Windows 8 and the dreaded couldn’t create a new partition

Hi all,

        Something must be wrong with me, as I am posting more than normal on my blog!.  This time its about Windows 8.  I have rebuilt my PC over the last few evenings and been running into the error:

"We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one.  For more information, see the Setup log files."


This error hits after you enter the CD key (I must have entered mine about 30 times trying to get around this issue), when you try to assign the partition that you wish to install windows 8 on.  I have 3 hard drives in my PC and I have tried all numerical combinations of disks, plus unplugged all USB ports (I didnt have any devices in my PC during install), removed all SD ports (I didnt have anything in them anyway) and removed anything else that was not screwed on.  Still the same error.

I finally fixed it by following this process (IMPORTANT: These steps assume that you have not got any data on any of your HDDs that you care about!!!):


Reboot the PC with the Win 8 CD in and select repair

Head over to the advanced tools option

once in the command prompt run Diskpart


Type SELECT DISK <whatever disk number you have> 






perform the above for any other hdds present, but dont make any other drive active of course.

Now reboot and start in the installation over again.  you should be good to go πŸ™‚


I hope this helps you

Comments (138)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a lot you made my day and stopped my from smashing my head into the wall lol. Thanks for everything dont know what i would be doing without you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What if i don’t have a DVD and I am booting through a USB flash drive ???

  3. ReaperFighter says:

    Do you have any errors Bharat? is there any particular step that doesn't work?  Have you removed all removable devices possible (SD cards etc)

  4. Anonymous says:

    What made the difference for me was that I had to delete all the other other partitions on the other disks in the machine.

  5. Hi,

    so you now know your product key without reading it πŸ™‚ – 30 times, damn, I would have gone and left the PC alone.. *gg*

  6. ReaperFighter says:

    I cant leave anything like this alone, until I have figured out what the issue is :)..  It is true, I do know my product key from memory now πŸ™‚

  7. Ed (DareDevil57) says:

    thanks for this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    okay, for me this changes the disk to not be gpt. any ideas to stop it doing that?

  9. pcvg says:

    Out of all the solutions disabling s.m.a.r.t. worked for me. Have a good day!

  10. Mark says:

    Worked for me! Thanks. Saved me banging my head against the wall. πŸ™‚

  11. Zossqo says:

    hey there ReaperFighter could please help with a solution for disks that need to be in gpt format ?

  12. Jasdemi says:

    Saved my day. πŸ˜€

  13. leelo7 says:

    Tried all the above, and still no joy πŸ™

  14. brad says:

    You saved the day!!!!!!! Worked for me πŸ˜€

  15. sandeep says:

    Instead of using "clean" you could use the following:


    Type SELECT PARTITION <n> where <n> is your partition number of the last drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space 20 Gb)


    Type ACTIVE

  16. colin says:

    Thanks! I thought I might have to use my hard drive as a paperweight before this solution.

  17. Edwin says:

    Thanks! Before reading this, i was trying formatting using easus partition master. Turned out that I was missing the "Set as active" option on the win8 partition. No need to reformat the other drives though

  18. banosd says:

    I failed for hours until using Diskpart on my hard disk, thanks!

  19. Regent says:

    Dell T320 with PERC 710. Had more than 4 partitions and dual SD cards. Removed the SD cards and kept it below 4 partitions and now everything installs. I also ran the setup mentioned above and all is well. Why is there a 4 partition (circa IDE interface) limit on a Windows 8 install?


  20. khalid says:

    Thank you

  21. Bharat says:

    not working

  22. 9ler says:

    worked for me

  23. Dan G. says:

    I ran through the same stuff – but the most common solution is what worked for me – just disconnect everything!  

    I was skimping and not disconnecting the SD card reader and I think that's what finally opened it up.  I did have a problem after the first reboot where it did not recognize the boot record – but if you boot from the CD again and follow the repair process that seemed to fix it.

  24. gnani says:

    its working perfectly… Thanks

  25. Thank you says:

    Worked straight ahead,u can do this straight from the "where do you want to install" window by typing shift+f10

  26. Chris says:

    Much appreciated.

  27. Shrikant says:

    Thanks a lot. Worked for me.

    Thank you very much.

  28. Clay says:

    Thank you!!! It's so sad after 20+ years of OS development that MS still can't get things right.

  29. charlie says:

    Thank you

  30. DOSman says:

    Delete all partitions, unplug all disk devices, WTF?! Unbelievable that Windows still sucks so bad it hurts. Linux has no problems like this, but then again Windows is supposed to be pre-installed so no need to worry.  

  31. Dilema says:

    Heeeeelllllpppppp, ok after trawling the world wide web, and trying all the above in many different combos,i am still faced with that error of no partition, and trust me there is a partition lol, if any one can help i will be Waiting, thanks in advance

  32. abo 25 says:

    Please Microsoft not only is windows 8 uncool but make at least easy to use installer !!!

