Windows 10: Problem Installing Windows 10 on Laptop as 2nd OS

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  1.    03 Apr 2016 #1

    Problem Installing Windows 10 on Laptop as 2nd OS

    The tutorial was great - it (along with "How to Dual Boot Windows 10...") helped me tremendously in getting Windows 10 to install properly as a second operating sytem (old Vista being the 1st) on my Desktop.

    However, I am having difficulty getting the install done on my Laptop - also as the 2nd operating system (to Vista). I am using the USB storage device containing Win 10 and doing a "custom" install.

    I keep getting the message "We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one".

    BTW, I had my external HD disconnected.

    Here is the current state of the hard drive:
    • one little partition of 31 MB put there by Dell - type is "OEM (Reserved)". It had been a "primary" partition, but I changed to "logical" using Acronis Disk Director. Windows Disk Managment calls it "EISA Configuration". BTW: I understand that this is not needed. It, by the way, was not put on the Dell Desktop which was ordered at the sme time as the laptop.
    • C partiition with the Vista OS and other MS software + other programs" Win 10 says that is is "system", but does not say "priimary". Acronis says that it is "primary".
    • D partition is "recovery" and is "logical"
    • F thru J partitions of various data types - all are "logical"
    • and an "unallocated" partition of 40 GB - is "extended" to Win 10. I beleive that Acronis says it is "logical" - I do know that it is not "primary". Also: I "wiped" it using Acronis.

    It is that "unallocated" partition that I selected to install Windows 10 on.

    The HD on the Desktop was similarly partitioned (the laptop is meant to be "mirror image" of the Desktop) with just the "primarly", the same "logical" partitions and an "unallocated" partition. That worked fine.

    What am I doing wrong on my laptop installation ? Any suggestions ?

    Last edited by Brink; 03 Apr 2016 at 11:23. Reason: moved to new thread
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    03 Apr 2016 #2

    We really need to see a screenshot of disk management:
    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of - Windows 10 Forums

    And please expand the columns so we can see the information in them
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    03 Apr 2016 #3

    Screen shot attached

    We really need to see a screenshot of disk management:
    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of - Windows 10 Forums

    And please expand the columns so we can see the information in them [/QUOTE]


    Thank you foryour repsonse, Navy LCDR.

    I think I have succesfully atached the screen shot of Disk Managment. My first time !!
    Let me know if it's not there, please; and I'll try again.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Capture Disk Management.JPG  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    03 Apr 2016 #4

    I think the problem is because your system partition (which is currently your C: drive) which contains the boot files is a logical partition. You are going to need to create space for a primary partition, I would say at least 300MB in size, for Windows 10 to make a boot partition in. BTW - the little 31MB partition at the front is a primary partition. You have the the one primary partition - the first 31MB, followed by one extended partition which contains all your logical drives.

    Not sure why Acronis is reporting your disk structure different than what Disk Management is reporting.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    04 Apr 2016 #5

    Acronis screenshot and a plan

    Again. thank you NavyLCDR.

    For what it is worth here is a screenshot from Acronis of the current state - no changes since the DiskManagment screenshot yesterday have been done.

    I have the following plan:
    • Use Acronis to blow away (delere) that little 31MB partition at the front that you say is primary. I know of no need for its existance. Seems to just be some rubbish that Dell put ther when they "built" the laptop.
    • Take another screenshot of Acronis afterward
    • Take another screenshot of Disk Mangment afterward.
    • Send both of those to you

    Then maybe you can tell me what you think about that and if you thin Win 10 installtion will then work.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Capture Acronis before delete.JPG  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    04 Apr 2016 #6

    What I would do, if I were you:

    Delete the 31mb partition.

    Move all logical drives in front of the 40GB unallocated space to the right so the unallocated space is at the front of the extended partition.

    Shrink the extended partition so you have 40+ GB of unallocated space outside of, and in front of the extended partition.

    Boot from Windows 10 install DVD/USB and install Windows 10 to the unallocated space.

    You should be able to use the BCDBOOT command to add the Windows Vista back to the boot menu to set up dual booting.

    And I would use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free instead of Acronis.

    There's always the chance it is going to get messed up in the process and you can't boot. If you have an external hard drive it is recommended to make an image of your entire hard drive using Macrium Reflect Free - and create the Macrium rescue disk to restore it with.

    You probably will not be able to activate Windows 10 with a product key from Windows 7/8/8.1/10. You can't upgrade from Vista.

    You might have problems adding Windows Vista to the Windows 10 boot menu so you might end up being able to only boot Windows 10.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    04 Apr 2016 #7

    Response + questions

    Yes, I understand that I cannot "upgrade" from Vista.

