Windows 10 cannot be installed to this disk [ULTIMATE GUIDE]
Installing Windows 10 isn’t always simple, and sometimes certain issues can occur. One of the most problematic issues is Windows cannot be installed to this disk error, so let’s see how to fix it.
How can I fix Windows 10 cannot be installed to this disk error? First, you have to determine on what kind of hard drive and partition you want to install Windows 10. In most cases, the error is caused by hardware incompatibility. After that, check your SATA device or use the diskpart tool.
For full instructions, check the guide below.
Windows 10 cannot be installed to this disk variations:
- Windows 10 can’t install to this disk
- Windows 10 can’t install on GPT partitions
- Windows 10 can’t install on MBR partitions
- The computer hardware may not support booting
- Windows 10 can’t install on SSD
- The partition contains one or more dynamic volumes
First case – Windows 10 can’t install to this disk
Solution 1 – Make sure that no additional hard drives are connected
Solution 2 – Check your SATA device
According to users, this error can appear if your primary hard drive is attached to eSATA port, so be sure to connect it to a different port. In addition, be sure that your SATA controller is set to AHCI or RAID mode.
If you have CD, DVD or Blu-ray drive attached to eSATA or SATA 3 port, be sure to disconnect them and attach them to SATA 2 controller. Also, do not use enclosure casing with a SATA 3 HDD that is connected to a SATA 3 controller.
If you’re still having issues with your hardware or you simply want to avoid them for the future, we recommend you to download this tool to fix various PC problems, such as hardware failure, but also file loss and malware.
Second case – Windows 10 can’t install on GPT partitions
Solution 1 – Use diskpart tool
Before we start, we have to mention that this process will delete all files from your hard drive, so use it only if you don’t have any important files on your hard drive or if your PC is new and you’re installing Windows 10 for the first time.
Users reported this error while trying to choose a hard drive partition to install Windows 10, and according to them, they are unable to select any partition.
To fix this error you need to run diskpart tool and clean your hard drive. To do that, follow these steps:
- During the Windows 10 setup, press Shift + F10 keyboard shortcut to open Command Prompt.
- When Command Prompt opens, enter diskpart and press Enter.
- Now enter list disk and press Enter.
- List of all available hard drives will appear. You need to select the hard drive that you want to install Windows 10 to. Usually that would be Disk 0, but it might be different in your case. In our example we’ll use Disk 0, but be sure to select the appropriate disk on your computer. Enter select disk 0 and press Enter.
- Enter clean and press Enter.
- Optional: Use convert gtp or convert mbr command to convert your drive to the desired type.
- Enter exit and press Enter.
- Close Command Prompt and try to install Windows 10 again.
Once again we have to mention that clean command will delete all files and partitions from a selected hard drive, therefore be sure to back up important files or use this solution if you have a new computer that doesn’t have any important files on it.
Solution 2 – Use legacy BIOS mode
If you’re getting this error, you can install Windows 10 using the Legacy BIOS mode. Using Legacy BIOS mode you will keep all your files, so it should be perfectly safe to use. To use Legacy BIOS, follow these steps:
- While your computer boots press the appropriate key to open Boot Menu. Usually that key is set to Esc, F2, F9 or F12, but it can be different depending on your motherboard.
- Once the Boot Menu opens, you’ll be able to select between several different devices. We’ll assume that you’re trying to install Windows 10 from USB flash drive. Select BIOS USB Drive option and press Enter and you’ll boot from that flash drive using the BIOS Legacy mode.
- Proceed with installation and install Windows 10.
Solution 3 – Use Rufus to create a bootable USB flash drive
Sometimes this error can appear if you’re using Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB flash drive.
According to users, Media Creation Tool creates a USB flash drive that doesn’t support writing to GPT partitions, so if you have an MBR drive you won’t be able to use that USB flash drive for Windows 10 installation.
