[Fix] Error during installing Windows 7 from USB (Setup was unable to create a system partition or locate an existing partition.)

By | October 11, 2013

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When you try to install Windows 7 from USB flash drive you may get following error message:

“Setup was unable to create a system partition or locate an existing partition.”

This happens when you have more than one partition on your drive.

In google you could find many solutions which require manipulations with your disk (formating, changing partition structure, etc.), but I have found one tricky solution:

  1. When you see the error – remove the flash drive from the computer

  2. Press exit (red cross in the top right corner)

  3. Start installation from the beginning (without reboot)

  4. After selecting Windows 7 edition you will get new error

  5. Press OK in error window, you will be redirected to installation main menu

  6. Insert your USB Flash drive in to the computer

  7. Install windows

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That’s all 🙂


Russian version


185 thoughts on “[Fix] Error during installing Windows 7 from USB (Setup was unable to create a system partition or locate an existing partition.)

  1. Pingback: Ошибка во время установки Windows 7 с флешки (Программе установки не удалось создать новый или найти существующий системный раздел) | Druss Blog

      1. Shone

        I want to find this guy that posted this solution and buy him fucking LOT OF BEER. I’ve beenfucking with partitions, booting some wizards to try and change some shit, but this only took me like 15 seconds, and done the trick. Thanks dude, thanks a fucking lot!!!

    1. Jerry

      I got the same error. It has to do with the USB keys.
      I have a OEM x64 Win7 USB key build.

      Fails if I use it on a
      Kingston Data traveller USB3.0
      SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0

      Works with Verbatim USB 3.0 USB key

      Diskparting, doing the plug in and out did not work.

      All keys were built form ISO using Microsoft ISO to DVD/USB tool

      1. Mauricio

        I justo cantón believe it.
        I spent the last 2 hours surfing the net looking for a solución and nothing worked, when I was going to call it a lost battle I saw your comment, look at the laptop and my USB stick was a DataTraveler USB 3.0… Switched it to an old INE and voilà

      2. test321321@gmail.com

        Thanks for the comment. I have the same USB key and couldn’t figure out what the issue was. Tried a different USB key and was able to install windows 7.

      3. Anonymous

        Chalk me up as another person with an issue using dataTraveler. I did the exact same procedure on an old Corsair, and things worked perfectly.

      4. Richie G

        I exhausted options on install screen and was totally stuck. Was going to redo bootable USB and try again, but this “tricky” solution worked.
        FYI I couldn’t follow exact instructions as the steps differed, but simply unplugging USB, closing install window, then plugging it in again at install screen worked for me.
        Well done Druss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Matias

      I just dont know why….. but the 3rd time I tryed (doing the same every time), it finally worked!!


  2. Rex

    Hi Ivan,

    I am so impressed. After so many attempts on the web, looking for this solution.
    Too good you are.


      1. Stokes

        I love you. I started off trying to clone a hdd to a smaller ssd. then the 100mb boot partition was missing and when i tried to repair using the key it made it completely unbootable. i spent around 10 hours trying to figure this out. thanks man

  3. Vafa

    You are a god. thank you so much for this. finally got it working! curious as to how you figured it out!?

    trial and error?

  4. John


  5. Leoo

    oooooooooomg tyyyyyyyy you save my life , i love youu so much <3 <3

  6. Nikonic

    Unplugging all of my usb devices seemed to do the trick for me

  7. Asimilacija

    thx so much. best fix i found . THANK YOU . saved me from breaking my laptop into little pieces 😀

  8. Ormedor

    So I’ve read a million stupid forum and you are only given the solution .. hats off and salute you … Thank you …

  9. oussama

    i never comment in a forum. but now i did just to thank u ! thanks man !

  10. Pingback: [Fixed] “Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition” during installing Windows 8.1(8, 7, Vista, etc) from USB | Druss Blog

  11. Philip John

    Awesome……3 days with no luck trying other solutions…..July are good bro

  12. jorge

    El que sabe, sabe, muchas gracias me ha ahorrado mucho tiempo

  13. Chris

    This didnt work for me. i am downgrading windows 8 to windows 7. i made a windows 7 iso on an 8 gb usb drive. everytime install it says: Setup was unable to create a new system partition

  14. MrDurian

    Omgggg! This works!! I’ve tried other method, setting boot priority, unplugging all other hard disks, and was even about using other comp to set up gnome to erase partition from unix! And this workaround works! I’ve spent two dayss on this!