  33. LaTiNo says:

    grrrrr, the CLEAN command apparenly deletes ALL partitions on a disk!!! Not only the partition you want to use for windows πŸ™

    So be *very* careful with that!

    btw, I can't believe that the Windows setup can't handle something so basic as this. Windows 7 never had *any* problems with this kind of issues…

  34. David says:

    Saved my butt…

  35. Kristian says:

    Hey, I seem to be having the same problem but when I type the format part in it doesn't work? Just built my first pc and can't get windows 8 to install it's pretty frustrating! I'm not very knowledgeable at this stuff so maybe it is something else?

  36. kpz says:

    Thank you so much. This worked first try with no issues. Just a tip though, the very first step should be "diskpart" in thr command prompt, followed by list disk. But thanks again! Big help.

  37. Swish says:

    Just gotta say –  almost a year later, still works! You're awesome.

  38. Vaibhav Gupta says:

    I don't know you, but I love you in a totally non-homoerotic way. Thank you very much! πŸ™‚

  39. Helped says:


  40. Henry says:

    OMG, it worked! I was installing onto a raid set with Intel Rapid Storage drivers loaded.

  41. Pavel says:

    Nice. Thanks

  42. Adrian says:

    thx man! works great!!!

  43. Nasis says:


  44. Chimpmaster says:

    Thanks worked a treat with 8.1 and an SSD, I did not get this issue with convention sata

  45. Mohit says:

    when I have entered create partition primary…it will show that create is not recognized as an inter or external command, operable program or batch file…

    plzzz help me…

  46. Acer S7 Diskpart didn't work. There was an SD card in the reader though, after it was taken out everything worked as normal.

  47. Alfirio says:

    Thanks! you are a master, worked fine after this.

  48. mp says:

    Thank you. You saved a lot of my time with this. It didn’t work until I unplugged my USB hub that I had only the keyboard and mouse hooked in to. It is not the type that reads memory cards, just a plain hub.

    Microsoft should find this thread and pay attention, because SSDs are very common now and they haven’t addressed this SSD installation issue (which is obviously happening to a lot of us folks out there).

  49. al says:

    change u’r usb drive media it’s really work

  50. ComaX says:

    Thanks, I was starting to get mad but that took care of it!

  51. Johno says:

    I tried every solution on this board, to no avail. Then, I unplugged all other SATA cables and it work flawlessly directly from the Windows installation wizard. Cheers to all that now have memorized their keys!

  52. GeeZus says:

    I changed my ssd Kingston hyper to **dynamic ** (convert dynamic)in cmd and also unplug all other drives ….Huston we have lift off.

  53. Spencer Rogers says:

    i love you

  54. Jarrad King says:

    I have a brand new bottom of the line server that we purchased simply for the massive processing power it has. This server has no support for Windows 8 or 8.1 so I needed to insert drivers to make the SATA cards work before I can access the drives. This error, and these steps kept me very puzzled however I found a solution based on many comments here and some of my own thoughts. I thought I would share for the next poor fellow that came across this exact problem.

    I have to boot from USB, there is not optical drive on this unit. To prepare the USB (to save me adding a second drive) by copying the drivers I needed straight on to the boot disk. (I could have injected them, I just did not see the point if this was not going to work)
    I removed the other HDD’s plugged in to the SATA
    I could not use the Windows 7 machine for the above steps (It produced an error to the effect of this was made with a different version of NTFS) so I booted to the recovery from the server, and accessed the command prompt that way
    I had to convert the disk (a Kingston SSD) to dynamic before the installation would work

    Thank you for all your help!

  55. AlonJ says:

    After being down for several days, your instructions worked perfectly, now iΒ΄m installing again!

  56. Chris says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  57. frustrated soul says:

    Original hdd crashed. Bought new one 4TB and wanted to use full for Windows. First problem MBR doesn’t support large disks, so used diskpart to make one GPT drive with the whole capacity. Second problem getting UEFI bootable drive. Bios supports it but trying with USB failed over and over. Finally made a CD and got me beyond last hiccup. Latest problem Windows can’t install on this and these steps didn’t help, can’t make GPT drives active, only fixed MBR. Frustrated, I made Windows installer delete the partition and create a new one. Windows recognizes the whole capacity as a big drive but creates three extra small partitions that it apparently needs. Seems to go along fine and now to some customization…

  58. Tharindu Dananjaya says:

    Thank you Great…… Success

  59. Venkatesh says:

    You saved my Day!