Fortunately for you there are many great third-party tools that can create a bootable flash drive for you. For example, you can use Rufus and Windows 10 ISO file to create a USB installation media, and you should be able to use that media with MBR drives without any problems.
Third case – Windows 10 can’t install on MBR partitions
Just like in the previous case, you can fix the problem with MBR partitions by cleaning your hard drive, but that solution is probably not the best since it will delete all partitions and files from your PC.
Luckily there are several different solutions that you can try.
Solution 1 – Disable EFI boot sources
According to users, you can fix this problem without deleting your files simply by disabling EFI Boot Sources in BIOS. To do that, follow these steps:
- While your computer boots press the appropriate key to enter BIOS. Usually that’s DEL or F2, but it can be different on your PC.
- Once you enter BIOS, you need to locate Boot Order section and disable EFI Boot Sources.
- Save changes and restart.
After disabling EFI Boot Sources you should be able to install Windows 10 without any issues. If the Windows 10 installation is successful, you need to go back to BIOS and enable EFI Boot Sources.
Solution 2 – Delete the partition and format it again
This solution might not be the best because you’ll lose your important files, so use it only if you have all your important files available backed up.
To delete the partition just choose the Delete option during the installation and click the New button to create a new partition. Format the new partition and you should be able to install Windows 10 without problems.
Solution 3 – Use a DVD drive
If you’re having this problem you should be able to circumvent it by using a DVD drive to install Windows 10. When installing Windows 10 from a DVD users are suggesting to use ODD option instead of EFI.
In addition, you can also try to use an external DVD drive to fix this problem.
- READ ALSO: Fix: DVD drive missing in Windows 10
Solution 4 – Disable UEFI boot
Newer motherboards support UEFI boot option, but sometimes UEFI boot can give you Windows cannot be installed to this disk error. To fix it, you need to enter BIOS and enable Legacy Boot option.
For more information on how to enter BIOS and how to use Legacy Boot, we strongly advise you to check your motherboard manual.
Some motherboards support both UEFI and Legacy boot so you can use both modes without having to disable anything. In some situations you can even fix this problem by disabling Legacy boot and using UEFI instead.
Solution 5 – Use diskpart to delete the problematic partition
Some users are suggesting to use diskpart to delete the problematic partition, and to do that you need to follow these steps:
- Open Command Prompt. If you’re trying to install Windows 10 you can use Shift + F10 shortcut to start Command Prompt.
- Enter diskpart and list disk commands.
- Select the disk that you want to use. Enter select disk #. Replace # with the appropriate number that represents a certain disk.
- Enter list partition.
- Locate the partition that you want to delete and enter select partition #. Replace # with the appropriate number that represents the partition.
- Lastly, enter delete partition.
- After that, try to install Windows 10 again.
Solution 6 – Wait until Press any key to boot from disk message appears again
Many motherboards support both UEFI and Legacy boot, and some motherboards will start UEFI boot first. If you see Press any key to boot from disk message, do not press anything.
If your motherboard has UEFI and Legacy boot enabled the same message will appear again. When Press any key to boot from disk message appears for the second time press any key to boot from a designated device.
Solution 7 – Use a USB 2.0 flash drive
Users reported that USB 3.0 flash drives don’t give them the option to choose MBR or Legacy boot while choosing a boot device, but you can fix this problem by using a USB 2.0 flash drive instead.
Fourth case – The computer hardware may not support booting
Solution 1 – Delete all partitions and convert your hard drive to GPT
To fix this error you might have to delete all your partitions. This procedure will delete all your files, therefore we urge you to create a backup before you start.
If your hard drive is larger than 2TB, you must convert it to GPT. To do that, use diskpart tool to clean your hard drive and then convert it to GPT.
For more instructions on how to do that be sure to check some of the previous solutions.
Solution 2 – Format your hard drive from Linux
Be sure to use slow method to completely clean your hard drive. This procedure will delete all files from your hard drive, so be sure to back them up.
After your hard drive is formatted, try to install Windows 10 again.
