I had an internal drive, and I would like to install Windows 10 on it. The only problem is that it was formatted incorrectly. I am using linux to format the drive. I tried making an ntfs partition on the drive for the os, and another for the filesystem. I tried to install Windows on the drive using a USB drive. When I had the option to select which partition to install the os on, I selected the partition, but it said "Cannot find or create partition." I then tried the other partition and it also wouldn't work. I don't know if I formatted the drive incorrectly, but any help would be appreciated. I am using the parted command to format.

  • For Windows in UEFI mode you need GPT. So, open Gparted, Device menu > New partition table... > Choose GPT. Do not create any partition, the Windows installer will do it for you including the required ESP. – GabrielaGarcia Dec 2 at 0:35
  • Why are you formatting it outside of the Windows installation environment? – Ramhound Dec 2 at 0:47
  • @Ramhound, if the drive is of certain unsupported formats, you cannot use the partitions in the Windows installer. – music2myear Dec 2 at 1:46
  • You should be able to open command prompt during the Windows install process, run Diskpart, and clean the drive. – music2myear Dec 2 at 1:51
  • @music2myear - The author really doesn’t provide specifics but the Windows installation environment can simply delete the partitions on the disk. – Ramhound Dec 2 at 2:16

It sounds like you have installation media on a USB drive and intend to install Windows 10 using the entire capacity of one internal drive. If that's correct, the following should work:

  1. (Optional) Shutdown and temporarily disconnect any other hard drives or SSDs that may be present.*
  2. (Optional) Use Microsoft's "Media Creation Tool" to update your install media before you begin. See https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15088/windows-10-create-installation-media.**
  3. Boot from the USB installation media and begin the installation process.
  4. When you get to the point of choosing where to install, follow the on-screen instructions to delete all partitions on the target drive. (Alternately, you could delete all partitions via Linux before you get here.)
  5. Select the entire drive (without partitions) as the place to install to.
  6. Continue as instructed by the Windows installer software.

Using this method, the Windows installer will create the partitions it needs automatically and install to them.

Good luck.

* Regarding optional step 1, some versions of the Windows installer (Win 7 in particular) would write to drives other than the target drive. This resulted in systems that could become unbootable if the other drive was later removed. This may no longer be an issue, but I have not heard confirmation that it was fixed. Having only one drive present is a sure way to make sure that is the only drive modified during install.

** Regarding optional step 2, Microsoft increased the size of the recovery partition in their 1709 update. So updating older versions of Windows 10 now creates a second recovery partition in the larger size. If you anticipate imaging and restoring the boot drive you are making (for example, to a larger hard drive during some future upgrade), this can create a real hassle. The second recovery partition is only created on updates, so starting with a newer installer avoids the issue. See: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/extra-recovery-partition-after-windows-10-1709/d4ecbd8b-4076-414c-b815-b022035747a5.

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