  15. fluffbubbles

    Thank you so much! You’ve just saved me more hours of trouble

  16. Gideon

    GREAAATTTTthx bro for the solutions, i’ve been stuck for 3 hours

    thx a lot

  17. Victor

    I have the same problem yet 🙁

    I tried all the steps but at step 4, appears the next error message: “A required CD/DVD drive device is missing. If you have a driver disk CD, DVD or USB flash drive, please insert it now”. Then I push OK button, connected my usb and only appears two buttons Brownse and Rescan but any of them work :(, The next error message appears: “No device drivers were found. Make sure that the installation media contains the correct drivers, and then click OK”

    Please help me 🙁

    Many thanks

    1. JC

      I get the same error too! The other method Druss has found doesn’t work either. Any tips Druss?

    2. anywho

      I’ve tried everything and it’s not working also for me 🙁
      Have exactly the same symptoms.
      I’m using Kingston 64GB DT R3.0 G2 pendrive.

    3. tsly

      Plug the flash drive back in before clicking start installation the second time (so immediately after you click the red x and brought back to the beginning). That fixed it for me.

      1. oliver

        this! unplugging the usb after getting the error and then just plugging it back before starting another installation process “fixed” the problem… owing you a six-pack now, at 1:30 AM Wndows started installing finally.

      2. dhani

        I am speechless bro.. Thanks so much.. It took me 2 days to figure it out thanks to you.. I asked all of my friend and none of them know how to handle this error.. Thanks again bro

    4. MindegyIs

      I had the same. You have to go back as the Installer requires your USB stick still. Put the USB stick back, and when the licence acceptance screen appears — or maybe the Upgrade/Custom Installation selection screen, I don’t remember, but to figure it out, it only needs a minute — pull it out. Now you can have the system partition created. This is what matters, it should be existing at the end!!! From this point, you can push the stick back in, and play again from the beginning, choosing the already created partition. Voila…

      1. MindegyIs

        Had to do a reinstall, so I can confirm that you need to remove the USB stick on the screen of license acceptance.

  18. Irina

    You are god! Thank you so so much! I tried almost every other “solution” but this worked!

  19. Wesley

    IT IS SO EASY! I searched for hours until i found it on some random forum. For me the first USB stick I tried didn’t like the install and kept giving me “Setup was unable to create a new system partition”. Put the windows installer on a different USB and it worked FIRST TIME!

  20. Gaurav Genius

    I’m lucky that this link was first in my google search for this issue. I’m impressed with the solution it was so easy. Actually I have faced it before but could not identified the reason and this time I got the reason. Thanks DRUSS.

  21. jubin varghese

    U r great man.. U just saved a lot of my time… Thank u so much… Very best solution available online

  22. linux2daRescue

    U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E…. all crashes from linux I’ve easily fixed within minutes…Windows…after a couple updates I got the black screen of ambiguity…had to reinstall in the end… then I got that setup error. Found your solution, even if it was not your own, you posted it and here I am giving my thanks to you for that.

  23. Michael

    Man!!! you are hilarious . i ve tried all of the possible ways to bypass this issue and could but your solution worked.hahahaa.
    Thanks alot dude.

  24. Kaleb

    Absolutely fantastic. Thank you very much.. I thought I was going to have to buy a new laptop, haha.

  25. Jatinder


  26. nilerafter24

    You sir are a god!
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  27. mister g

    thank you man
    2014 September 2:00 PM here… it’s working
    if you want to divide the partitions try to do it after the installation when you finish everything. thank u again

  28. Achtung Panzer

    Thank You very mucchh Ivan,you’ve give best solution when I’m frustated can not installing Windows on S215

  29. Jason Everett

    DUDE. YOU ARE A GOD. THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH. Please spread and share the article.

  30. Dave

    Thank you, was on the point of chucking the damn thing out the window when I found this.

