I have two hard drives, one has Linux on it, the other one is empty(the MBR was also cleared with dd).

When I try to install Windows 8 on the empty hard drive I get this: note: not my actual screenshot, an existing one was edited to depict my situtation.

Why I can't install Windows 8 on the empty hard drive?

2 Answers 2


Disconnect the other hard drive before installing Windows 8.

Shutt down your computer then pull out the SATA cable(although it's not recommended, you can pull it out while it's running, then you just need to restart).

The installer gives you that message even if it finds an unknown partition on another drive. (Windows 8 still can't handle ext3 partitions).


Maybe you killed the master partition table? dd isn't the usual way to format a drive :-)

Can you write a FAT32 or NTFS partition on the drive and attempt to either delete this new partition or install Windows on it.

  • I already answered my own question, the problem was that Windows doesn't like it when a drive isn't recognizable/isn't formatted to NTFS even if it's not the drive i'm installing on, same happened with Windows XP but that gave me something similar to "the other drive has to be formatted to NTFS I can put temporary installation on files on it"(as if it needs 2 drives to install on 1..)
    – page4096
    Nov 4, 2012 at 13:00

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