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*SOLVED* Windows 7 Clean Install: "No Drives Were Found"

By JesseM ยท 52 replies
Jan 25, 2018
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  1. I'm trying to completely wipe my laptop's HDD and fresh install Windows 7 from a USB drive in preparation to sell this particular laptop. I've created the bootable USB and booted into the Windows installer. Here comes the problem. When I get to the step "Where do you want to install Windows?", there are no drives listed but instead I get the error "No drives were found. Click Load Driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation."

    I checked diskpart and got a single partition, the OEM disk recovery partition: "Disk 0 - Online - 14GB". What gives? How can I wipe the drive? I remember using Boot and Nuke in the past, but I'm not remembering the process or even if it's applicable here. Please advise, many thanks!

    UPDATE:
    I just wiped the HDD on the laptop using DBAN and get the exact same error, and see the exact same information in diskpart. What's going on people?!

    UPDATE 2:
    I just installed the HDD driver (Intel Matrix Storage Manager) from the laptop manufacturer's website. I still get the same error, no drives show up in the installer, but now in diskpart the drive shows up with two partitions as follows:
    Disk 0 - Status: Online - Size: 14GB - Free: 14GB
    Disk 1 - Status: Online - Size: 960MB - Free: 0B
    I feel like there's something funky going on with the handling of the HDD partitions.
    There shouldn't be anything wrong with the hardware as Windows had been running a-ok before attempting to wipe and reinstall Windows.

    UPDATE 3:
    *facepalm* those two drives are the bootable USB drives I'm using for Windows 7 install and DBAN. So my internal HDD is not showing up at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  2. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,725   +455

    JesseM likes this.
  3. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 234   +10

    Hi @holdum323
    I appreciate the response, but there is unfortunately no information there relating to my problem. Until step 9 everything is fine, but step 10 I get the error and no disks are listed, only the error "No drives were found."
     
  4. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,725   +455

    jobeard and JesseM like this.
  5. Factory Recovery Discs might help if available from the maker.
    If the maker of your computer has a Forum you might want to go there & see what people there have to say.
    Asus Support---

    https://www.asus.com/us/support/#!estore/cei8

    From my experience, you don't need to wipe a computer before installing or reinstalling an OS.
    The new install will wipe out the old stuff automatically.

    If you are then still worried, wipe the new Free Space only.
    CCleaner will do this.
    [​IMG]
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    Good luck. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2018
    JesseM and holdum323 like this.
  6. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,725   +455

    Hi @DavidBailey I think the OP has a major problem. He created a bootable USB that should work fine to install W7. The problem is that his hard drive is not being recognized.;)He wiped it with DBAN. The last link I posted will take awhile to go through.
    I agree that you shouldn't have to wipe the drive before installing or reinstalling windows.
    Thanks for joining this thread.(y)
     
    JesseM and DavidBailey like this.
  7. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 234   +10

    Small correction, I didn't actually wipe the laptop HDD with DBAN. I accidentally wiped my Windows boot USB with DBAN thinking it was the OEM recovery partition (they're both 14GB)...hence the *facepalm*. DBAN was also unable to recognize the drive in autonuke mode. I've been following the link you shared, I'll update when I finish. Fingers crossed something in there will work. Thank you both for your help @holdum323 and @DavidBailey
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    IMO, the system HD has lost its partition table(s)
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  9. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,725   +455

    Do you have a solution for that?
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    You need another boot source (linux, usb, dvd) and then examine the system HD with whatever disk tools are available on the boot media. GPARTED is a good tool, but one needs to read the tutorials.

    The outline is
    1. verify there is A partition that is marked Active and is formatted NTFS
    2. if (1) is false, then create same.
    Secondary issue is Legacy vs UEFI boot on the BIOS and resolve that issue.
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    Yes, that's not a prerequisite to the install. HOWEVER, it is the right choice for his privacy to remove all traces of any prior users and their usage.
     
    DavidBailey and holdum323 like this.
  12. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,725   +455

    Is that not covered in the link I posted above? Post #4 I'mtrying to learn new things!
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  13. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 234   +10

    Windows7 is still installed on the drive and I can successfully boot into it. In Disk Manager I get the primary partition that is active and formatted (otherwise Windows wouldn't boot, correct?). I also get a ~14GB partition that says "unallocated" and can't be deleted.
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    Super. Partition === unallocated is contradiction. It is allocated (and thus a partition) OR it's unallocated and can be used to create another partition
     
    DavidBailey and JesseM like this.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    Let's not start another dancing session. You ASKed a question and I gave the simplest of all possible answers. If you already covered that, then WHY did you ask?
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  16. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,725   +455

    I'm not dancing. I'm trying to learn. I don't know if my link covered it or not. I just asked if it was covered in the link I posted.
    Hardware is not my thing and I'm trying to learn. No need to get upset!
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    Post#4 has a lot going on (as you noted). I find this disturbing:
    Diskpart
    List disk
    Select disk 2<< VERY USER SPECIFIC CHOICE
    Clean
    (using Clean command in diskpart will delete all partitions on the selected disk)​
    Say goodbye to anything you wanted to keep. These tools can be a blessing and a curse and you better walk softly and carry a big stick (aka read twice, take action once).

    MiniTool Partition Wizard is just as bad.

    The goal IMO is to verify that at least one partition is available (and if we reinstall over it, then it's good bye data) OR to be able to create another partition from the existing free space (unallocated).
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  18. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    hmm; that says a lot (to me at least). You're asking someone to validate what you've chosen to post - - sigh.

    I'll bow out to you and others.
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  19. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 234   +10

    Yes, the unallocated 14GB is not a partition. But I'm having a difficult understanding exactly what it is. I'm currently at work so I can't get a screenshot, but from memory, in Windows Disk Manager the drive is divided into three parts, in this order from left to right:

    14GB unallocated | 245GB system active healthy | 1MB unallocated

    I can't expand the system partition any more and can't do anything with the 14GB except create a new partition, which apparently doesn't solve any of my problems (Windows installer still doesn't see the drive).
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  20. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Posts: 1,725   +455

    Hi @JesseM Sorry I don't know? Here's screen shot of my drive.
    Capture25.JPG
     
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  21. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    But it boots win/7? So it's the installer that is having the issue 'No drive found'. Sounds to me like the installer is attempting a UEFI install - - does your bios allow that?
     
    DavidBailey and JesseM like this.
  22. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 234   +10

    I don't know what a UEFI install is, and I don't know if my BIOS allows it (probably not). Is that specific to the Windows installer .iso I downloaded? If so that would be an easy fix. I'll try to do a little research into this.
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  23. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,207   +1,361

    UEFI is a newer technology for secure boot. It must be enabled in the BIOS and that's where you see if your system even supports it. Clearly, right now you're using the Legacy BIOS to boot Win/7
     
    DavidBailey and JesseM like this.
  24. holdum323 and JesseM like this.
  25. JesseM

    JesseM TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 234   +10

    Very good information. As I mentioned I'm at work now, but as soon as I get home I'll look around in the BIOS menu for a UEFI boot option and post an update here. This sounds promising. Thank you @jobeard
     
    DavidBailey likes this.

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