Forum Thread

Installing Windows 7 over Windows 8 Dell Inspiron 660s

efaraband 175 32 December 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Just bought a new desktop, its a Dell Inspiron 660s and it came with Windows 8. Its for my parents, and they have enough trouble with 7 as is, i dont want to deal with them learning 8 now.

So i tried reformatting with Windows 7 and got an error message that said: Windows cannot be installed on the selected partition because it is of the GPT partition style.
So I looked into that and found a program called GParted that allows partition management, so i formatted the drive to NTFS, wiping all the other partitions and now having just the one main partition. Now, windows 7 installs, but when it reboots after the setup window, the computer says No Bootable Devices found, but it sees the harddrive and cd drive.

So i went back through setup AGAIN, and this time i got this message which did not allow to install windows 7: Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, windows can only be installed to GPT disks.

Any ideas on how to go about installing Windows 7 on this system?
Thanks!

18 Comments

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#2
You'd have to change a setting in the bios to include MBR.
I've done this a few times and the bottom line is that I've had driver issues with all the machines that came with 8 and wasn't able to get all the necessary 7 drivers in, so the only sane decision is to make 8 look like 7, and that's so incredibly easy to do with ClassicShell that you'll wonder why you went to so much trouble to try to install 7 on that machine.
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#3
Just change your dvd drive that you are installing windows with from uefi to sata
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#4
Thanks RockySosua, i messed around with some settings in bios and got it to work. If i want to make an image of the drive and ghost a second computer, do i have to manually change any settings on the other computers, or will the image write as-is?
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#5
Quote from efaraband View Post :
Thanks RockySosua, i messed around with some settings in bios and got it to work. If i want to make an image of the drive and ghost a second computer, do i have to manually change any settings on the other computers, or will the image write as-is?
As long as they aren't designated Win 8 machines, the image should work fine on other similar machines, but if there are too many hardware differences, it might not work.
If it blue screens on you, then it's a lost cause.
Don't even bother trying if one of them is an Intel and the other an AMD.
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#6
They are exactly the same machine. Just i dont want to sit and format partitions, reformat with 7, install programs and updates and all that crap, it takes too long. Making an image is easier, if it will work. But they are Exact same machine. My concern is with the different format of hd, will that an issue ?
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#7
Quote from efaraband View Post :
They are exactly the same machine. Just i dont want to sit and format partitions, reformat with 7, install programs and updates and all that crap, it takes too long. Making an image is easier, if it will work. But they are Exact same machine. My concern is with the different format of hd, will that an issue ?
Just make the same change in the bios and you'll be in business.
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#8
Awesome! It worked, Thanks everyone. Very much appreciated.
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#9
Quote from efaraband View Post :
Just bought a new desktop, its a Dell Inspiron 660s and it came with Windows 8. Its for my parents, and they have enough trouble with 7 as is, i dont want to deal with them learning 8 now.

So i tried reformatting with Windows 7 and got an error message that said: Windows cannot be installed on the selected partition because it is of the GPT partition style.
So I looked into that and found a program called GParted that allows partition management, so i formatted the drive to NTFS, wiping all the other partitions and now having just the one main partition. Now, windows 7 installs, but when it reboots after the setup window, the computer says No Bootable Devices found, but it sees the harddrive and cd drive.

So i went back through setup AGAIN, and this time i got this message which did not allow to install windows 7: Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, windows can only be installed to GPT disks.

Any ideas on how to go about installing Windows 7 on this system?
Thanks!
I`m now working on the same model with the same problem almost but I had to change the boot order to non-uefi and got other options when I then restarted it finally booted from the Windows 7 CD so I then formatted the OS partition and now it is empty but will not let me install windows and now Windows 8 is gone I do not even know how to restore that on there now! ANy ideas If I find any more answers I will let you all know.
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#10
Quote from RonR9501 View Post :
I`m now working on the same model with the same problem almost but I had to change the boot order to non-uefi and got other options when I then restarted it finally booted from the Windows 7 CD so I then formatted the OS partition and now it is empty but will not let me install windows and now Windows 8 is gone I do not even know how to restore that on there now! ANy ideas If I find any more answers I will let you all know.
Been there done that.
For awhile, I wondered if I had just ruined the danged thing.
The good news is that 7 Can be installed and it will work, but you may run into some driver problems, that won't allow 7 to run as well as it should.
That being said, let's take this from the top.
I need exact details of what happens.
So far, I know you've made the appropriate change in the bios, so as to allow you to boot from the Windows 7 disc.
From there, I/we need details.
You deleted and/or formatted the drive, correct?
After that, did Win 7 start to install, and if so, when does it all go wrong?
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Last edited by RockySosua January 24, 2013 at 09:44 AM
#11
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Been there done that.
For awhile, I wondered if I had just ruined the danged thing.
The good news is that 7 Can be installed and it will work, but you may run into some driver problems, that won't allow 7 to run as well as it should.
That being said, let's take this from the top.
I need exact details of what happens.
So far, I know you've made the appropriate change in the bios, so as to allow you to boot from the Windows 7 disc.
From there, I/we need details.
You deleted and/or formatted the drive, correct?
After that, did Win 7 start to install, and if so, when does it all go wrong?
I just got an error (windows cannot be installed on GPT drive) something like that after using the format command in drive options I guess I can`t create NTFS there!. I was going to just put another HDD in it but so far I am not sure about uefi never used it before. and also if this is a sata III drive if my sata II drive will work.

