Having trouble reinstalling Windows 7

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jmiles301, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Hello all,

    My main trading desktop got messed up during a snowstorm that passed and I'm trying to reinstall Windows 7, which I wasn't expecting to have any problems with, but for some reason or another, it's not letting me do it.

    I run two 1TB drives on my trading computer (my back-up is on XP and my main is on 7). The hard drive doesn't appear to be completely ruined because I was still able to copy over anything that I needed after logging into my back-up XP drive. However, it's not allowing me to reinstall Windows 7 and I really have no idea what to do at this point.

    The error message that shows up during the installation process states:

    "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu."

    I'm not very tech savvy, and have only been into the BIOS with the help and advice of others, so I'm not sure how to correct whatever is causing this error.

    Does anyone have any insight on this matter?

    I would greatly appreciate any help -- thank you.
  2. Not to be cynical, but I have found the easiest method is to directly google the error message. Tomshardware is usually a better source than a trading forum. ofc, no doubt others will give advice shortly.


    You stated that you had a snowstorm which caused the problem, since you are reformatting anyway. If you have a spare HDD laying around, remove your current and install it. This will eliminate the HDD being defective or not.

    Then if the problem exists, you can start troubleshooting the bios.

    Just an idea.
  3. Could be any of a few different things... and you have to troubleshoot/try each thing until you find it.

    1. Like OP said, try another drive. (If you don't have a spare, you should... just for occasions like this.) If you can install on the other drive, likely eliminates controller/mobo.

    2. That leaves the drive... (1) electronics on the drive could be damaged. If so, you won't be able to install OS on it. (2) the MBR could be corrupted. A sure way to fix that is to mount the drive as the secondary and run a Low Level Format utility. That will erase the MBR so you can start over with a fresh OS install.
  4. Thanks for the replies.

    As of now, I don't have a spare drive laying around... just the two TB drives that are in the machine. But I can't reformat the other drive because I need the data that is on it.

    So is the most logical first step to buy another drive and try it out?

    Or is there anything that can be done in the BIOS that would potentially make the current drive work?
  5. Your best bet is to have a minimum of two drives in your system,

    #1 for Operating System and Program Files

    #2+ for Data

    At this stage, I would go and pick up a SSD 80Gb/128Gb for your primary drive and probably another HDD for a Data drive.

    Then attempt the reformat reload of Win7

    if you are successful, you can pull your data off your existing 1TB drive.

    If your MOBO is hosed, you can still use the SSD in your next system or other machine.

    I personally have individual drives for each type of data and format my systems intuitively: {General Purpose Systems}

    C: Operating system & program files
    D: Data files
    M: Music files [Can also be M: Media (Music, Photo, Video)
    P: Photo files
    V: Video files

    But at the minimum I do C: / D: {which is sufficient for Trading only system}

    That way when you have a crash, your data remains intact.

    [All drives are susceptible to crashing, so I assume you are performing scheduled backups of your important information]
  6. I have never used or installed an SSD drive before... does it connect to the system in the same way that standard drives do?

    I was using my Win7 drive as my main trading drive and my XP drive as my back-up drive (my XP drive won't allow me to run 6 monitors).

    All of my data is currently backed up on the XP drive, but not elsewhere, so I do feel a little vulnerable at the moment.

    I'm running a Dell T3400 workstation fwiw, and it's a few years old at this point, so I'm open to getting an entirely new system, but would like to try and work with what I have if there's a way to do it without spending too much money.
  7. 1. Installing an SSD is the same as a HDD.

    2. Can you boot from your XP drive? If so, mount the bad drive as the D: drive and run Low Level Format on it from the C: drive (with XP). I'm assuming you can't boot from your W7 drive, correct?

    3. Yes, you can run 6-monitors on XP... more than that if you want.
  8. SSD installs same as HDD, only smaller so may need to use included adapter.

    Not sure why you need two operating systems, just install Win7 and two seperate drives C-System drive, D-Data storage.

    Keep it clean and light, if this is a trading rig, keep it as such.

    No need to upgrade just yet, try the new drive first, if your mobo is shot, you can always use it in your new system.

    You may consider getting an external HDD Dock to read your old drives and for external backup to secure your most valuable information.

    Edit: just saw Scat's response, ignore my post, your in good hands with him or Winston
  9. One of my video cards is not compatible with XP. That's why I can't run my full 6-monitor set-up on that drive. That was my original drive (when I was running 4 monitors), but I upgraded to Win7 so that one of my cards would work properly. After that, I just left it as it was and used the XP drive as my back-up.

    I can still boot from my XP drive, but not my Win7 drive. I was still able to pull any data that I needed off of the Win7 drive, though, so it didn't completely crash. It just won't boot. And that's the error that I get when I try to reinstall Win7 on it now.

    How do I mount the bad drive as the D: drive and run Low Level Format on it?

    Thanks for all of your help -- appreciate it.
  10. 1. Get all the important info off of the bad drive that you can.

    2. Sounds to me like it's a corrupted MBR... which can't be corrupted if you want to boot or install OS. You need to erase the "boot sector at the beginning of the partition" where the MBR is stored so you can rewrite that sector with a fresh OS install.

    3. Not all "format" or "install" procedures will erase the MBR... but the Low Level Format ultility will. You need to download a Low Level Format utility (free) and run it from your XP drive with your bad drive mounted as D:

    With your T3400... one of the SATA cables is for the C: drive, the other for D: (determined by which port each is plugged into on mobo) Move the cables around so that the XP drive is C: and the bad drive is D:, then run LLF utility from C: with D: selected for the LLF. LLF will completely erase everything on D:... including the MBR... after LLF complete, you should be able to reinstall W7 on that drive if the drive is physically OK.
    #10     Jan 8, 2013