  60. motorpig says:

    I solved this differently. Went with custom install and deleted all of the current partitions and formatted. I then had to restart the install. Worked

  61. alex says:

    Thank you bro – for those that still need help figuring things out i recommend reading this

  62. Thank you. This instruction work for me

  63. ksdkjfaccn says:

    working hell yea!

  64. ML49448 says:

    I can not believe it doesnt work! why cant they make there disc work! Its windows 8! its suppose to be new!

  65. aaron says:

    Many thanks! You just saved me a lot of time

  66. Denis says:

    Hi! Thanks a lot for this post, it really helped me. Good luck, man πŸ™‚

  67. J C says:

    I did this but slightly different only reformatting my partition. After hitting reboot now the windows disk won’t load. What a pain in the butt. I’ve spent several hours only to get this far as still back to point A. Frustrating

  68. Drjsilver says:

    Had same problem. Did the steps but still would not load 8.1. Had to disconnect the 3 spinner drives and the USB drives (card slots) to make 8.1 load. Finally got it. THANK GOD! It put me to sleep trying to resolve this. What the hell is it with Microsoft that they can’t get this crap right? What is so damn difficult????????

  69. Sok Ho (Cambodia) says:

    yes that right you can remove SD card and one thing you could go to BIOS for change booting :
    first boot from CD
    second boot from Hard Drive
    and Other …..
    Please try to do this

  70. Sok Ho (Cambodia) says:

    yes that right you can remove SD card and one thing you could go to BIOS for change booting :
    first boot from CD
    second boot from Hard Drive
    and Other …..
    Please try to do this

  71. Masoud says:

    Tanks alot …. I fixed by paragon partition

  72. Andy Ewings says:

    Many Thanks = Worked a Dream!!!!

  73. Annie says:

    Not Working

  74. Gavin says:

    Yes, Reapfighter’s instructions worked. I was installing Windows 2012 on an HP ML10 entry level server with RAID switched on. I had mistakenly done an install without that first, which had obviously created a partition beforehand. Using the above instructions
    cleaned out the mess and allowed me to create a new active partition and format it. The next time I got to do an installation all proceeded smoothly, one the RAID driver was installed via a USB memory stick.

  75. mike says:

    Perfect. Thanks so much for sharing. Performed just on os drive no needed to remove others or partition others for me

  76. Martin says:

    Good times.. Great post my friend, worked just fine.

  77. HICHAM says:


  78. Lvh says:

    Thank you, sir. Worked flawlessly.

  79. Technogizguy says:


  80. Matt H says:

    Had this problem installing on our new Dell server. Dell support instructed us to remove the internal SD card module and the problem went away.

  81. Anon says:

    The first thing to check would be your bios settings. Because new machines now use UEFI there are certain settings needed to be set.
    1. Secure boot is off
    2. Boot needs to set to the following to enable install. Win8 = EUFI; Win7 = Hybrid; XP = Legacy

    I had the "Windows 8 and the dreaded couldn’t create a new partition" went to my BIOS set boot to UEFI, second attempt windows created the partions and installed with no issues!!!

  82. navy guy says:

    Thank you all for the common sense. I tried repeatedly and disconnecting my other SSD s what worked ( I had 2).

  83. twp says:

    Dude thank you so much.

  84. JoJo says:

    this remove all your hard disk data.

  85. Sidney says:

    All I have to say is god bless you indeed

  86. old computer man says:

    Much thanks….worked!!

  87. kees says:

    unplug all hdd en sad you don’t use :-0

  88. Andy says:

    Worked for me cheers

  89. JustSavedYourDay says:

    I found the ultimate fix that works every time and you don’t have to use the command line or type a single thing.

    When you get to that screen that wants you to choose a partition to install windows on, simply disconnect the USB drive you are installing from, or open your disc tray that has the windows install on it, and then plug it back in / close the tray. Works every
    time. Not kidding. It’s THAT simple.

  90. JustSavedYourDay says:

    You panic and THINK it’s a problem with your hard drive, but it is actually a strange issue with the usb drive / DVD drive you are installing FROM, not the disc you are installing TO.

    Read my above comment for the much easier fix.

  91. ryan says:

    You are awesome. I haven’t had a gaming PC for months and this worked like a charm!

  92. Zola says:

    This works perfectly, thank you

  93. Rob says:

    Diskpart did not work for me.

    I had 5x2TB drives connected along with the C: drive. I disconnected all 5 drives and left the c: drive only. It worked. I suggest if it isn’t working for some people disconnect usb drives and your other hard drives.


  94. Fabio Dias says:

    Thank you man. Saved my day.

  95. Dave B says:

    I also was reduced to unplugging all HDDs except the one I wanted to install to.

  96. cody says:

    i love you.

  97. @KangenAlec says:

    Thanks it worked on HP TouchSmart.

  98. richard S. says:

    You saved my day mate!

