FIX: We couldn’t create a new partition error on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
24 Comments
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  • If you've met with the We couldn’t create a new partition error message, you were probably trying to install Windows 10.
  • This error won't allow you to install Windows but this guide will help you fix that problem.
  • For any other issues with your PC, explore our Tech Troubleshooting section for a solution.
  • If you need more information, guides, news, or tips about Windows 10, head over to our Windows 10 Hub.
How to fix the partition error on Windows 10

Windows 10 is a great operating system, however, the installation process of Windows 10 isn’t always simple.

A number of users reported the We couldn’t create a new partition error message while installing Windows 10.

This error can prevent you from installing Windows 10, but fortunately, there are several solutions available.

How can I fix the new partition error message on Windows 10?

We couldn’t create a new partition error can appear while trying to install Windows 10. This error can be quite problematic, and speaking of this error, users reported the following issues:

  • Couldn’t create partition or locate an existing one in Windows 10 –  If you encounter this problem, be sure to try some of the solutions from this article.
  • We couldn’t create a new partition error 0x8004240f, 0x80042468 – Sometimes this error message might be followed by error code 0x8004240f or 0x80042468. If you encounter this problem, you might be able to fix it by formatting your hard drive.
  • We couldn’t create a new partition or locate an existing one SSD, RAID – If you encounter this problem while using SSD or RAID, the problem might be additional hard drives on your PC.
  • We couldn’t create a new partition Windows setup, Windows 10 USB – If you encounter this problem, simply disconnect all additional USB drives and check if that solves the issue.
  • We couldn’t create a new partition unallocated space – This is another problem that can appear while trying to install Windows 10. To fix it, you might have to check your partitions and their configuration.
  • We couldn’t create a new partition BIOS, dual boot, GPT – There are various factors that can cause this issue to appear, and in order to fix the problem, it’s advised to check your BIOS.

How do I fix the new partition error in Windows 10 installation?

1. Use diskpart

  1. Start Windows 10 setup using a bootable USB or DVD.
  2. If you get the We couldn’t create a new partition error message, close the setup and click the Repair button.
  3. Choose Advanced tools and then select Command Prompt.
  4. When Command Prompt opens, enter start diskpart.
  5. Enter list disk. You should see the list of all hard drives connected to your computer.
  6. Find the number that represents your hard drive and enter select disk 0 (we used 0 as an example, so be sure to replace 0 with a number that matches your hard drive).
  7. Enter the following lines and press Enter after each line:
    • disk 0 clean
    • disk 0 create partition primary
    • disk 0 active
    • disk 0 format fs=ntfs quick
    • disk 0 assign
  8. Enter exit in order to close Command Prompt.
  9. Start the installation process again.

Note: This solution will delete all files on your selected hard drive, so use it on a new computer that doesn’t have any files on it, or only if you have a backup available.

Before starting this process, make sure that you don’t have any SD Cards connected to your PC.


Want to create a backup? Read our list with the best backup software to keep your data safe


2. Make your partition active

  1. Start diskpart like we described in the previous solution.
  2. Enter list disk.
  3. Locate your hard drive and enter select disk 0 (we used disk 0 in our example, so be sure to replace 0 with a number that represents your hard drive).
  4. Enter list partition.
  5. Locate the partition on which you want to install Windows 10 and enter select partition 4. Remember to replace 4 with a number that matches your partition.
  6. Enter active.
  7. Type exit and press Enter to exit the Command Prompt.
  8. Start the installation process again and check if the problem is resolved.

How do I fix the new partition error for Windows 10 USB?

1. Use a third-party tool

If you can’t install Windows 10 due to We couldn’t create a new partition error message, you might be able to fix the problem by using a third-party tool.

If you’re not familiar with command-line tools, you might be able to fix this problem by using  Aomei Partition Assistant.

This tool is perfect for recovering lost partitions and copying disks. It also offers a friendly user interface so you should be able to easily modify your hard drive and perform the necessary tasks.

Not only that it will solve your partitioning issue in no time but it also comes with some advanced features like migrating your OS to SSD/HDD, formatting, wiping and erasing disks, and more.