  31. Ashish Kumar

    If possible, try to boot system from Windows 7 using an EXTERNAL DVD ROM. I have tried it and it worked successfully on my Acer Laptop.

  32. henhache


    I spent a whole day trying to get this fixed. 10 hours googling and reading forums,
    I DISKPART until I was blue in the face,

    Who knew unplugging my usb thumb drive was the solution.

  33. James

    Life saver. Only if I had visited this page earlier.
    Lost a lot of data because of a stupid command prompt error

  34. Fru Godwill Fru

    am still stucked tho…when i remove my usb it doesnt load to the windows 7 selection list…it just trips again

  35. ms

    This worked like a charm.
    Tried other suggestions on the web but none of them worked.

    Thanks so much 🙂

  36. Mackenzie Gans

    You’re the best! A man among boys! I tried every disk part and disk management tool and nothing worked until your trick!!!!!!

  37. Any

    Really helped. This is quickest solution I found on internet. Works 100%

  38. mark

    Tried everything and got similar results as JC, Victor and any who. Maybe because we are installing a windows 7 home premium flash drive? I don’t know , but nothing is working.

  39. Birkir

    thank you so much. i had been stuck on this for 8 hours, tried everything. this is so simple and worked brilliantly.

  40. icemedown

    I don’t know how this works but thanks. i have been at this for the past 3 hours and one unplug of the usb fixed it. Great tip!


  41. Kyle

    holy………… thank you you geniussssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss it actually worked hahahahahaha <33333

  42. es

    holy shiz this method actually work..
    i was worried to use the clean disk method coz of my 2tb file is in same disk
    thanks a lot pal 🙂

  43. Jackaizen

    First, I appreciate and thank you very much that you have shared your precious solution. I believe this is the only smartest and fastest solution and worked like charm.

    Spending around an hour and from USB 2, USB 3, diskpart….etc….nothing worked.

    Again, thank you.

  44. Russell

    Installing win 7 pro from a USB stick onto a brand new SSD. Tried a few suggestions from around the web, this was the one that worked for me. Thank you.

    Not sure there is any logical reason for why it worked, but it did.

  45. karen

    Thank you thank you thank you, this simple solution worked I wish I found this page sooner

  46. tomk

    WOW stupid shit done, money we will get mlg mlg mlg i see dead dogs everywhere!

  47. biohazardd1986

    i have have a this problem for 2 day . ur the best man thanks aloot 😀 grertings from noway 😀

  48. Olasunkanmi

    Mehn, you are great. you just saved me from another blushes.. It worked like a charm.
    It strikes me how you get to know this solution. even Microsoft website never gave us this option.

    Thanks Man !

    1. druss Post author

      I think it is somehow related to the driver order. When you unplug USB and the plugin it back storage order is changed and it is somehow affect windows installer.

  49. Aki

    I don’t usually comment on these, but this was the only working solution for me. Thank you alot.

    Few notes: changing the drive, the command prompt doesn’t work properly. While it seems that the folder has not been changed, it actually is. For me atleast. Took me few hours to realize this, since the cd command wasn’t “working” but after that, everything went smoothly. My drive letters were e: and f:, so people should pay attention to this

  50. Jihee

    OMFG when I read the description I was like there is no way this is gonna work, this is total bullshit and this worked. After 2 hours. Wow Thanks soooo much

  51. Sabir Shabbir

    Dear Brother! your method for solution of “Setup was unable to create a system partition or locate an existing partition” is astonishing and wonderful… you have solved this problem via simple and quick way. Thanks a lot brother.

  52. rohit

    Help me please!!!! I am not able to install window
    I am trying on cruze blade pen drive

  53. Sadiq Jan

    Tried many ways to solve this problem but only this one worked perfectly.
    Thanks a lot.

  54. Melih

    THANNKKKK YOUUUU SOOOO MUCH . That is perfect solution . tttttyyyyy
    OMG 😀

  55. hyperion1is

    This is a good trick. I will try it because I got this error also.
    Another trick is to make the USB Stick Write protected (or Read-only). I didn’t test this, but I plan to.
    This error occurs because Widows 7 setup makes 100 m System reserved on Stick (or at least tries to). So making the Stick Read-only, the stick will act like a CD or DVD, hence no error.
    Just letting people know. You can test and post about this solution.
    Making a USB Stick Read-only is easy but also they are small utilities for convenience.
    Thanks for the post !