Solution 3 – Disable unnecessary boot devices in BIOS
If you have multiple hard drives, USB flash drives or DVD drives on your PC, you might want to disable them from BIOS. All these drives can interfere with Windows 10 installation, so be sure to disable them from BIOS and try to install Windows 10 again.
For more information on how to disable boot devices be sure to check your motherboard manual.
Solution 4 – Connect your hard drive to Intel SATA 3 port instead of Marvell port
These types of problems can sometimes appear if your hard drive is not connected to Intel SATA 3 port, so be sure to connect it to Intel SATA 3 port on your PC.
In addition, set Intel SATA 3 controller to AHCI mode and turn on the SMART option. You can turn on both these options from BIOS.
Solution 5 – Connect your hard drive and optical drive to correct SATA ports
Some motherboards require that you connect your hard drive and optical drive to appropriate ports. Users reported that after connecting hard drive and optical drive to SATA 5 and SATA 6 ports on their motherboard the issue was resolved.
For more information on which SATA ports you should use, we strongly suggest to check your motherboard manual.
Solution 6 – Remove your USB installation media after first restart
Few users reported that you can avoid this issue simply by removing your USB installation media. According to users, you need to remove your installation media before your computer restarts during the setup process.
After the USB media is removed, the installation should continue without any issues. In addition, be sure that you don’t have any additional USB drives or devices attached to your PC.
We don’t know if this solution works, but couple of users reported that it fixed the issue for them, so feel free to give it a try.
- READ ALSO: Windows 10 Doesn’t Recognize USB [Fix]
Solution 7 – Check if your hard drive is on the list of boot devices
You won’t be able to install Windows 10 unless your hard drive is listed on the Boot list. If you changed the boot order it might be possible that you accidentally removed your hard drive from boot list thus causing this issue.
You can fix this problem simply by entering BIOS and checking if your hard drive is available on the boot list.
Few users reported that their hard drive had an exclamation mark before it in Boot options menu, meaning that the hard drive is disabled.
According to them, you can enable your hard drive again simply by using Ctrl + 1 shortcut. Keep in mind that different versions of BIOS might use different shortcuts, so check your motherboard manual for detailed explanation.
Solution 8 – Disable External Device Boot
Few users reported that you can fix this issue on Sony Vaio devices by disabling External Device Boot. According to them, the device finds more than one boot option from BIOS, but you can fix that by following these steps:
- Open BIOS settings. You should be able to do that by pressing the Assist button on your laptop.
- Go to External Device Boot settings and disable this option.
- Save changes and try to install Windows 10 again.
Solution 9 – Disable Intel Boot Security
If your device supports Intel Boot Security feature you should disable it from BIOS. Users reported that Intel Boot Security feature can interfere with Windows 10 installation, therefore be sure to disable this option in BIOS.
After disabling Boot Security Windows 10 should be installed without problems.
Solution 10 – Disable the AHCI mode
Using AHCI mode usually offers better performance, but sometimes it can prevent Windows 10 from installing properly.
Few users reported that you can fix this problem by disabling AHCI mode in BIOS so feel free to try that.
Solution 11 – Unplug your Ethernet cable
Many users reported that they fixed this issue simply by unplugging the Ethernet cable. We don’t know why Ethernet cable caused this problem, but if you’re getting The computer hardware may not support booting error be sure to try this solution.
Solution 12 – Set the boot order properly
Few users reported this error while selecting their USB drive as the boot device. According to them, the only way to fix this issue was to enter BIOS and set the USB flash drive as the first boot device.
For some strange reason the quick boot menu option wouldn’t work for them, but after changing the boot order in BIOS the issue was resolved.
Solution 13 – Set the partition to active
This error can sometimes occur if your installation partition isn’t set to active. To fix this problem you need to use diskpart tool and set your partition as active.
Keep in mind that using diskpart tool can lead to file loss, therefore we recommend that you back up your important files.