    I do not recall if I mentioned at the start that I was able to install Win 10, from the USB stick, as a "custom" install on my desktop with no trouble. I had the C partition, with Vista etc, as primary and up front, on the left as the first thing. I then had the same logical parttions (D, F thru J) to the right of the C. They were followed by block of 120 GB "unallocated" all the way on th right side. I slected the 120 GB for insallation in Win 10. Win 10 isntalled and used the 120 GB, leaving it in the same place - it is now the "K" partition. I am attaching a Disk Managment screendshot of THE DESKTOP so you can see this.

    There were, by the way, no extranseous small partitions from Dell on the dessktop like on the laptop (the 2 machines were bought/built at the same time).

    After Win 10 installed and I rebooted, I automatically got the dual-boot window for selection of the OS I want to use. So, if all works well, I should not have any need of BCDROOT (whatever that is).

    BTW, I would prefer to continue to use Acronis: I am quite familiar with it and it has workded well for me. It even saved my butt on 4/2 when I did dumb thing and during an attempted install of Win 10 on the laptop - I highlighted the unallocated space and clicked "new" - bad move - I lost partitions F-J and it did not isntall at all. Acronis's recovery tool restored them all with no problem.

    Re backups, I do have and use an external HD (1 for each manchine). I have been using Shadow Protect (from Storage Craft) for years. It even restored everything (on the desktop) when I had a hard drive crash about 4 years ago . I will continue to use it on both machines. I did a full b/u before starting the Win 10 installl process on the laptop.

    So could you take alook at the DM screensshot from the desktop - it worked perfectly.

    So let me ask you:
    Wehn you say "Move all logical drives in front of the 40GB unallocated space to the right so the unallocated space is at the front of the extended partition" you seem to be saying, ironically, to make the drive have the same confiuration as I happened to have had on the desktop. Namely to have the 40GB unallocaed all the way on the right (or last on the list). Am I understanding that correctly ?

    And now:
    You say "Shrink the extended partition so you have 40+ GB of unallocated space outside of, and in front of the extended partition". This I find bit difficult to understand. Are you saying to make the 40 BG samller and have 2 unallocated pieces on the right ? I am not sure I can do that. And am not sure I would need to, condidering my experince with successfully installing Wind 10 as the 2nd OS on the desktop - I had the single 120 GB unallocated.
    Also not sure what you are referring to as the "extended" partition. I thought that ws just sort of the sum of all logical partitions.

    I know ee are talking about the Disk Managment screen in all this (or so I think). But, now, jsut one more thing: did you notice that one other litttle "unallocated" thing that shows up on the far left on the Acronis screen ?

    Anyway, I thought I was doing quite well for a 72-year old guy until I ran into this problem with the laptop. At least, in those 72 years, I have learned to sometimes ask for help when I really need it.

    Thanks again,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Desktop - Disk Managment Capture.JPG  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    04 Apr 2016 #8


    Looking at your disk management screens, the key to all this is the green box that surrounds several of the light blue "partitions" which actually are not partitions, they are logical drives. The green box is an extended partition, which contains the logical drives within it.

    Looking at your desktop, the first partition is outside the green box. That means it is a primary partition. Notice it is marked as the system partition. That means that it is the partition that contains the boot files that the computer boots from. Then the partition that is marked as the boot partition is the partition that the boot files have loaded the current operating system from. The system partition will not change, the boot partition will change depending upon which operating system you choose to load. Yes, Microsoft labeled those completely backwards, IMHO. The system partition is made the system partition by setting the Active flag for it. You can only have one Active partition per disk - and the partition being marked as Active is what makes it the system partition that the computer initially boots from.

    So - this is what happened when you installed Windows 10 on your desktop. Windows looked for and found the partition marked as Active (the system partition) on the disk because it is outside the green box. It is a primary partition and not a logical drive inside the extended partition. Since it found a primary partition marked as active, it read the boot files contained there and added the choice for Windows 10 to the boot files already there. Then it went to where you told it to install - the 120GB empty space and installed Windows 10 there. The system partition on old legacy BIOS systems can be combined with a partition that contains the rest of the Operating System - on your desktop that would be Windows Vista.

    Now, let's look at your laptop. Where is the system partition? It's inside the green box. That's the problem. Windows 10 won't work with system partitions that are inside an extended partition. Windows 10 will only work with system partitions that are primary partitions (outside the green box). So, you start Windows 10 setup, it does not find a system partition outside the green box so what is it going to try to do next? If it doesn't find an already existing primary system partition, it will attempt to create one. In order to create one, it's going to look for 500mb of empty space outside the green box in order to create a primary system partition. There is no 500mb empty space outside the green box on your laptop - so Windows setup fails and says it can't find a system partition and there is no empty space outside the green box to create a system partition.

