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.
Solution 1: Using Diskpart during Windows 7 Setup
- When Windows 7 Setup has loaded and the language selection dialog is showing, press SHIFT + F10 simultaneously. This opens a command prompt:
- Type “diskpart” and hit ENTER.
- Type the following commands one by one – hit ENTER for each of them to run the commands:
- list disk (to show the ID number of the hard disk to partition, normally it’s Disk 0)
- select disk 0 (change 0 to another number if applicable)
- create partition primary
- select partition 1
- format fs=ntfs quick
- Type “exit” again to close the command prompt window.
- Continue Windows 7 setup as usual. The disk should now show up in the list.
Solution 2: Using GParted “Live USB” or “Live CD”
Either Download Tuxboot and follow the instructions to create a bootable USB, or download the CD ISO image and burn it to CD using any DVD burning application that supports loading and burning ISO’s. I suggest using the freeware image burning tool ImgBurn for this.
- Make sure that your USB or CD/DVD-ROM device is on the top of the boot priority list in the BIOS. Sometimes, a USB disk will be not be recognized as a “removable disk”, rather a hard drive and must then be moved up the list in the separate “hard disk boot priority” list (if available). Some computers also have a special button you can press to bring up a boot device selection menu.
- Tuxboot should start up. Just hit enter when it asks for keymaps and such during loading.
- Information about your disks and partitions should now show up. Select your SSD from the right hand drop-down list if you have more disks installed and connected.
- If you have an existing partition on the disk, right-click on it and select delete (this was enough for my disk to work). Alternatively, if it just says “unallocated space“, right click and create a new NTFS partition. Basically you’re doing the same then as in the first solution above, only using a different tool.
- Hit “Apply” so that the changes actually will be made. Wait until it is done.
- Double-click the Exit icon and select Shutdown. Unplug/unload your GParted USB/CD.
- Try Windows 7 Setup again, and the disk should now be available in the list!