When attempting to install Windows 7 on a Thinkpad Edge, I receive this message "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition."

Posted on 2014-10-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-10-31
When attempting to install Windows 7 on a Thinkpad Edge, I receive this message "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition."  I have tried loading a driver I found on the Lenovo website (Intel(R) SATA controller AHCI driver).  Still get the same message.  I have a new hard drive.
Question by:MarkV49
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 40405190
If the ThinkPad came with Windows 7 originally, contact Lenovo Support and get the recovery media from them. Lenovo always supplies recovery media because hard drives do fail.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 40405224
I've had this issue with a Lenovo x240 and this article helped me resolve it


But John has a very very valid point, if the above article does help you resolve the issue contact Lenovo immediately and get the recovery media for your laptop (This will make you life easier if this does happen *Touchwood* it doesnt)
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40405266
How many primary partitions are there on the disk already? Is it MBR or GPT? Are you trying to install the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows 7? What media are you using for the installation, DVD or a USB stick?

An MBR disk can have a maximum of 4 primary partitions, so if that could cause your message. Free up one of the partitions to install Windows 7.

GPT disks can have more than 4 primary partitions, but the 64 bit version of Windows is a must, and the BIOS must be UEFI. That means you can't install a 32 bit Windows to a GPT disk. That could also cause a message similar to that.

If you are installing the 64 bit version of Windows to a GPT disk via a USB stick, the stick must be formatted as FAT32. If it is ntfs, it can only install to an MBR disk, so you'd have a similar message like when trying to install a 32 bit Windows to a GPT disk.
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Author Comment

ID: 40405509
This is a brand new disk with no partitions.  The laptop is a ThinkPad Edge Type 0578-A99, Product ID:  0578a99.

Author Comment

ID: 40405516
Does anyone have a recovery disk for this computer?
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40405521
Lenovo has them. Just order them from there.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 40405522
If UEFI is enabled in the BIOS, and your HD has a MBR partition, then Windows 7 will not install.  Instead it will throw an "install to GPT disk error".  

If you want to do a "normal" MBR type install then download Gparted and use it to create an NTFS partition on the drive.  At first boot after the partition creation, enter the CMOS setup and disable UEFI - note you may have to disable UEFI on all drives (my BIOS enables/disables UEFI on each drive - essential for me because I multiboot).

Author Comment

ID: 40405527
The BIOS does not have a UEFI setting.

Accepted Solution

MarkV49 earned 0 total points
ID: 40405703
I resolved the problem by doing the following:  Reset the BIOS settings back to default (f9) and then changed from ACHI to compatible.  Installed Windows XP to have it create the partitions.  Then installed Windows 7 Pro, 64 bit.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40415307
Thanks for all who offered suggestions.

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