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I bought a HP dv7t quad-core edition laptop last week with Windows 7 Home Premium. I own a licensed copy of Windows 7 Ultimate and wanted to do a fresh install since I did not want to pay HP to do the same thing. Plus I hate all the bloatware that comes with new laptops.

The laptop has the following drive configuration:

  1. 750 GB 7200 RPM HDD (disk 0)
  2. 750 GB 7200 RPM HDD (disk 1)
  3. 32 GB mSSD Hardware Acceleration Cache

I should have posted my question before messing around on my own too much. After several botched attempts to circumvent either Microsoft or HP's restrictions, I now have two completely wiped out 750 GB HDDs, formatted as NTFS using Linux's gParted tool. The only way I noticed the actual 32 GB mSSD was when I used a Linux fdisk tool. Otherwise, that disk (or partition?) is not even visible.

Now, whenever I boot with the system with a Windows 7 Ultimate set up disk, the screen displays only disk 0. I can delete the single partition and create one or more partitions, but whatever I do, I am unable to proceed from the partition set up screen of Windows 7 setup. The error that I get is setup was unable to create a new system partition.

How do I proceed?

Edit: Here is a timeline of the steps I followed, which seems to have put me in bad shape:

  1. Attempted to install Windows 7 Ultimate using the setup DVD. That did not work at all. Setup persistently prompted me to choose the second HDD, as a dual-install perhaps.
  2. Then, I decided to remove all partitions off all the drives using a Linux tool (gParted). I removed the partitions, created one partition in the first and second HDD. I marked the first partition on the first disk as bootable. I formatted all disk parititions as NTFS. When I rebooted with Windows 7 setup DVD, it showed me only the first HDD and even when I tried to proceed with setup, it gave me the error - Couldn't find boot disk on this BIOS based computer.
  3. This step I probably regret the most (since I should not have done what I don't understand), but I went back into gParted and created a MS DOS partition table on the mSSD drive (/dev/sdb). When I rebooted the system, instead of taking me to the BIOS or trying to boot off the first HDD, I see only a screen that has something to do with RAID configuration. What is really odd is that I cannot even enter the BIOS anymore. After a second of flickering, the RAID/volume configuration screen persists.

I have attached some screen shots that hopefully describe the current state in better detail. BTW, I don't need RAID. I want to set up Windows 7 Ultimate in the first HDD and keep the second HDD for data/storage alone. The 32 GB mSSD is supposed to help with caching, so I would like to make that usable again too.

System Information: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_ws0yWyg96JZmllejFaMUlhT1E

BIOS Welcome Screen: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_ws0yWyg96JZUVaY3VKWldDWEk

RAID Config Screen: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_ws0yWyg96JZEE1Yl9IQ3R5UVU

RAID Summary: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_ws0yWyg96JMEZmYUpjcUxJeTQ

Reset RAID Disks: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_ws0yWyg96JVHh3RWRJSEticlU

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1  
Is your system using RAID? It may explain why the two 750GB disks appear as one disk. If so you may need to install HPs raid drivers and use them for partitioning before you can setup windows. –  Ali May 30 '12 at 15:56
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Just start from scratch. Since you already own a stand-alone version of Windows 7 Ultimate its pointless to upgrade an existing license. –  Ramhound May 30 '12 at 15:57
    
what is the exact model number? –  Jeremy W May 30 '12 at 20:07
    
Notebook model: HP Pavilion dv7 Notebook PC, Product#: A5F92AV I don't believe the system is using RAID, because both disks showed up with different names when I received the laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium. I wiped both disks clean (slow format) using Linux utilities, so I am starting from scratch. –  Web User May 31 '12 at 0:53
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