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Trying to install Window 8 on a separate partition alongside Ubuntu, I got the message "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. Your computer hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu." My system doesn't use EFI or GPT, which cause known issues with Windows installation.

3 Answers 3

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Windows must be installed to a primary partition, not an extended or logical partition.

I checked the error log (in X:\Windows\panther\ I believe), and it says that the partition is large enough but it is not a primary partition. Yet in Windows installation, even when I delete the partition and recreate it, it's created as a logical not a primary partition. Also,in GParted, I can't change the partition type from logical to primary, though I flagged it as "boot".

Finally I discovered that no, primary partitions can't be created inside an extended partition. So using GParted, I shrank my extended partition and moved it to the right/end of the drive, and created a NTFS partition to the left/at the beginning of the drive. I could install Windows 8 on that partition.

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As (you) indicated, Windows needed a PRImary partition. More specifically; (modern) Windows wants either an (U)EFI setup, or a disk with an MBR layout. But all is not lost. Given you indicate an Ubuntu install. I suspect your disk has a GPT layout. Which, strictly speaking, is incompatible with MBR. But it's still possible to create what's often called a "hybrid" layout, that incorporates a MBR partition.

At the point where Windows indicates an error condition that prevents Windows from being installed. (Disk, partition selection). Press the keyboard combo SHFT+F10. This will open a so-called "dos box", command prompt. Execute DISKPART:

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7100
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: SomeComputer

DISKPART>

Then lis vol

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     F                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     E                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 2     C   8            NTFS   Partition     16 GB  Healthy    System
  Volume 3     D   Data         NTFS   Partition    263 GB  Healthy
  Volume 4     G                       Removable       0 B  No Media

DISKPART>

Select the volume you want to modify

DISKPART> sel vol 3

Volume 3 is the selected volume.

DISKPART>

What happens from here is completely dependent upon your disk layout, and what you have. If you already have a Volume (as above). You could delete it. Then create a PRImary Volume/Partition. Make it Active, and largely be done with it. Thusly:

DISKPART> del vol 3

Volume 3 has been deleted

DISKPART>

Create a Volume -- you can create it with size; see help diskpart for greater detail:

DISKPART> cre par pri

...

DISKPART>

See what just happened:


DISKPART>list vol

YOUR NEW LIST WILL BE SHOWN (with the others)

DISKPART>

Now select your newly created volume:

DISKPART>sel vol (the volume you're interested in)

(your selected volume) is the selected volume.

DISKPART>

Format it, and Label it (I will use Win10 for this example)

DISKPART> for fs=ntfs quick label="Win10"

  100 percent completed

DISKPART>

Now all you need is to make it Active (bootable)

DISKPART> act

DiskPart marked the current partition as active.

DISKPART>

Done. EXIT (close the CLI)

DISKPART> exi

At this point you have a Primary, Active partition you can install Windows to. Now that the "dos box" is gone, you'll have the Disk Selection dialog in front of you. Choose "Refresh". The ERROR should now be gone, and you can select your newly created Partition, and install.

I could have been even more specific, and provided even more example dialog. But you didn't provide any indication of your current disk layout. So I improvised as best I could, based on what I imagined you might have.

At the worst. You'll have enough clues to proceed in a way that gets you to where you need to be.

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After reading so many forums and answers: Played a lot with BIOS options Released an entire HD space in order to convert it to GPT whatever ... Nothing worked out in my case.

I have an Asus M5A78L-M LX mobo (just fyi) but the tricky here is that I also have an IDE 2 PCI controller in order to connect an old CD Recorder.

It was just a matter of removing the board from the slot, configuring @ BIOS the USB Disk as HDD and adding it as the 1st HD so it will be the primary boot option (these steps I had done before without success).

Just that and it took me many hours until I figure it out that Windows Installation or something @ BIOS could be looking to the IDE controller as primary boot option and since my HD has on SATA controller Windows kept saying that it may not be bootable.

That's it

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