for whatever reason (message I get is "Windows can't format C. Check to see that the disk and drive are formatted properly. Make sure that the disk is not read only, then try again.") I've tried logging into Windows in Safe Mode to change the security options for this problem but I don't see any preference about read-only properties.

I have also tried going through the steps in the stickied thread about this problem (using diskpart to mark a partition as active) and it hasn't worked.

(I am trying to wipe my computer completely clean and install Windows7, not along side XP or anything like that).

Anything you could suggest would be great, thanks in advance.


Senior Member
If you want to see if the drive is read only then use the DISKPART command from an elevated command prompt.

I have attached the commands to check for read only on the drive and also to clear it. Mine failed because I am trying to clear a drive that already is not read only.

You could also use killdisk Active@ Kill Disk Hard Drive Eraser. Low Level Format. to erase the drive completely.


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Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Is there anything about your hard drive that could be causing a problem? You say it has been wiped so no partitions are on it already? Did you use Linux on it or any type of third party backup utility?

You say you have used Diskpart, so you used the "clean" command?

Are you sure you are looking at the hard drive and not a flash drive?

Have you ever gotten the message about Windows needing to make a special partition?


Extraordinary Member
Is it a Sata or IDE drive. If SATA, ensure you have the drivers ready on a CD or USB plug, and loaded before you start.

If you have more than one hard disk, try physically disconnecting all but the one on which you wish to install Windows 7.

Make sure that the disk/partition, you are trying to install on, is the first in your bios sequence, after the DVD.

I agree with RAK if your using SATA HDD's and the controller is set in the BIOS to AHCI or RAID mode then you'll need the drivers on either an floppy disk, USB stick, CD/DVD disk or external HDD you then need to tell windows setup to load a driver and then browse to where you have to driver.inf stored it'll then do it's thing ie: setup the driver then look for Disks attached to the controller this can take a few minutes to complete ...

If the controller is set to IDE mode in BIOS then you maybe looking at a faulty HDD or a corrupt partition sometimes it can happen if some third party program was used like Partition Magic etc... or you are attempting to create an partition on an HDD with insufficient free space available... Windows7 requires a min HDD partiton size

check that your system meets the requirements below:
If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes:

1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

It's very simple (in my case) I am fortunate to have a newer pc AlienWare Wartime Edition i7/x58 4 core/ 8 threads With a nice BIOS, So in the BIOS i disable all drives accept cd/dvd and hard drive I am going to Install windows on!!! This narrows it down and allows me to install, no problemo whatsoever, boot order and boot devices enable/ disable that's all there was to me installing Windows 7 x64 ULT. Edition after all the crappy no go's all day. Hey it worked for Me, and now I KNOW!!! Cheers!

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