  99. tasos says:

    thnk you very very matchhh

  100. Marc-andre Boivin says:

    Wow thank you so much! Works like a charm

  101. Harpo says:

    Thankyou heaps…. This is my second Win8.1 install… the first was a breeze… this was a nightmare…. and only to be told that it won’t format my disk… I know I got to putting the key in 13 times before I got to this issue… No. 14 seems to be the
    one… thanks again

  102. StoneCypher7 says:

    Saved my butt just now. Thank you!!

  103. Glenn says:

    Thanks. This post is still saving lives…

  104. jotheman says:

    Had the same problem but nothing was working. If this does not work for you as well, try setting the disk you want to install on as first boot device (even though nothing is on it yet) and the installation medium (in my USB-stick) as secondary.
    Not a clue why, but it works πŸ™‚

    I had this on a W2012R2 installation with a lot of disks on several different controllers.

  105. Amir says:

    Works like a charm πŸ™‚

  106. Duncan says:

    Worked for me! Thanks!

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  109. Kevin Z. says:

    Wow, man, thank you!!! I know its been years since you posted this fix, but it was a life saver today! Trying to do a fresh install on my son’s new SSD, entering the code at least 30 times, etc… "dreaded" couldn’t-create-a-new is exactly right.. Thanks
    Microsoft for making this so user friendly (not) πŸ™‚

  110. solomon says:

    After doing every thing yet there was a problem , and I thought Quick is not good, now it will take almost a days time to format and I will watch the numbers increasing by 1 / min

  111. Dan_IT says:

    this did not work for me

  112. Dan_IT says:

    These steps did not work but I found that I would get this error when I had an sd card inserted during the install. Once I removed my SD card the install then worked.

  113. Kelemvor33 says:

    This had no effect for me. Only thing connected is the USB drive I’m installing Win8 from. Tried killing all the partitions and everything and it didn’t help. Never had this problem before.

  114. xfixer says:

    It worked on an ASUS laptop that had never been formatted before. Thanks Reaper.

  115. Ihatemicrosoft says:

    Doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried every combination under the sun and I just can’t get past that screen. I’ve been working on this same problem for about 5 days now, 7 hours or more a day. I’ve entered my CD key about 100 times now. Microsoft has no idea
    what’s wrong. Nobody does. I think my brand new 1200 dollar computer is fucked. I’ve even bought 5 new drives and none of them work. I brought it into microcener and they couldn’t figure it out. I even took a fresh install off a different machine and put it
    in the computer. It doesn’t recognize a windows installtion even exists! This is stupid!!

  116. Henko says:

    This worked, thanks

  117. Rubaration says:

    Thank you so much! I thought i was never going to get it working

  118. Bg says:

    I had an SD card installed.. After removing it, the install succeeded perfectly. Go figure!

  119. wolfy says:

    when i typed CLEAN , it says "Diskpart has encountered an error: the request could not be perfomed because of an I/O device error. See the System Event Log for more information

  120. wolfy says:

    sorry, i mean when i typed CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY , it gives me this errror

  121. ML49448 says:

    didn’t work, still same error

  122. MKD55 says:

    didn’t work, same error, any other options?

  123. Dalmiro says:

    Worked for me for windows 10. Thx a lot

  124. aaron says:

    Saved my sanity on a GPT partitioned SSD for Windows 10. You are a champion of the people.

  125. tom says:

    Worked great!

  126. PS says:

    Nice! Fix my problem!

  127. Gesss says:

    If you type clean all the data in disk and alll partitions have gone. What can can i do to retrive them again because i had important files in my local disk D. Can anyone help me????

  128. Chris says:

    After I did this it now does not even let me have the option to open the windows disk I am stuck on the screen that an operating system wasn’t found

  129. miguel says:

    The ‘clean’ command did it for me. I used an ssd which failed cloning before and that messed up the gpt tables. You rescued me

  130. mike says:

    Tried this solution on a Window 10 install. Initially didnt work but then I followed what Regent mentioned and that worked. I had 6 physical drives, I unplugged two (thankfully in a hot-swap case) and was able to install.

  131. Devin says:

    Thank you sooo much!

  132. NIGGAH!! says:

    This ****** doesn’t work !!!!!! >.<

  133. Joe says:

    I cant belive, it is working πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot!!!

  134. COOLSKID says:

    DIDNT ****** WORK ***

  135. Cees says:

    i had to disable the sata controller which contained drives with my dynamic volumes for raid before i could install.

  136. Steve says:

    Thanks! Saved me a ton of time. At least 29 times.

  137. Alan B says:

    Tried this multiple times, but nothing worked. I was trying to install from a USB stick, ended up changing the boot order and put the internal SSD disk on top before the usb device and that worked fine.

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