    Now, on your laptop you have a couple of choices. You can convert your Windows Vista partition (which is also the system partition) to a primary partition, which will move it outside the green box. In order to do that, though, you have to shrink the green box (the extended partition) to create empty space outside of the green box to hold the Windows Vista partition. To do that you have to have empty space at either the beginning or the end of the green box (inside it), because the green box cannot be split in half. Once you get your Windows Vista partition moved to outside the green box (converted to a primary partition), and you have a separate empty space for Windows 10 - then the install will go just like it did on the desktop.

    OR, you can just create an empty space outside the green box (not a partition, just empty space) at least 500mb in size. Then when you tell Windows 10 to install, it will create a new system partition with the boot files in it. HOWEVER, since this is a new system partition, it will not carry over the entries to boot Windows Vista - and you will have to add that entry.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    05 Apr 2016 #9

    The curren status of my efforts


    By the way, thanks for the education on "partitions" and "drives".

    I could only get back to this now. Sorry for any delay.
    Let me give you a status.

    I deleted the 31MB EISA partition in the front, that was primary acccording to Disk Managment which we go by.
    That increased the unallocated in the front to 39MB.
    Everthing otherwise stayed the same.
    I attached a screenshot of Disk Managment after the delete, and also, for the hell of it, of Acronis afterward.

    I then chose to act according to your first "choice" at the end your last posting, yesterday. I'm not so sure I like the 2nd choice (tho' later in desperation, you never know).

    Oh, I then first tried, with Acronis, to change the C to Primary, but since it thinks it is primary, it won't do anything like that - sort of like changing it to what it already is. Though I guess I could try and see what happens, but it seems like a usless endeavor.

    The next thing would be to do what you suggest in choice #1: "you have to shrink the green box (the extended partition) to create empty space outside of the green box to hold the Windows Vista partition. To do that you have to have empty space at either the beginning or the end of the green box (inside it)".

    The only thing that I see that I could do with the version of Acronis that I have, is to reduce the size of some of the logical partitions (including C) - I could then put them back to their orginal size later, hopefully. But I suspect that all Acronis will do is increase the unallocatd that is already "inside the green box", not creating space outside the box or at either end of it, and thus will be of no help. And that unallocated is in the middle. I have no way of simply moving it to either end with Acronis as per your 4th sentence ("To do that......").

    In short, I guess that Acronis does not have the tools for me to do what I need to do.

    You mentioned "MiniTool Partition Wizzard". I just took a quick look at it. There is free and for purchase.

    I have had immense difficutly downloading with Win Vista for the last year or 2. It continues to block just about everything besause it sees everything as a virus. The message is not coming from McAfee and I have even turned McAfee off just in case. I have fiddled with every setting there is in Inernet Options to no avail. I have spent literally hours on this, looking for suggestions (even from MS), etc. The only thing I have been able to download in all that time is Chrome. I tried downlaoding other things via Chrome - same problem. It seems any .exe file is blocked by both IE and Chrome.

    So, I may have to buy the MiniTool and have a CD shipped. From your experience, does it have the tools to do what I need ? -- like move things around as I need to: the critical thing is your 3rd and 4th sentences in option #1. If so, I'm willing to purchase it for this use.

    Thanks again for all of your help.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Capture Disk Management after del of MediaDirect and EISA 31MB..JPG   Capture Acronis after del of MediaDierct and EISA 31MB.JPG  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    05 Apr 2016 #10

    MiniTool partition wizard free will do everything you need to do. You have a desktop computer that you can download from, correct? I would suggest you get Kyhi's recovery tools:
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums

    Make a bootable USB flash drive or DVD of his recovery tools, and that will contain a lot of useful tools including MiniTool Partition Wizard. Boot your laptop from the USB flash drive or DVD and you can use MiniTool that way to make your free space. It also includes a little PE network program that will allow you to connect WiFi (assuming your network adapter has a driver in Kyhi's PE) and has browsers for internet connection.

    If you post a good screenshot of your disk layout shown by MiniTool Partition Wizard with any columns of information expanded so we can read everything in the columns, then we can advise you more what to do with it.

    Basically, you want to move (not resize) any logical drives inside the extended partition to fill the unallocated space you already have in the middle and, in doing so, you will move (leapfrog) the unallocated space to either the very front or end of the extended partition. Then you can shrink the extended partition boundary on that side and that will move the unallocated space to either the front or the back of the hard drive itself where it can then be used to create real primary partitions.

    What Acronis is doing is presenting you with a virtual map of your hard drive that it is "interpreting" (which is a kind word for lying about) the physical layout of your hard drive. What disk management and MiniTool Partition Wizard will present is the actual, real physical layout of your hard drive. The difference between disk management and MiniTool PW is that MiniTool PW has the capability to move/adjust partitions in ways that disk management can't.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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