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Setup Was Unable To Create a New System Partition or Locate an Existing System Partition Windows 7

Error! Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition in Windows 7. Read on to see four quick fixes.

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Updated by Daisy on Dec 28, 2023
Written by Tracy King

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Cause of "Setup Was Unable to Create A New System Partition Windows 7"
Workable Solutions for Setup Was Unable to Create A New Partition
"Fail to Create A New Partition" FAQs

When I try to install windows 8 on my hard drive it says "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup Log files for more information. my hard drive has 2partitions and 1 unlocated space just in case.please help.  - Microsoft

Cause of "Setup Was Unable to Create A New System Partition Windows 7"

The error happens while installing Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 - "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition". The reasons come from many aspects, but it's not our main topic(We need methods instead of too much explanation.) In short, it happens because your Windows fails to identify which device to install Windows operating system.

Workable Solutions for Setup Was Unable to Create A New Partition

And this undesirable warning often goes with a USB flash drive. The following method lets Windows identify the correct location for installing the operating system. The article puts effective ways in the front position. Select the method your can try.

Method 1. Create System Partition in Manual Way
Method 2. Change SATA Controller to IDE Mode
Method 3. Install Windows with Another Partition Manager Tool
Method 4. Eject and Reconnect the USB

Method 1. Create System Partition in Manual Way

Leave this USB plugged in.

1. Press "Shift + F10" to open the Command Prompt window.

2. Type "diskpart" and press Enter. (Remove quotes.)

3. Type "list disk" and hit Enter. (Then you will see all hard drives listed. If you have more than one drive, remember to pick the correct disk in the next step.)

4. Type "select disk X" and press Enter. (X presents the partition you want to install OS.)

5. Type "clean" and hit Enter.

6. Enter "create partition primary size=5000" and press Enter key.

7. Continue to type: format fs=ntfs quick and press Enter.

8. When formatting completes, type the following command lines and press Enter for each command.

  • assign
  • active
  • list volume
  • exit

9. Then, change the directory location where your Windows installation file is located. Please enter the command to copy the installation files from the CD to the C drive:

  • cd e: (cd equals to change directory. e means the location where your installation files are. You can change it with an actual letter.)
  • xcopy e: c:/e/h/k
  • Hit Enter.

Please type exit to quit the command prompt window and eject your USB if it is done. Then turn off the "Install Windows" window.

10. Reboot the computer, and the installation process starts.

  • Follow the installation process:
  • Click "Next" and then click "Install Now".
  • Check "I accept the license terms" and click "Next".
  • Select "Custom" and then choose the installation location. Click "Next".
  • Final step - Click "Restart now".

Video Guide - How to Fix Installation Error with CMD

  • 0:42 Use CMD to solve "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition".

Method 2. Change SATA Controller to IDE Mode

If method 1 is beyond your desire, wait and try to change SATA controller mode (SATA Controller mode serves as a bridge to connect a hard drive and motherboard. It also manages other data.)to IDE mode.

Step 1. Reboot your computer and press the F2 key to enter bios. (See BIOS key: Dell BIOS Key Windows 10.

Step 2. Follow to "Advanced" > Choose "Storage Configuration" > Click "Configure SATA as" and press Enter > Choose "IDE" under "Options" and hit Enter.

Step 3. Press F10 to save changes and exit from BIOS.

Method 3. Install Windows with Another Partition Manager Tool (EaseUS Partition Master)

Changing your mind and turning to another method - an error happens when using the USB. Skip this bothering issue and move your Windows system to another drive. To install Windows OS to another drive easily, you can use a professional OS migration tool - EaseUS Partition Master. It works to migrate OS to SSD.  

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Steps to migrate OS to HDD/SSD:

  • Run EaseUS Partition Master, and select "Clone" from the left menu.
  • Check "Migrate OS" and click "Next".
  • Select the SSD or HDD as the destination disk and click "Next".
  • Check Warning: the data and partitions on the target disk will be deleted. Make sure that you've backed up important data in advance. If not, do it now.
  • Then click "Yes".
  • Preview the layout of your target disk. Then click "Start" to start migrating your OS to a new disk.

  • After this, click "Reboot Now" or "Done" to determine if you want to reboot the computer from the new disk immediately.

"Reboot Now" means to keep the changes instantly, while "Done" means you need to restart the computer later manually.

Select boot option after migrate OS to new disk

Note: The operation of migrating OS to SSD or HDD will delete and remove existing partitions and data on your target disk when there is not enough unallocated space on the target disk. If you saved important data there, back up them to an external hard drive in advance.

Method 4. Eject and Reconnect the USB

The last method is to eject and reconnect the USB. If you are getting the "setup was unable to create a new system partition" error when installing Windows 7 from USB, you can try ejecting and reconnecting the USB. Sometimes the setup program can have trouble accessing the files on the USB if it is inserted into a port that needs to be fixed. Ejecting and reconnecting the USB may help to fix this problem. 

"Fail to Create A New Partition" FAQs

1. How do you fix error "we couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one"?

This error typically occurs when installing Windows on a computer with an existing operating system. Some factors can cause the problem, but the most common cause is that the computer's BIOS is not configured to boot from the correct drive. To fix this error, you must change the boot order in the BIOS so that the right drive is listed first.

2. How do I create a partition in Windows 7?

Windows 7 includes a built-in utility for creating and managing disk partitions.

  • To create a new partition, open the Disk Management tool by hitting Start and typing in "diskmgmt.msc."
  • Once the tool opens, right-click on the unallocated space on your hard drive and select "New Simple Volume." This will launch the New Simple Volume Wizard, which will walk you through creating your new partition. You'll be able to specify the size of the partition, as well as the drive letter and file system.

Once you've created your new partition, it will appear in Windows Explorer, just like any other drive on your computer.

3. How do I fix Windows Cannot be installed in this partition?

The most straightforward solution is to delete the partition in question and then recreate it.

You need to boot from your Windows installation media and select the "Delete Partition" option from the menu. Once the partition has been deleted, you should be able to proceed with the Windows installation without any other errors. If you continue to experience this error, read on:

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About the Author

Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working at EaseUS for over ten years, starting as a technical writer and moving on to being a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over ten years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

Read full bio

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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