Windows 7 Install Can See Directories but not Disk

So, you just got your blazingly-fast solid state drive/SSD but it won’t boot. You’ve probably already tried doing a “startup repair” (a standard procedure for many SSD cloning/transfer  methods), but you’ve run into this interesting problem: Windows can see your drive and you can even browse the directories, but it doesn’t detect a Windows installation.

Unless something is horribly wrong with your Windows installation, the problem is probably that you don’t have the boot partition with the boot flag set on. In Windows, this is called marking a partition as “active”. There’s a great guide for how to do this here.

Once you mark the partition as active, reboot the Windows 7 installation CD and it should have no problem detecting the Windows installation. Once you run the boot repair, you should be able to boot with no issues. If this trick has helped you, let us know. What other problems have you encountered during Windows installations?

Note: If, even after doing this, the Windows installer still isn’t detecting your Windows installation and your installation was working fine before, there’s one of two possibilities. Be sure you’re using the correct Windows disk. Most computers come with a Windows 7 license, so using a “retail” disk will not work on them. What you need is the “system builder DVD“. You must also use the correct license (Home premium, professional, etc). If Windows can’t see the drive, you may have to load drivers manually or change your BIOS/UEFI settings.

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