- Start Command Prompt. If you’re trying to install Windows 10 you can start Command Prompt by pressing Shift + F10.
- After Command Prompt opens, enter diskpart and press Enter.
- If you have two or more hard drives, enter list disk command. Locate your the hard drive that you want to use to install Windows 10.
- Enter select disk #. Replace the # with the appropriate number. If you have only one hard drive use disk 0.
- Now enter list partition.
- Locate your desired partition and enter select partition #. Replace the # with the appropriate number.
- Enter active.
- Close Command Prompt and try to install Windows 10 again.
Fifth case – Windows 10 can’t install on SSD
Solution 1 – Be sure that your SSD is clean
According to users, installation problems with Windows 10 can occur if your SSD drive isn’t clean. To fix this problem be sure to remove all partitions and files from your SSD and try to install Windows 10 again.
In addition, be sure that AHCI is enabled.
Solution 2 – Try non-UEFI boot
Few users reported that you can fix this problem simply by using non-UEFI boot. There are also reports that you can fix this problem by disabling UEFI boot.
We already covered how to disable UEFI in one of our previous solutions, so be sure to check it out.
Solution 3 – Disconnect other SSD
If you have two or more SSDs in your PC you might experience this error. One of the simplest solutions is to disconnect all other SSD drives and check if that fixes the problem.
In addition, be sure to disconnect any storage devices from your PC.
- READ ALSO: 3 of the largest SSDs to buy right now!
Solution 4 – Use SATA 2 port
Users reported that this issue can occur if the SATA 3 expansion board is faulty, so you might want to try using SATA 2 port instead.
According to users, that they were able to install Windows 10 after connecting their SSD to SATA 2 port, so be sure to try that.
Solution 5 – Connect your DVD drive to motherboard
It seems that this issue appears when you connect both your SSD and DVD to the controller. One of the simplest solutions is to disconnect your DVD drive and connect it to the motherboard while keeping the SSD connected to controller.
After doing tha,t Windows 10 should install without any issues.
Solution 6 – Remove RAID configuration
Users reported this problem while using RAID, and according to them, removing RAID configuration from BIOS fixed this issue. After removing RAID, create it again, make it bootable and you should be able to install Windows 10.
Solution 7 – Make sure that your USB flash drive and SSD don’t match
This is a very unlikely issue, but users reported that Windows 10 installation can fail if you’re trying to install it with USB flash drive.
Users reported that they had problems with Corsair USB flash drive and SSD, but after replacing the Corsair flash drive with a different brand the issue was fixed.
If you’re still having issues with your hardware or you simply want to avoid them for the future, we recommend you to download this tool (100% safe and tested by us) to fix various PC problems, such as hardware failure, but also file loss and malware.
Sixth case – The partition contains one or more dynamic volumes
Solution – Convert the your dynamic disk to basic disk
One way to fix this error is to use diskpart tool. Using this tool all your files and partitions from the selected disk will be deleted, therefore we urge you to back up important files before you start.
To create basic disk, start Command Prompt and enter diskpart. After diskpart starts, follow these steps:
- Enter list disk. Locate the disk that you want to convert.
- Enter select disk #. Replace # with the appropriate number.
- Enter clear.
- Now enter convert basic.
- Close Command Prompt and try to install Windows 10 again.
According to users, you can use third-party tools such as Partition Wizard to convert dynamic disk to basic without losing any of your files.
Start Partition Wizard from Windows or boot Partition Wizard from a USB flash drive, right click your Disk and choose Convert Dynamic Disk To Basic Disk.
Click Apply button and restart your PC if you’re asked to. Even though using Partition Wizard shouldn’t remove your files, we strongly suggest to back them up just in case.
After your disk is converted to basic, try to install Windows 10 again.
Windows cannot be installed to this disk error can be a big problem and prevent you from installing Windows 10, but you should be able to fix this issue by using one of our solutions.
If you found another way to solve this error or you have any other question, feel free to share in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in pune data and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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