  56. ray boy

    Theory is correct. I just had to restart the setup third time for this to work.

  57. Leelath

    How in the WORLD is this even possible? I was breaking my head over this, and your fix seemed so… easy and unlikely that I skipped it and broke my head over this a couple more hours. Then I finally thought “whatever let’s give this a try” and omfg it WORKED. lmao, never skip something because it looks too “easy”. Seriously, thanks so much !

  58. Shone

    Hey bro, your trick worked like a charmed, I started laughing my ass off when the installation started because I was SOOO Happy! 😀 But now, a different problem appears – “A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart” on the black screen.. Do you maybe have some great solutions like this one for that problem, help me IT Master! 😀

  59. John

    U are fucking aawensome!!!!!!!! Thank you , after 3 fucking days of trying, that means alot of time wasted to fiind the fcking solution you saved my ass in 10 seconds. Best Fcking Trick ever!!!!!!!!!

  60. Jason Schoon

    Seriously. Agree with the other folks who offered to buy a beer, this is amazing and saved me so much time. I hate dinking around with reinstalling old computers and this was about to really piss me off until I found your answer.


  61. mans

    wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww !!!!!!!!!! I caaaaaaaaant believe it works ! wowwww
    im goingggggg to buy u a drink :-)))))))

  62. Pong K.

    THANK YOU!!!!!

    I’ve spend the last two days and more hours than I want to recall trying to find a solution to this issue.

    Reformatting my hard drive using cmd didn’t work no matter how many times or how I did it, but this method worked the first time!

  63. btsai

    Saved me hours of frustration.
    Thank you!
    Using Marvel USB 3.0 drive.

  64. Crusader

    I don’t know how is it possible, but IT WORKED! Thank you

  65. SrAfCiGeR

    I found few steps less !!!

    When you see the error – remove the flash drive from the computer.

    Remove all partitions and create new one.

    Insert your USB Flash drive in to the computer.

    Format the partition and click Next.

    Install windows

  66. David

    After painfull hours trying different methods I found solution that worked for me. (Step 1) Make sure you have a partition created to install your OS on. (Step 2) Boot into BIOS and make sure your HDD is listed as first boot option then save and exit. (step 3) After restart hit the hotkey for boot options, in my case F9 for HP. Select your USB and whalla, proceed with installation.

    1. Nunzio

      This is the solution for me!
      I have a sandisk, nothing was working but now it doesn’t give that error enimore!
      You saved my day!

  67. Damian

    I want to make manly love to you.

    Fixed the issue, and with a Kingston 16gb data traveller 3.0

    This…. was.. I love you, hahaha

  68. Jozef

    Thank you for this solution. I succeeded even with DataTraveller. It is needed to find the right point when to insert the stick back to port. I put it back after selection of the Windows version when the installation program was about to start.

  69. Joel

    GIVE THIS MAN A SLICE OF UKRAINE, no, GIVE THIS MAN A LIFETIME SUPPORT OF FREE BEERS, I mean omg THANKS MAN. You made my two sleepless nights to be peaceful

  70. Peter

    I already knew about the removal of the drive to get the hard disc formatted but did not know about the kingston datatraveler problem, so today i am messing with the Kingston DT drive trying to install win 7 on Asus mboard and it’s just not having it, i take onboard the advice and install windows to a Lexar drive and BANG ! works like a charm. Thanks all and what a great blog !!

  71. Valentino

    Kingston 16gb data traveller 3.0, struggled for days!, replaced with Adata, bang!!!
    Thanks Pal!!!

  72. Kyomizu

    Thanks so much much much mr.druss 🙂
    i’ve found many solution in google,but also not work 🙁
    your solution work for me
    Thanks OAO !

  73. sikandershah

    Thank you, Thank you,Thank you, Thank you……………………………………………. Very Much ! Issue resolved, i

  74. Sale slas

    Why the hell does this work. And why did it take so long to find. I went through every other fix out there till I found this one.

