Windows 7 RTM - Clean Install Bug Revised Aug. 13th, 2009
Windows 7 will not perform a "Clean Install" successfully on a PC that has multiple drives.
You may encounter an error when you are installing Windows 7 on a new un-partitioned hard drive even if the other hard drive or drives only contain an extended partition with one or more logical drives. By contrast Windows XP has no problems with a "Clean Install" even with multiple drives installed.
Since I currently do not have an additional new "fresh out of the box" hard drive I could not duplicate this problem at the current time.
August 13th: I was able to remove any remaining partition information using EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition from the new hard drive I used in my initial findings. This allowed me to repeat the installation process an confirm the bug is reproducible!
During the install process Windows 7 will recognize that your PC have multiple drives and correctly displays the status of the hard drives, including the new drive. At this point you now have the option to create a partition and format the drive. The exact steps taken as part of the install process are listed below.
However after successfully creating and formatting the new drive, when you click on the 'Next' button, up pops the error message and you can not proceed with the installation.
The problem is that Windows 7 fails to create the small 100MB NTFS System partition.
The solution is to disconnect all your other hard drives and only leave the new drive connected. Then start the install process again, delete the partition you created previously and then once again create a new partition. This time around you will see a brief message pertaining to the creation of that small but necessary 100MB partition. Now you can continue with the remaining part of the installation.
Step by Step: (Clean Install Bug Confirmed) Started Windows7 setup Accepted defaults for Language,Time and currency and Keyboard. Click 'Next'/ Install now Setup is starting... Accept the License terms Click 'Next' Which type of installation do you want? Select 'Custom' (Advanced) Where do you want to install Windows? Selected the new hard drive ('Type' column is blank) (the other two drives are displayed as Type 'Logical') Selected Drive options (advanced) Click 'New' This is where I set the Size (value) to create a 30GB partition. Click 'Apply' Pop up message: "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information" The 30GB partition was created but the creation of the 100MB system partition failed! Clicking the 'Next' button at this point will not allow you to proceed with the installation.
Workaround: The solution is to disconnect all your other hard drives and only leave the new drive connected. Then start the install process again, delete the partition you created previously and then once again create a new partition. This time around you will see a brief message pertaining to the creation of that small but necessary 100MB partition. Now you can continue with the remaining part of the installation.
On a successful attempt you will see the following message: "To insure that all Windows feature work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files" Click 'OK' Type is now shown as 'Primary' Click 'Format' The usual warning about losing any data stored will be lost.