I also read this and am confused:
GPT and MBR disks can be mixed on systems that support GPT, as described earlier. However, you must be aware of the following restrictions:
oSystems that support UEFI require that boot partition must reside on a GPT disk. Other hard disks can be either MBR or GPT.
oBoth MBR and GPT disks can be present in a single dynamic disk group. Volume sets can span both MBR and GPT disks.


I also want to be able to use the drive in another computer as a storage drive it is new 1 TB BTW this is not my computer so I cannot get to it till later the neighbor just got it and does not like Windows 8
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Last edited by RonR9501 January 24, 2013 at 10:26 AM
#12
Quote from RonR9501 View Post :
I just got an error (windows cannot be installed on GPT drive) something like that after using the format command in drive options I guess I can`t create NTFS there!. I was going to just put another HDD in it but so far I am not sure about uefi never used it before. and also if this is a sata III drive if my sata II drive will work.

I also read this and am confused:
GPT and MBR disks can be mixed on systems that support GPT, as described earlier. However, you must be aware of the following restrictions:
oSystems that support UEFI require that boot partition must reside on a GPT disk. Other hard disks can be either MBR or GPT.
oBoth MBR and GPT disks can be present in a single dynamic disk group. Volume sets can span both MBR and GPT disks.


I also want to be able to use the drive in another computer as a storage drive it is new 1 TB BTW this is not my computer so I cannot get to it till later the neighbor just got it and does not like Windows 8
That error indicates that the correct changes in the bios, have not been made.
Unfortunately, all the bios' are different and everybody is using different terms, but the short of it is that you have to get to the hard drive and change it from GPT to MBR, or whatever term they might use.

I don't understand the last part.
You also want to use it in another computer as a storage drive?
At the same time?
Or you'll move it from time to time?
Or you're trying to install Win 7 onto the HD in your machine, then you'll install it into your neighbour's machine?
I'm out of guesses.
Please explain.

PS: You might also have to make some bios changes for the DVD from which you're installing.
I can't tell you how different one bios is to another and I've only done 4 or 5 machines and it was different each time, so you just peruse through there until you find a setting that makes sense, if you know what I mean.
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Last edited by RockySosua January 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM
#13
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
That error indicates that the correct changes in the bios, have not been made.
Unfortunately, all the bios' are different and everybody is using different terms, but the short of it is that you have to get to the hard drive and change it from GPT to MBR, or whatever term they might use.

I don't understand the last part.
You also want to use it in another computer as a storage drive?
At the same time?
Or you'll move it from time to time?
Or you're trying to install Win 7 onto the HD in your machine, then you'll install it into your neighbour's machine?
I'm out of guesses.
Please explain.

PS: You might also have to make some bios changes for the DVD from which you're installing.
I can't tell you how different one bios is to another and I've only done 4 or 5 machines and it was different each time, so you just peruse through there until you find a setting that makes sense, if you know what I mean.
From what I have read is GPT is a new file system and the only way to change that is format the entire drive I did not want to format the Recovery Partition on the drive that came in the computer in case someday they decide they want Windows 8 back and then they would have no way to do it. After I formated the OS drive Windows 8 is gone but I should be able to press F8 and recover it I thought. They have another drive in their other computer they were going to move files off it last night and just use that drive to install Windows 7 on and then use the drive that came in the new computer for a storage drive for now. I am a little confused too as this is the first time I heard of GPT file system and I build computers all thge time, just not new ones because no one wants to buy the parts in the area I moved to there are not many jobs I build mostly Socket 775 systems which still run nicely . Anyway thank you for your help.
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#14
It's not a file-system, it's a method of partitioning a disk based on the UEFI specs.
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#15
Quote from RonR9501 View Post :
From what I have read is GPT is a new file system and the only way to change that is format the entire drive I did not want to format the Recovery Partition on the drive that came in the computer in case someday they decide they want Windows 8 back and then they would have no way to do it. After I formated the OS drive Windows 8 is gone but I should be able to press F8 and recover it I thought. They have another drive in their other computer they were going to move files off it last night and just use that drive to install Windows 7 on and then use the drive that came in the new computer for a storage drive for now. I am a little confused too as this is the first time I heard of GPT file system and I build computers all thge time, just not new ones because no one wants to buy the parts in the area I moved to there are not many jobs I build mostly Socket 775 systems which still run nicely . Anyway thank you for your help.
You can format a partition in 2 different methods, like one NTFS and another in FAT, for example, although I don't know how that woud all work out in your case, as you're not 100% decided what you'll be doing, yet.
So, one thing that is important to mention is that F8 will not get you back into the OS if you have formatted or deleted the OS partition.
You need only Google the model of your machine, with some key words like "F key Factory Restore XXX brand, XXXX model" or :How to factory restore etc".

May I suggest the following.
Do the factory restore. to get 8 back up and running.
Make a primary folder (call it DATA or whatever) and install it into your friend's computer. Copy over all the data from the other 1tb drive he/she has.
Then disconnect the Win 8 drive, and delete, format and install 7 onto the other drive, so that the system will run on 7 and have the other 1 tb drive for data (minus a bit of space taken up by the hidden recovery partition and the the Win 8 system).
That way, if the friend ever wants to have 8 again, he/she need only make the changes in the bios, to get it going.
Do you follow what I'm saying?
If not, or if that's not what you'd like to do, spell it out and I'll try to help you make it happen.
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