  75. Pingback: Blackpool LUG and Makerspace Meeting 9th May 2015 | Blackpool Linux

  76. khaleesimylady

    Thanks a lot!!!!!!!

    It really worked seamlessly… Just had to follow the instruction and resolved the problem in no time… I tried several instructions over the internet and this was the only one that worked for me..

    Anyway, I used Kingston USB 3.0 Data Traveler Model 100G, 8GB

    Great work buddy!!!!

  77. Steve

    Absolutely GREAT solution!! Like many here I spent hours f’ing with solutions that didn’t work!!! 10 seconds later, after finding this post, issue fixed!!! This guy deserves more kudos and thanks that I can give him!!! Great POST!!!

  78. Theo

    Just want to share my experience. We burn a lot of bootable ISO’s to flashdrives to setup anything from Windows server series to Windows 7 through 10. We ONLY have issues with Kingston drives when it comes to this. I spoke to a guy at tech support from Kingston and after a lot of useless info it basically boils down to its not guaranteed to boot. So i tried all the other troubleshooting options like diskpart, full formats and even the linux way of partitioning and formatting. So several days later i checked my bios and as always the USB disk shows as a harddrive like any other brand of USB disk. I noticed there was a note in the right hand page to “press N” to remove the Kingston USB disk as a “harddrive” which will then mark it as a removeable disk. After pressing N the disk disappeared from the harddisk list and i save/rebooted. It works perfect now!!! This wasnt necessary for any of my other USB disks which booted perfectly every time on various hardware platforms except for my Kingston G3 and Fury 3.0 drives.

    Hope this could help some other frustrated techie 😀

  79. Aadrish

    Just to share my experience. I tried the method more then 10x but didn’t work. Fortunately i had Hiren’s BootCD. With the help of it, i opened up Mini WinXp (pre-installed in Hiren’s BootCD package). There is System Reserved drive with BootMgr in it. I deleted everything in it and restart the installation process and it started as it should be without any errors. Currently I’ve just installed the Win7 Ultimate. Its working fine. Thanks

  80. Mikkel

    Fuck me, it worked.
    I was just about to yell at you for bullshitting, geeez Microsoft why is this an actual solution!?

    This is the first laptop I’ve encountered this error on, normally installing from a USB stick works flawlessly.

    I had an ssd connected internally via sata and was trying to install windows 7 from a USB stick when I encountered the “setup was unable to create a new system partition” error.
    I removed the USB stick, exited back to the initial setup screen, reinserted the USB stick and suddenly windows 7 setup didn’t prog the error.

    Eternally grateful.

  81. Fedor

    Hey man, that is cool! My wifw would have killed me for bricking her computer without this hint 🙂

  82. firman

    wtf man this works perfectoo. the text about cannot install to this partition meybe still appear, but ignore it. just click next btw.

    this is my first comment to a solution about windows. thanks mann

  83. malthesen

    None of these solutions works, i get “Windows cant be installed on drive x partition x”, depending on which seriel connection its on and this is using 2 different usb sicks on a ssd when removing it at the license screen. Just leaving it in im getting the cant create psrtition error.

  84. Dan

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I tried every other suggestion on the interwebs (diskpart, mbr, gpt, bios in uefi mode) nothing worked until i tried this!

    You Sir are a champion – even 3 years after you wrote this guide 😀

  85. Malthesen

    I managed to figure this out, and strange enough non of the above solutions did it. So this is what worked for me. I had 3 hdd’s connected, a primary SSD which I wanted to install windows on and 2 slaves or secondary hdd’s whatever you cant to call them. For me to be able to install windows on the primary hdd I had to disconnect the 2 hdd’s else I would get the errors no matter what I did. After I disconnected the 2 hdd’s I could install, format, partition or any other option in the install manager without problems.

  86. Pontus Magnusson

    I could kiss you dude. A simple step-by-step guide that actually works seems farfetched after browsing through hours of complicated tutorials on how to deal with this awkward problem.

    Now I’m laying in the sofa watching Windows install on it’s own with a massive endorphine flow running through my head and IT’S ALL THANKS TO YOU<33


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