Category: Partitioning

How to Resolve the “Setup was unable to create a new system partition” Issue During Windows 7 Setup

Just the other day, I stumbled upon a couple of challenges when trying to install Windows 7 on a RAID array of two SSDs on my computer.

1st Issue: The missing RAID drivers

Since they didn’t exist when Windows 7 SP1 was put together, I had to load them manually inside of Windows 7 Setup.

This was simple enough, though:

  • I got on my laptop and downloaded the Intel RAID drivers from the ASUS support page for my Sabertooth X79 motherboard, then extracted the files to a USB drive.
  • I unplugged the USB disk from my laptop and loaded the driver from within Windows 7 Setup by connecting the USB drive to my main computer while in the “Where do you want to install Windows?” screen. I clicked “Load Driver” and browsed to the “Driver\Disk\64bit” folder. The next screen let me choose which driver to install (only gave me one choice).
  • The driver loaded in a couple of minutes and the disk showed up, just like a good student to school.

2nd Issue: “Setup was unable to create a new system partition”

This issue was a little trickier. To my disappointment, Windows 7 wouldn’t let me install on the RAID disk array I had chosen, giving the following error message:

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

SSD Not Available During Windows 7 Setup

Intel X25-V SSD - Still Not Getting The Daily TRIM

Intel X25 SSD: Sometimes not showing up to the party

There’s a lot of people who have had issues with their SSD not showing up in the list of available hard drives when installing Windows 7, and today I got to be one of them. I wanted to do a fresh install of Windows 7 on an Intel X25-V SSD (40GB), but the disk just wouldn’t show up.

This particular disk was used as a swap disk in a different system, so I figured it might have some problems related to formatting. Changing from IDE mode to ACHI mode did not do anything. (For Intel SSDs, IDE mode is required for the Intel software to work).

After looking around for a solution on the interwebs, I found two possible solutions, listed by “ease of use”. The second one worked for me, as I happened to have a bootable USB with GParted on hand, but the first one should work too.

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Make Your Own TRIM for SSDs in RAID Mode

A driver that finally enables TRIM support for Intel SDDs in RAID mode?

Sadly, the news were too good to be true. The latest Intel driver was incorrectly reported (techPowerUp!) to enable TRIM for SSDs in all RAID modes except for RAID5. However, this was bogus information from Intel. The correction came shortly thereafter, that support is ONLY for single disks and not while in RAID arrays.

Intel X25-V SSD - Still not getting its daily TRIM

Intel X25-V SSD - no TRIM for you!

The truth is that the new driver allows single disks that are connected while running the storage controller in RAID mode to receive the TRIM command.

It seems passing the TRIM command to SSDs in a RAID array is not a simple case with current chipsets and drivers.

The recommended workaround:
Yes, there’s actually a workaround! Just leave some 15-20% free, unformatted, unallocated space when formatting your RAID array of SSDs, seen as a single disk during OS install. The SSD controller will use this as “scratch space”. Also, do note that the much talked about performance loss over time that occurs with SSDs – is much less of an issue when in a RAID.

But what if I already formatted and used my drives?
No worries! You can still perform a Secure Erase ( to bring them back to basics. The same procedure can also be performed every 1-2 years if you experience noticeable loss of performance. But by then, maybe they will have conjured up some magical new drivers? Only time will tell …

Oh, almost forgot; for those “I run my single disk SSDs while in RAID mode” kind of guys:

Click here to get the latest Intel® Rapid Storage Technology Driver for Intel Desktop Boards.
Select your OS, then “Driver”.

How To: Mark Partition As Active

How to mark a partition as active using the Windows interface:

1. Open Computer Management (Local)

2. In the console tree, click Disk Management.

Computer Management (Local) > Storage > Disk Management

3. Right-click the primary partition you want to mark as active, and then click Mark Partition as Active.

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How To: Mark Partition As Inactive

If you managed to go into Disk Management in Windows XP and somehow click “Mark Partition as Active” accidentally, this could render your computer unbootable. If you are so lucky that you haven’t rebooted yet, here is one possible solution to the problem: mark the partition as inactive using the DISKPART tool:

  1.  Open up a command prompt and type DISKPART.
  2. Type LIST DISK
  3. Type SELECT DISK n (where n is the number of the old Win98 drive)
  5. Type SELECT PARTITION n (where n is the number of the active partition you wish to make inactive)
  6. Type INACTIVE
  7. Type EXIT to exit DISKPART
  8. Type EXIT again to exit the command prompt
  9. Reboot

Mark Partition as Inactive using the Microsoft DISKPART tool

If you have problems booting your computer or the above approach didn’t work for you, you could also try what Microsoft suggests on their help page entitled The computer does not start after you change the active partition by using the Disk Management tool – external link, opens in new window. For your convenience, the content of that page is reproduced below:

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No More RAID-ache? Introducing Drobo

Drobo is an impressive piece of hardware, automagically managing backup of your important files in an optimal way, across any different size disk combinations. You have to see if for yourself:

I would definitely buy a Drobo if they launch it over here in Norway.

Click here for the original post on PodTech.