I'm trying to install windows 10 on a new 1TB SSD I got. fresh install, new drive, new laptop. Dell Inspiron 13 5000. Setup for UEFI. Created a bootable USB using rufus (GPT for UEFI (non CSM)). I get into setup no problem. I delete all the partitions and use diskpart to setup the drive for GPT.

I select the unallocated partition to install to. Windows created the additional partitions that it needs and then it starts the install process. Immediately, it errors with

"windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation"

Spent hours googling with no luck. I haven't been able to find a log file to look at.

What can I try to determine what the problem is?

No other drives installed. legacy mode disabled. Secure boot is off. PTT is off.

  • Is UEFI set to use AHCI? – harrymc yesterday
  • @harrymc there isn't an option for that – DustinDavis yesterday
  • There must be and option for IDE/AHCI. – harrymc yesterday

In my experience, this has been caused by one of two issues. First I'll offer solutions to a potentially broken installer (which I've experienced a few times over the years). Then I'll comment on the Installation Media's format at the end.

One possibility is a bug in the Disk Partitioning by the Windows installer, in my experience. Over the years I've seen it either utilize the wrong sector sizes or, more commonly, not set the boot partition as active. This is assuming that the failure occurs AFTER the partitions are setup which has been my experience.

To repair this, after Windows Installer sets up the partitions and fails to install, please try the following:

1) Boot with your Install drive mounted and go to the "Repair Options" section 2) Open a Command Line 3) Then type "diskpart" 4) Verify you only have the one drive by typing "list disk" 5) Type "select disk #" with # being the disk you're installing to 6) Then "list part" which will give you a list of partitions on that disk you have selected 7) Type "select part #" where # is the boot partition that the installer created but failed to install to 8) Type "active" to make that the active boot partition for this device 9) Type "exit" to finish with diskpart and let it save the changes

At this point you should be good to reboot and attempt the install again.

If at this point you're still out of luck, it is likely the installation media you are using. Since you are using a GPT USB drive, it could be conflicting with the installer's attempt to locate proper installation destinations (even with you explicitly stating yours). To remedy this, format the drive as MSDOS (good ol' FAT32) instead of GPT and try again.

  • You can't mark the partition as active, that's for MBR only. I tried already. If I don't format the USB media as GPT, it won't boot to it. – DustinDavis Dec 7 at 1:28
  • My apologies. Yeah, I did write that a little linearly then went back to adjust the beginning of the answer afterwards so my thoughts were mostly focused on the format of the USB. I've never formatted the USB as GPT before. When you use RUFUS to copy to the USB drive, what settings are auto-populated after selecting the ISO? A screenshot would help. – EricDAltman 2 days ago

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