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Difficulty installing Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit on a 1TB GPT disk

Posted on 2012-09-04
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Last Modified: 2012-09-10
Installing Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit on a 1TB disk;
GPT partition (BIOS set to UEFI); error message when selecting GPT disk: “cannot install to a GPT disk.”
I'd be most grateful for any clues as to why not.
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Question by:oliverclive
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by:ohmyself
ohmyself earned 300 total points
ID: 38366351
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by:
RGRodgers earned 900 total points
ID: 38366399
I'd check the BIOS and its UEFI support.  Are BIOS updates available?  What BIOS are you running?  The error indicates that EFI support isn't enabled which is required to support GPT for anything but data disks.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/windows-cannot-be-installed-on-this-disk-the/8fa72a3e-10c5-47da-a040-1e0db62af309

...RG
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by:RGRodgers
RGRodgers earned 900 total points
ID: 38366404
Here is another thought...  It appears that you should define the GPT disk but leave it unallocated (i.e. no partitions) until the installation:  You can put Windows 7 on a GUID partition table gpt. If using gparted to define, leave the GUID gpt as unallocated and Windows 7 will define it on install.

http://windows7forums.com/windows-7-installation-upgrade/5552-if-windows-7-supports-gpt-why-cant-i-install-os-gpt-2.html

...RG
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by:RGRodgers
RGRodgers earned 900 total points
ID: 38366411
Finally, here are some instructions on using Diskpart Clean to set up the GPT partition for a Windows installation:

http://www.windows7hacker.com/index.php/2012/06/what-to-do-when-windows-cannot-be-installed-on-the-gpt-partition-styled-disk/

...RG
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by:noxcho
ID: 38366987
Is it really a 64bit OS DVD?
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by:oliverclive
ID: 38367308
Thank you. Yes it really is a 64bit OS. I've installed it several times (to an MBR disk).  It's only when I want to install it (in due course) to a 3TB disk (and therefore necessarily to one partitioned GPT) that I get into difficulties.
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by:noxcho
ID: 38367523
Have you enabled in BIOS the EFI boot?
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by:oliverclive
ID: 38371042
In response to all your kind replies I have since:

flashed my Intel DQ45CB mobo’s firmware with the latest revision. (The most recent revision was coded in late 2011. It replaced one coded two years earlier.)
Then I:
-   checked the 1TB drive was still set to the gpt partitioning standard (having converted it from the MBR scheme during an earlier attempt to install to it as a gpt drive).
-  used Diskpart to remove all partitions from the 1TB drive (from the earlier attempt to install to it) using ‘Delete partition override’ to remove the last (the protected) partition. Used ‘List partition’ to confirm the gpt disk was entirely unallocated (getting back the answer ‘There are no partitions on this disk to show.’).
-   left the drive entirely unallocated.
In the BIOS I:
- configured SATA drives as AHCI  
- enabled UEFI boot
- set the gpt drive as the first boot drive.
I then booted from a Windows 7 64bit dvd (using manual selection of the boot drive for a one time disregard of the default boot order so as to be able to select the dvd drive in place of the gpt drive).
Once into setup the gpt drive was automatically chosen. Doing so displayed no warnings.
I pressed ‘Next’ and sailed straight through the installation.
As far as I can see the only difference between this attempt to install and the earlier attempt was the flashing of the firmware. (On the earlier attempt I had even left the gpt drive entirely unallocated so Setup could handle the partitioning to its satisfaction.)
It was a great help having all the posts. Though I had read most of them before, reading through them again and sleeping on it gave me perspective enough to try again perhaps more carefully. Thank you everyone.
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by:RGRodgers
ID: 38371238
So, you did not use DISKPART CLEAN?  But, the BIOS update and leaving the GPT disk unallocated was able to get it done?

Glad we could help.  Please accept the appropriate responses to close the question if there are no more issues.

Thanks...RG
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 300 total points
ID: 38371274
Ok, I have here a machine that behave almost the same. If I convert the drive before the installation into GPT type then it won't install. But if I enable UEFI boot in BIOS and then try to install Windows onto clean MBR HDD that has no partitioning scheme on it, only free unallocated space then the drive is converted into GPT automatically during Windows installation. All I need is to select the drive where to install.
Just a point of curiosity: why are you willing to install onto GPT drive which is only 1TB? GPT is worth of using on drives bigger than 2TB.
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by:oliverclive
oliverclive earned 0 total points
ID: 38371315
Noxcho.
Thank you I will give that way of doing things a try in due course. Much simpler.
(I tried it out on a 1TB drive for practise, so I know I can cope should need arise to install to a disk greater than 2TB.)
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by:RGRodgers
ID: 38372135
I do not object to the way you are closing it because you hit the necessary points for someone else to repeat it and that is the point, afterall.  I would say that my comments made it clear you needed to update the BIOS and to ensure that GPT was unallocated, however.  I believe that was the formula for the fix.  ...RG
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Author Comment

by:oliverclive
ID: 38373307
RG I agree you were the main source of help - I felt bad about not simply having given you alone the kudos - but I thought noxcho's method deserved inclusion and couldn't think of a way to include it other than by sharing 1/5th of the points with him. Similarly I felt ohmyself's link to the long thread should somehow be included and could think of no way other than to share 1/5th of the points with him too.

 Incidently I've since discovered that if noxcho's method is used on a 1TB drive (and presumably on any drive under 2.25TB) the mbr drive is left as an mbr drive!

In fact I've just discovered  that even if the drive is set to a gpt drive SETUP 'reverts' IT TO AN MBR DRIVE!!!! So I must apologise, I still don't know what steps to take to install Windows 7 on a drive partitioned according to the gpt standard if the drive is a 1TB drive. I remain hopeful the steps would have worked had the drive been greater than 1TB (or at least greater than 2.25TB).
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by:RGRodgers
ID: 38373856
I agree with you.  Again, what is important is that it can be repeated.

Very interesting about Setup converting to an MBR drive.  That is bogus!  I too hope that it acts differently on larger drives.  

Thanks...RG
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Author Closing Comment

by:oliverclive
ID: 38382399
I haven't accepted my own comment as a solution but I note that I tried to craft my comment so it briefly covered all the points I would have to remember to do were I to do the task again. Though I know the way detailed in my comment works, next time I would probably try and see if it could be improved on it by substituting RG's Diskpart CLEAN, and the method detailed in noxcho's final post.
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