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2. Use a USB 2.0 flash drive

If you’re installing Windows 10 from a USB drive, you might experience this problem if you’re using USB 3.0 flash drive.

According to users, it seems that there are problems with USB 3.0 flash drives, and many users advise to use USB 2.0 flash drives when installing Windows 10.

Alternatively, you can also create Windows 10 bootable DVD and use it instead of USB flash drive.


Do you need a flash drive? Choose one of these products from our fresh list


3. Disconnect any additional USB drives

If you’re planning to install Windows 10 from a USB flash drive you might encounter We couldn’t create a new partition error message if more than one USB drive is connected to your PC.

In order to avoid this problem, we strongly advise that you disconnect any additional USB drives and leave only your Windows 10 USB flash drive connected.


4. Reconnect your USB flash drive

To fix We couldn’t create a new partition error message while installing Windows 10, some users are suggesting that you unplug your USB flash drive.

When you get the error message, unplug your USB drive and connect it to a different port.

Check if you’re able to create a new partition. If the process fails, unplug the USB drive again and connect it to the original USB port. Try to create the partition again.


5. Set your hard drive as the first boot device

When installing a new operating system from a USB flash drive, you are probably going to set that device as a first boot device in BIOS.

Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that your USB flash drive is mistaken as a hard drive during the Windows 10 installation thus giving you the We couldn’t create a new partition error message.

In order to fix this issue, you have to set your hard drive as your first boot device from BIOS.

After you’ve done that, connect your bootable USB flash drive and restart your computer.

While you computer boots, you’ll have to press F10, F11, or F12 (it might be a different key depending on your motherboard) and select your USB flash drive as a boot device.

Now, the installation process should work without any issues. Bear in mind that the Boot Menu might not be enabled on your PC by default, so you’ll have to enable it manually from BIOS.

For detailed instructions on how to do that, check your motherboard manual.


Do you need detailed information about your motherboard? Check our information software list


6. Use Rufus or any other tool to create a bootable USB drive

According to users, problems with We couldn’t create a new partition error message might be caused by Media Creation Tool.

Users reported that the problem was fixed by using a third-party tool, such as Rufus, instead of the Media Creation Tool in order to create a bootable USB flash drive.


7. Convert the partition to the GPT format

  1. Start Command Prompt and enter diskpart.
  2. Now enter list disk. Locate the hard drive that you want to install Windows 10 to.
  3. Now enter select disk X. Replace the X with the number that matches your hard drive. If you have two or more hard drives, it’s crucial that you select the correct drive, so be extra cautious.
  4. Type clean into Command Prompt and press Enter. This command will completely remove all files from your hard drive, so be sure to select the correct hard drive and back up your files.
  5. Now enter convert gpt and run this command.

MBR partitions have certain limitations and they can only work with drives that are less than 2TB in size.

GPT doesn’t have any of these limitations, it works better with UEFI, so it’s usually a better choice.

We have to mention that converting the drive from MBR to GPT will remove all your files, so be sure to back up important files before proceeding.

Diskpart is one of the oldest methods for converting an MBR drive to GPT, even though it’s effective, it will delete all your files.

Fortunately, Microsoft introduced two new ways to convert MBR to GPT drive without file loss, MBR2GPT, and gptgen.

Both of these are command-line tools, and if you want to use them, you need to start Command Prompt before booting to Windows 10 and run one of these commands.

We explained in great detail how to use both these commands in our guide on how to convert MBR to GPT disk, and we strongly advise you to check it out for detailed instructions and more solutions.


How can I fix the new partition error for Windows 10 SSD?

Disconnect other hard drives

Many users reported We couldn’t create a new partition error message while trying to install Windows 10 on a SSD.

According to users, in order to fix this issue, you’ll have to disconnect all other hard drives and leave only your SSD drive connected.

Alternatively, you can try disabling all other hard drives except for your SSD from BIOS.

After you’ve disabled or disconnected all other drives, the SSD should be recognized by the installer. Now, all that you have to do is to delete all partitions on your SSD and Windows 10 should install without any problems.

