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Message “Windows requires a valid system volume for installation to continue…” when Installing Windows Vista or Later


While installing Windows Vista or later (e.g. Windows 7/8.x/10) to hard drive 0 on a system with multiple physical hard drives, the following message appears:

Windows requires a valid system volume for installation to continue.  There is enough space on Disk n for a system volume to be created.  Click OK to create this system volume and continue installing Windows.

Where "n" is the hard drive number.

Note: The message may vary depending on the version of Windows being installed, but will refer to a problem with the system volume (e.g. not found, unable to create, etc.).


The Windows installer mistakenly considers one of the secondary hard drives as the boot drive.


Cancel the installation and turn off the computer. Temporarily disconnect each hard drive other than the one on which you would like to install Windows and then restart the Windows installation.  After Windows has been successfully installed, turn off the computer and reconnect the other hard drives.

If the error message persists after disconnecting the other drives, please check the following:

  • The partition selected for the installation is a standard Windows NTFS partition and set as the Active (booting) partition.

  • The Windows installer is using the correct drivers for the hard drive controller. Current drivers can usually be found on the computer or board manufacturer's website.

  • USB flash drives are not connected to the computer. The installer may be seeing the flash drive as the booting drive and is unable to use it for the system volume.

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