"Windows is unable to find a system volume that meets its criteria for installation"

Discussion in 'General Technical' started by sds, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. sds

    sds

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    Hi,



    I installed Vista a while back, on a system pretty much formatted this way:



    Code:
    partition 1: linux
    
    partition 2: XP
    
    partition 3: linux swap
    
    partition 4: extended {
    
    	partition 5: linux home
    
    	partition 6: linux usr
    
    	partition 7: Vista
    
    }


    This worked fine. Perfectly, in fact, and I was really pleased with how smooth the Vista install went. I noticed that Vista installed its bootloader on partition 2. Since I was going to trash XP at some point, I figured I would cross this bridge when I got to it.



    I got to that bridge last night. It was time to install a different flavour of linux, and trash XP. But nothing's ever easy...



    I reinstalled linux so that things look more like:



    Code:
    partition 1: LVM partition, holding linux root and linux usr
    
    partition 2: linux swap
    
    partition 4: extended {
    
    	partition 5: linux home
    
    	partition 6: Vista
    
    }


    Of course, doing this trashed Vista's bootloader previously located on partition 2. Pointing the Linux bootloader at partition 6 instead of 2 resulted in a hang on boot; I figured that Vista hadn't installed the necessary chainloader onto its own partition. D'oh!



    Easiest fix, I thought, was to reinstall. Popped in the DVD, fired up the machine, and attempted to install Vista onto its own partition, making sure to format for a good clean install. But now I got this message:



    "Windows is unable to find a system volume that meets its criteria for installation"



    Damn. "Perhaps it's confused that it doesn't have any NTFS space on a primary partition," so I decided to start reorganising the partitions again. So now my space looks like this:



    Code:
    partition 1: LVM partition, holding linux root and linux usr
    
    partition 2: linux swap
    
    partition 3: blank NTFS
    
    partition 4: extended{
    
    	partition 5: linux home
    
    }


    But I still get the same error. So what's the problem? Is it the LVM partition at the start of the disk? I wouldn't have thought so, since I'd imagine that any bootloader should go onto the MBR and/or partition 3, and not touch the LVM partition.



    Any thoughts? I booted and rebooted so many times last night, Google'd as much as I could bear, and I'm just stuck on this one. Would appreciate pointers.





    Cheers,

    -S.
     
    sds, Mar 30, 2007
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  2. sds

    WAW8

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    Try removing the NTFS partition, boot using the Vista DVD, select New, see if Vista will format the unformatted space as an NTFS partition.
     
    WAW8, Mar 30, 2007
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  3. sds

    sds

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    I've tried both creating the NTFS partition prior to running the Vista installer, and also having Vista create the partition for itself. It creates and formats the partition just fine, but I get the same error message either way.
     
    sds, Mar 30, 2007
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  4. sds

    Jason

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    Vista's boot loader is placed in the first 512KB of the disk despite the partition used. Same goes for XP. That may be your problem. Also, (stupid Question) but is there enough space on the vista partition, at least 20GB to be safe?
     
    Jason, Mar 30, 2007
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  5. sds

    sds

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    Well, it's free to use the first 512KB if it wants it. Due to an unusual partitioning scheme many moons ago, there's around 8MB at the start of the disk that is empty and unused. If the boot loader does use that space, then so did the previous Vista install, as did XP without issue. It's odd that it's an issue now.



    And, yes, there's plenty of space for Vista to squeeze into (at any rate, the Vista installer pops up a different error message if there is not enough space on the target partition).



    Does the installer log errors somewhere that I could get at? The error message isn't actually all that useful.
     
    sds, Mar 30, 2007
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  6. sds

    Crispy

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    I suggest wiping the entire drive clean and starting all over. Install vista last. I have seen that Vista is picky on when it is installed.
     
    Crispy, Mar 30, 2007
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  7. sds

    sds

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    Wiping the drive is not an option. And I'm trying to install Vista last -- it just doesn't want to install onto a drive it liked previously!
     
    sds, Apr 1, 2007
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  8. sds

    Titch

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    Titch, Apr 6, 2007
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  9. sds

    sds

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    Yes, I spotted that link a while ago. None of the causes seem to make sense, and certainly none of the fixes are useful.



    The closest "cause" I can see on that page is "The hard disk on which you want to install Windows Vista is a dynamic disk", but I don't understand the term "dynamic disk" in this context.
     
    sds, Apr 9, 2007
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