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How to Fix “Windows Cannot be Installed on this Disk” Error

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Introduction

If you try to install Windows 10 on a non-Windows formatted hard driver you may receive “Windows cannot be installed on this disk”.

The steps in this guide will help you resolve this error and install your Operating System successfully.

The fix discussed in this guide is a 2-step process:

  1. Step 1: Boot to Windows 10 to command prompt (from Recovery environment).
  2. Step 2: Use DISKPART to fix “Windows cannot be installed on this disk”

The second step offers 3 options. Details later.

For non-tech readers: this guide contains Windows commands. To execute a command, type the command into command prompt. Then press Enter on your keyboard. I may not repeat this for every command.
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Step 1 Fix for “Windows Cannot be Installed on this Disk”

This step is common to the 3 options discussed in step 2.

To boot to command prompt:

  • Insert Windows 10 installation media (DVD or USB)
  • Then change the boot sequence to boot from the device above
  • Boot the computer. At the screen to confirm boot from the media, press any key to continue
Step 1 Fix for "Windows Cannot be Installed on this Disk"
  • Wait for Windows 10 installation screen to display. Then click Next.
windows cannot be installed on this disk
  • When this screen displays, click Repair your computer.
windows cannot be installed on this disk
  • Then at the Chose an option screen, click Troubleshoot.
windows cannot be installed on this disk
  • At the Advanced options screen, click Command Prompt.

Step 2: Fix “Windows Cannot be Installed on this Disk” With DISKPART

Warning!
Before you perform any of the steps in this section be sure to BACKUP your data to another drive. When you go through the steps here, you will lose your DATA! Backup before you proceed!

As I said earlier, this step offers 3 methods:

1
Use DISKPART to Convert the Drive to MBR

Here are the steps:

  • Boot to CMD prompt with Step 1 of this guide.
  • At the command prompt, execute the command below.
DISKPART
  • At the DISKPART prompt, execute this command.
LIST DISK

All disks on your computer will be displayed.

  • Then type the command below and press enter.
SELECT DISK 0
windows cannot be installed on this disk -
If you have more than one disk, determine the disk you wish to install Windows. Then replace 0 in the last command with the disk #.
  • Once your disk is selected, use this command to convert the disk to MBR.
CONVERT MBR
  • To exit DISKPART, type EXIT. Then press enter.
EXIT
  • Finally, to exit CMD, type EXIT and press enter. Then click Turn off your PC.
  • Try installing Windows into this disk.

If you still receive “Windows cannot be installed on this disk” error, try the next fix.

2
“Clean” the Disk with DISKPART

This method is very similar to the last one except for the DISKPART commands.

Here are the steps:

  • Follow the steps described in this guide until you get to DISKPART
  • Then execute these commands, one at a time:
LIST DISK
SELECT DISK 0
Change 0 to your disk #
CLEAN
The CLEAN command may take up to an hour to complete
  • When the command is done, do EXIT twice. Then, click Turn of your PC.

Boot the computer and try installing Windows 10 again.

If “Windows cannot be installed on this disk” error is still not fixed, you need to format the disk. See the next fix for details.

3
Finally, to Fix “Windows Cannot be Installed on this Disk” Format the Disk

Like the last 2 methods, this one also uses DISKPART.

Here are the steps:

  • Boot your computer to Windows 10 recovery.
  • Then follow the previous steps to get to DISKPART
  • Finally, execute these commands:
 LIST DISK
SELECT DISK 0 
Change 0 to your disk #
LIST VOLUME

This command displays available volumes (partitions) in the drive. Note the volume number of the volume you want to install Windows. Mine is 1.

  • Then type this command and press enter.
SELECT VOLUME 1
  • Finally, format the volume with this command.
FORMAT FS=NTFS 
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Conclusion

One of the 3 steps described in this guide should fix “Windows cannot be installed on this disk” error.

We would love for you to give us a feedback about this guide and the fix that worked for you. Use the “Leave a Reply” form at the end of this page.

Want more Windows 10 fixes? Get more from our Windows 10 Fix page.


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