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Windows Windows 7 Installation Issues - Dell N4010

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by TheMusician, 23 Mar 2011.

  1. TheMusician

    TheMusician Audio/Tech Enthusiast/Historian

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    So I replaced my girlfriend's laptop's (Dell N4010 - Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3) hard drive. But now, it won't let me install Win 7.

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

    I'm installing 7 through a bootable flash drive. There is only one drive in the system right now.

    • No other drive is connected besides the HDD
    • The HDD is blank. There's nothing on it. It's never been used
    • That includes optical drives - the DVD-RW drive is removed
    • There are no RAID options in BIOS
    • Speedstep is off
    • I've tried this with the HDD in ATA as well as AHCI mode, occurs both times
    • I don't see any option to turn off Hyper-Threading, so I assume that it's on

    Any suggestions? I've never had these kinds of problems installing Windows before, and I've done this like 400 times. The ISO isn't bad because it's been tested and verified working, plus I've used it on like 20 different PCs and it's fine.

    It's aggravating and it's scary because it's her computer, and I think I voided the warranty. :(

    UPDATE: SOLVED

    After trying a thousand different things, I tried another method. I copied an ISO of a Dell OEM-edition of Home Premium (that I previously tried to burn onto a dual-layer DVD and her computer still wouldn't work with it) onto an 8GB flash drive and used my girlfriend's existing license with it, and.... it worked.

    No complaints, no nothing. It just flew through setup easy peasy. I didn't have to put in a serial because it detected the license information from BIOS. Now I'm in Windows and it's passed all activation checks and all.

    Thank you so much for your help. I'm writing this down and making sure to keep this ISO for future use. That's the key. Use a flash drive to do it.

    I may have killed her warranty, but now I don't need it. :D
     
    Last edited: 24 Mar 2011
  2. srgtherasta

    srgtherasta Member

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    Can the laptop see the hdd in the bios?
     
  3. tehBoris

    tehBoris New Member

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    Probably need to turn off AHCI?
     
  4. TSDAdam

    TSDAdam Beard!

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    Have you tried changing the boot order so the HDD is higher in priority to the USB drive?

    I know that sounds contradictory to what you're trying to do, but I'm sure I've read somewhere about the boot order when I was having problems installin Win7.
     
  5. TSDAdam

    TSDAdam Beard!

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    Looks like he already has.
     
  6. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    Any way you can plug the drive into another computer to see what's happening and possibly format it for the first time, you should be able to reformat it to the slightly different win7 NTFS later when you install if you plug it into an XP machine.
     
  7. Highland3r

    Highland3r New Member

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    Couple of possible things (Some already mentioned above):
    - Check HDD can be seen in bios
    - Check HDD is seen "on boot" - you might need to hit a specific key to display the info on boot
    - Have you checked the logfiles mentioned (if they're actually created/written anywhere...)
    - Tried installing via an optical drive (If you have an ISO just burn it??)
    - Checked that the HDD itself is seated properly and works - try in another PC/External caddy to verify

    If you still have the original drive, can you drop that back in - least it'd get her laptop working (could even ghost (??) over an image if the worst comes to it?)
     
  8. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    was the original drive working? why the change?

    maybe the board is limited to certain size drives - it is a dell afterall


    have you tested the original drive, don't want to be pessamistic here, but it could be that the controller on the board is fooked.
     
  9. TheMusician

    TheMusician Audio/Tech Enthusiast/Historian

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    Yes. BIOS fully recognizes the 250GB drive.

    I have tried it on and off, and I receive the same issue.

    Yes, the HDD is the first thing on the boot sequence. To get to the USB, I choose the optional "boot from" command at POST.

    I shall try this if I can't figure it out while it's in the laptop. It's a pain in the butt to get to the drive so i'll wait.

    HDD can be seen on BIOS, on boots, tried installing via optical drive on 3 different discs and 2 different ISOs. I've checked the HDD seating and it is fine.

    The original drive was bonked and giving massive errors and refusing to boot no matter what, and Dell's BIOS diagnostics showed multiple errors every time I ran them. The original drive was 500GB and this one is 250GB so I don't think space is an issue.

    I seriously hope the controller isn't screwed. I can't see why it randomly would be. :/
     
  10. b0ng0

    b0ng0 Reddomitlum

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    I've had this problem almost every time I've installed Windows 7 until I worked out what was causing it (for me at least).

    It seems to give this error if you push buttons in the wrong order (this is a massive over simplification but it's the best I can describe it).

    I'm at work at the moment so I'll try to describe from memory what I did:

    - Choose advanced when you're selecting what drive to install.

    - Format the drive completely (and delete any existing partitions)

    - If you want a non-windows install partition then define this now

    - Create your install partition but just accept the default size (defining this is what gave me the same error as you're getting)

    - Select that partition and install.

    This might be coincidence but this is exactly the same problem I've had before and it was simply due to the way I was setting up the partitions, etc.

    edit: I know this sounds rediculous and simple, but it could just be that this is why it won't install.
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2011
  11. TheMusician

    TheMusician Audio/Tech Enthusiast/Historian

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    Thanks for the advice. I tried doing that, but no dice. I also tried formatting the drive using a GPARTED disc, with no success either.

    Seeing no other possible problem, I downloaded two self-extracting SATA AHCI driver files for Windows for the laptop, extracted the driver files out of them, and put them on a disc. I then went back to the install, did the whole "have disk for drivers" thing, and it didn't see any drivers it could use.

    So i'm not sure what to do now, really. Would I be able to pull out the hard drive, put it in my desktop, install Windows, and put it back in the laptop without issue?
     
  12. b0ng0

    b0ng0 Reddomitlum

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    I would say no, as changing hardware usually fooks up a Windows install (major hardware change, like motherboard). This might not be the case, just speaking from experience.

    What you could do is try installing Windows onto it from your desktop and see if it works - if it does then you can almost definitely say it's a laptop issue not a drive one.
     
  13. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    i would be tempted to run diagnostics on original drive in another machine, with the original drive manufacturers diagnostic software.

    the errors the dell diagnostics reporting could well be as a result of a dicky controller
     
  14. TheMusician

    TheMusician Audio/Tech Enthusiast/Historian

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    Before I went to do that, I tried another method. I copied an ISO of a Dell OEM-edition of Home Premium (that I previously tried to burn onto a dual-layer DVD and her computer still wouldn't work with it) onto an 8GB flash drive and used my girlfriend's existing license with it, and.... it worked.

    No complaints, no nothing. It just flew through setup easy peasy. I didn't have to put in a serial because it detected the license information from BIOS. Now I'm in Windows and it's passed all activation checks and all.

    Thank you so much for your help. I'm writing this down and making sure to keep this ISO for future use. That's the key. Use a flash drive to do it.

    I may have killed her warranty, but now I don't need it. :D
     
  15. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    cool, glad you got it sorted
     

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