Partition Problem

Long story short... I have an Acer Aspire One D257-1880 with what appears to be a hard drive with no usable partitions for a reinstall of win 7 starter retail. Please don't ask how that happened.

I am not positive but I think the hard drive needs to be partitioned in NTFS. Can anyone help me reinstall win 7?

P.S.: I don't have a usb optical drive so I only have an 8 gig flash drive to use to fix this problem.


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Is it the only usable drive on the system? Is the system bootable?

I have 2 other computers and an ethernet port if that helps but no usb optical drive. I can access the bios menu and my win 7 setup does run but when it gets to the point where I have to pick a partition to install to it cannot detect any (I think it only recognizes parts formatted in ntfs). Z/Z


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I suppose I need to ask why you seem to think the drive is not formatted in NTFS. Some small partitions may be another type of partition, depending on what type of setup you have, but you can reformat the drive from within the install. Look on the lower right side for disk options.

Do you have something else on the drive, possibly from another OS? And when you install, make sure which drive you are looking at since the flash drive may be showing up.

Well ummm....I sorta tried to...ummm...install xp from usb...with less than positive results but in the process I had to use fdisk to make a small logical drive and a fat 32 primary drive and in the process all the ntfs drives got ummm... "stananked" or eliminated. There might be fragments of os' on the hard disk but no full os'. Breaks my heart to have my netbook reduced to a paperweight because I wanted to put a fast full win os without drm on it :(


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

Can you restore your computer from the Recovery Partition?

Acer Aspire System Recovery Partition

I found the Acer site not very helpful, they seem to want to charge you to get online answers.
But the instructions on the link seem to be correct.
Seems like this should be easy to get to on Acer's site.


I highly doubt any recovery partition survived my "enthusiasm" but I will try...thx... btw my first computer was a tandy with 128k total memory and I was programming in basic before ms-dos was a wet dream. I am a little out of date and entirely too foolhardy with my computers :)


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I started with a Tandy TRS 100 or something like that, had a 25 hz processor and 100 mb of disk space.
I've learned to be extra safe over the years, (everything is backed up several times on several drives) but I still manage to get into trouble once in a while

I had to restore my Falcon Talon only last month because I screwed it up trying to install Widows 8 and my Ghost backup didn't work.
I switched to Acronis.

I really don't like the idea of not having a CD/DVD drive.
But I haven't really come to terms with installing an OS from a USB stick.
It just doesn't seem right somehow.

But no one seems to want to give you a Windows disk anymore anyway.
How cheap can you get?

At least my Falcon NW computer came with a real Microsoft disk, plus a complete set of restore disks that returned it to just the way it came from the factory, registered to me, all tweaked and clean of junk.

When I finally gave up and used them it only took 15 minutes to get it back to new condition.
All I had to do was restore my stuff from my backups and I was done.


Take it easy Mike... I figured since my issue has been fixed I'd share it with everyone else to conclude the thread. A British fellow on a linux forum told me to use partmagic with unetbootin and I formatted my entire netbook's hard drive in NTFS and win 7 starter loaded beautifully (credit to the MS people who made the easy win7 usb boot utility). That isn't the first time Linux saved my bacon :3 Z/Z

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.