Solve Windows 10 / 8 Installation: Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition

Hi again people,

this past weekend I had some problems when installing Windows 10 from an USB Drive instead of a traditional DVD in an old Laptop (> 8 years).

So I created the media installation device from another Win installation and when I boot it everything worked fine until I tried to create the partition to install the system, at that point the installation software showed me an error: “Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition“.

After some hours I was able to do it with some patience and BIOS tries, this was the thing I did by searching on the Internet:

  • Changing the USB port in the partition selection screen, then press ‘refresh’ button and try. (It didn’t work for me).
  • Accesing CMD pressing Shift+F10 (It didn’t work for me):
    • Once in shell type ‘DISKPART’
    • Type ‘list disk’
    • Check the number of the disk where you want to install Windows and type ‘select disk *’ (where * is the number of your selected disk).
    • Type ‘clean’ (this will erase you disk).
    • Type ‘create partition primary’
    • Try to install, if it doesn’t make the same steps and continue with the new ones.
    • Type ‘active’
    • after clean, type ‘format fs=ntfs quick’
    • Type ‘assign’
    • Exit the screen and try to install Windows.
  • Change SATA options from AHCI to IDE. (It didn’t work for me).
  • Change boot order of devices in BIOS, making your future Windows HDD the first option, save and restart, open BIOS again and launch USB from there. (It didn’t work for me).

While these settings may not work for me directly, maybe they affect the process of the final solution so please at least make sure you did the ACHI to IDE and Boot order options mentioned above.

Then, make sure you have enabled Legacy boot from BIOS and UEFI boot, and boot the USB device in  UEFI mode, in my BIOS settings that option was showed in the save settings screen after enabling UEFI bootin Boot options. This trick was the final solution for me which allowed me to enjoy the new version of Windows in my old laptop.

I hope this help some lost people as I was yesterday haha.

Enjoy your new Windows!