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Windows installer won't format unallocated partition


shado
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Hello, I used nLite to make a windows image that worked the first time around. However, I realized that I forgot ethernet and printer drivers, so I made another image to integrate those drivers . However, during the install when I am asked to pick the partition the following happens:

I delete my old windows partition successfully, but when I try to create a new partition in that unallocated space I get the following message:

"Windows Cannot be installed to this hard disk space. The selected disk has the maximum number of partitions of this type."

I'm not sure why since I just installed it with no problem less than 24 hours earlier.

Any ideas? I can't boot into Windows to trouble shoot since I deleted the partition already, I am using a Linux LiveCD to post this message.

My hard drive in question looks like this:

hd0,0 = now unallocated, prior windows partition (~25 GB) [this is where I installed it successfully the first time around]

hd0,1 = linux boot partition (~80mb)

hd0,2 = linux root partition (~13 GB)

hd0,3 = linux swap (~1 GB)

Everything is identical to the first image except I integrated drivers for my network card and printer, took out a daemon tools addon, replaced Firefox 3.0.9 with 3.0.10, and I added a Thunderbird addon. Everything else is identical. However, I don't see why any of these would directly cause this issue.

To conclude:

I am trying to install on the first partition of the first hard drive like I previously did successfully. But when I try to format it to NTFS (I don't even get to that menu to pick NTFS vs. FAT) I get this message from above:

"Windows Cannot be installed to this hard disk space. The selected disk has the maximum number of partitions of this type."

Any advice would be appreciated. Hopefully I won't to make another image from nLite, since I don't even have Windows installed at the moment. How can I be sure this won't happen again? When you test on a virtual machine you don't go through this stage of deleting/formatting partitions. If you need more info, let me know.

Thanks!

Edited by shado
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You removed the formatting support didn't ya?

Lets see your last session please.

Well that would be really careless if I did!

I don't really remember coming across a formatting support much less removing it since I saying my installation worked the first time.

session ini is attached.

shado.ini

Edited by shado
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Hmmm I don't see anything that would cause the issue.

SO you say you deleted the Windows partition and then tried to recreate it?

yup... the next step was to format to NTFS, instead I get that error whether I press C to create partition or Enter to install Windows.

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I didnt want to delete all partitions because the other partitions are part of my linux install.

Is there a way to format to NTFS with linux? I don't recall NTFS as an option with any linux partition manager I've used.

However, if there is no way around this, I will either have to delete all of them and reinstall both windows and linux OR....

reinstall my last version of windows I made with nLite, and try making the image all over again.

I didn't want to resort to those options because it seems like this should be an easy fix... given that everything worked OK the first time.

It was just supposed to be a quick install by integrating 2 new drivers. adding thunderbird, and updating the current firefox addon to version 3.0.10.

;\

so am I SOL?

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My only other suggestion is to get a bootdisk (Yes they make boot cd's too) and format it the good old fashioned way.

Do you mean a Windows bootdisk to use fdisk utility or any general boot disk?

I was previously trying to find a boot disk for partition magic, so that could load up before any OS so I could use it to format the partition.

When previously trying to find/make a Windows Boot CD I remember NOT having success.

Thanks for your help.

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Like Linux? Try Gparted http://gparted.sourceforge.net/index.php it is supossed to be very good.

Parted Magic is worth a look too and is also based around Gparted. Clonezilla is quite handy for backing up the Windows partition before doing a new install.

These linux live CD's have come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, effectively making Ghost and Partition Magic unnecessary for most users.

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Depending on your Linux distro, and if it uses Gnome, you may already have GParted installed, or can install it from your package manager. You will probably also have to install NTFS-3G support, in order to format to NTFS (I know I did when formatting a partition to NTFS using Ubuntu 9.04).

I don't know of an equivalent to GParted in KDE, if that's more your flavor.

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Thanks for your input about linux and formatting to NTFS. (Ubuntu 9.04 as well)

Somehow the problem was resolved.

After my troubleshooting events, I put my nLite installation back to see what would happen and strangely, the partition was no longer unallocated but was formatted to a 4gb NTFS partition. I'm not sure how this happened since I was never able to format it during my troubleshooting.

The troubleshooting consisted of reloading my grub boot loader mbr image back into the mbr.

After this I tried using gParted Live to format into NTFS. However, when gParted opened to scan my drives it went thru hda, hdb and stopped there. My drives are on sda and sdb. I expected it to keep continuing but after unreasonable amount of time it stayed on hdb (tried it more than once). So that's when I decided to try to put in the nLite cd again and somehow it was a 4gb ntfs.

Thanks for the help. Windows boots, logs in, and is ready to use in under 10 sec =).

Edited by shado
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For your info, I created 4 linux partitions on a drive, rebooted to start XP install, deleted the 1st one, tried to select unalocated space for installing Windows, and got the same message as in your 1st post. Then went to bed as it was late.

Just before that I had tried with this setup:

-free space

-PR-FAT32 ACTIVE

-PR-FAT32

-PR-FAT32

and it (XP install process) created an extended partition in the free space. Maybe that's normal if you have it installing in a non active partition ?

Maybe you were and maybe XP setup considers exotic partitions as extended and doesn't create a 2nd one ? More later ?

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If an ntfs partition appears automagically then I would think it's something to do with the unattended settings, probably autopartition. If you remove format capability then this never happens of course :lol:

For the benefit of others, if the GParted Live CD doesn't work then give the Parted Magic one a try. Super Grub Disk might be worth a look for Linux users wishing to backup, restore their bootsectors.

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