We couldn’t create a new partition error message can prevent you from installing Windows 10, but as you can see, you can easily fix it by following one of our solutions.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • Hello,

    We are very glad ‘we saved your life’, but we hope your life is not in danger and it’s just your PC that had a problem :). Come back on our website for more news and how-to/fix articles.

    Cheers!

  • I got the “can’t find or create a partition on this disk” message, which led me here via a Google search. I went through the list of diskpart commands (which are wrong; they don’t need the “disk 0” in front of every line), and that got me to “can’t install to this disk, needs to be GPT.” So I scrolled down the page and found the part about converting to GPT, and did that. Now my computer doesn’t recognize the drive at all and boots endlessly into the motherboard setup utility…not too good. For some reason I can’t change the boot order in that utility, it’s grayed out.

  • This worked for me, thanks.
    I created the partition using diskpart, but I had to modify your commands listed because they are not accurate. For example, you can’t make a disk active, only a partition.
    I also made the new disk the first boot device.
    Also, this page is horrible for viewing on mobile, which I guess lots of people might do while fixing their only pc!

  • And so what happens when this doesn’t work? What happens when there are no options in the install for running diskpart? How am I supposed to clean install Windows without an installation of Windows? Why does every single version of Windows I try–from 7 to 10, and various updates in all of them–have this same problem, every single time, no matter how I partition or format the hard drive?

  • I tried so many different things and finally your website showed me the one that worked! My advice is if the first few don’t work (which they didn’t for me) keep trying until you find the one that works.

  • what worked for me was to nuke the harddrive with Dban autonuke. It is an awesome program available free on the net. i had two laptops that i could not install win10 on, but after i nuked them i had no problem installing win10.

  • I stopped reading after the first fix. I didnt need it to install windows, well by this point anyway. I just installed to the ssd in my laptop. However, i couldnt get ANYTHING to recognize the 1tb in gpt. Used your fix in the first part and its working great now. The windows installer had created some weird random partitions, but took care of that with easeus. Thanks so much for the fix!!

  • hi,
    recently i went through a (failed) migration of windows 10 system from a HDD to a newly acquired SSD.
    failing the migration i decided to clean install the OS directly on the SSD with the system mounted on usb flash drive. Needless to say i went through all the “We couldn’t create a new partition” pain described above, only to find in the end that *trying to install Windows 10 on a previously formatted volume as described above was the real source of the problem!*
    the solution i come up with was:
    -cleaning the disk
    -converting it to gpt (my machine is uefi based, probably for bios based system your fix works) and leaving the space unallocated.
    -then on the infamous screen, the one where you have to select the drive where to install the OS, selecting the unallocated single drive and clicking “next” button everything went smooth.
    i’ll just leave this comment for people who need to install the OS on a GPT-ed drive, because the fix descrived above doesn’t work for said UEFI based machines.

    tl;dr: if you are having troubles clean installing the OS following that guide maybe is because your machine is based on UEFI and not BIOS therefore you need a GPT partition. so you need to follow the guide above untill the point 7 and ONLY perform the comand
    disk 0 clean
    after that you have to type
    convert gpt
    then quitting diskpart and the command prompt and getting back to the installation screen.

    worked like a charm for me after 2 days splitting my head to findd a solution.

    • I had to install windows 10 using a usb disc drive. It’s important to make sure you boot from disc in UEFI rather than legacy. Once I booted from disc UEFI I could remove any partitions and then windows did the rest when I clicked next.

  • hello,
    having hard time with selecting drive for install that will work.
    have 3 Samsung 850 evo 500gb drives assigned to RAID5
    I unplugged all other drives and USB external drives.
    Then set array in boot sequence.
    Now… all three drives appear in the selection window for where to install Windows 10…
    but only Drive-0 allows to be selected. Finally I found steps to Format / Delete / New (add back) … only it only allowed size allocation to the size on one 500gb drive. And no option to click Extend.
    So did I waste money trying to setup 3 500gb drives in a raid5 setup for installing Windows 10?

    Also, after finally being able to select Drive-0 , partition-2 to install windows 10, after it goes through the process and reboots, I get missing operating system.

  • If you are having a hard time with step seven, try ommiting the “disk 0” part at the start of each command and instead enter just “clean”, etcetera.