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Troubles installing new SSD in older laptop

This is a discussion on Troubles installing new SSD in older laptop within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a Gateway MA8 Laptop (ModelMT6728) And I decided to replace the WD 1600B 160gb HD with a 120GB


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Old 07-19-2018, 02:30 PM   #1
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I have a Gateway MA8 Laptop (ModelMT6728)

And I decided to replace the WD 1600B 160gb HD
with a 120GB Kingston SSD

I don't need the storage on the laptop, I have external portable drives.

I plan on installing a fresh copy of Windows 7 (for now).

Popped the SSD into the laptop...popped in the Win disc...let it go through its loading steps.
When it came time to install, there was no drive showing in the available drives list.
But after hitting refresh, the drive appeared.

However...it said I could not install to the disc.
It also would not give me the option to format the disc.

I remembered someone saying "make sure you initialize the drive first".
Not too sure what that means.
Something I didn't do when I swapped in an SSD into my main PC a few months back.
(I just took out the old drive, put in the new SSD, and then installed Windows on to it with no issues)

So, I unbolted the SSD...attached a USB adapter and cable, and plugged it into my desktop PC.

Then I opened up Disk management.
There was no option to initialize the drive.
It showed as a healthy disk... 111gb size partition.

I went ahead and told it to quick format.
Only thing I didn't do is click "make disk/partition active"

Then I put the drive back into the laptop and booted the Windows disc...
got to the same install screen and still can't install Windows to the drive.

The warning is "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk..."
I cannot format or do anything to the disk.
I cannot move forward (next).
I cannot install Windows.

I also read about changing the SATA Compatibility in the BIOS?
But the SATA Controller Mode option is not there in my BIOS controls.


Can anyone help me install this SSD?
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:48 PM   #2
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What build of Windows 7 are you installing? Is it a original 2009 build of Windows 7?
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:02 PM   #3
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yes, looks like it.
sp1 installed
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:47 AM   #4
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The drive may be initialized as GPT, instead of MBR.
Put the drive back in the caddy and attach it to the other computer. Download Minitool Partition Wizard Free edition. start the program And Highlight the drive and choose Convert MBR. Do not Format it, leave it Unallocated Space. Now put it into the troubled laptop.
Boot into Setup (Bios under Large Disk Access Mode, what are the other choices? Do you have AHCI? or RAID? Try that.
Then boot off of the Windows installer Choose your language, then Custom Install, highlight the Unallocated Space and go Next, Windows will automatically create partitions and format them. see if that works.
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:49 AM   #5
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Before your start the installation process, go to the Kingston website, download the driver for your SSD extract it/copy the actual driver files not the zip or exe, into the flash drive.

Start the Windows installation process, at the screen where you see Disk information, choose the Load Driver option you find there, point to the connected usb flash drive and it should then pick up the SSD.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:49 AM   #6
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sorry to be a dummy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
The drive may be initialized as GPT, instead of MBR.
Put the drive back in the caddy and attach it to the other computer. Download Minitool Partition Wizard Free edition. start the program And Highlight the drive and choose Convert MBR. Do not Format it, leave it Unallocated Space. Now put it into the troubled laptop.
Boot into Setup (Bios under Large Disk Access Mode, what are the other choices? Do you have AHCI? or RAID? Try that.
Then boot off of the Windows installer Choose your language, then Custom Install, highlight the Unallocated Space and go Next, Windows will automatically create partitions and format them. see if that works.
I don't know what GPT or MBR means.

I'll go get the MiniTool Wizard.

Thats why I posted the screengrabs of the BIOS.
There is no SATA Controller options.
I wonder if I should update the BIOS first?
There is a newer version for this laptop at Gateway.
...but there are two versions and I don't know which to grab.

...................
Is this something I should ALSO do...or instead do?...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tristar View Post
Before your start the installation process, go to the Kingston website, download the driver for your SSD extract it/copy the actual driver files not the zip or exe, into the flash drive.

Start the Windows installation process, at the screen where you see Disk information, choose the Load Driver option you find there, point to the connected usb flash drive and it should then pick up the SSD.
Copy to what flash drive? just use a flash drive for the Driver?
Where is this flash drive and when/where do I install?
I don't remember seeing a Load Driver option during the Windows install.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:03 AM   #7
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Seems there are no Drivers from Kingston.

I found this info on another site:

I'm Jewel with Kingston Technical Support, here to offer our assistance. The drivers you would need would actually be the SATA chipset drivers for your motherboard. You can usually find these in the Download section of the support page for your system. Sometimes this can happen because the Windows disk wants the drive to be initialized first. If you have another computer you have plug the drive in and format it in Disk Management. If not you can go into command prompt when you get to that point of the installation and press Shift+F10 to bring up a command prompt windows and enter the following Commands:
Diskpart
Select Disk 0
Clean
Create Partition Primary Align=1024
Format Quick FS=NTFS
List Partition
Active
Exit

The last command will close out command prompt then reboot your system and the drive should appear at that step once you get to it. Make sure the SSD is the only disk drive installed in the system otherwise it could wipe a different drive. Also, sometimes Windows just wants the disk it is installed to in the SATA 0 or 1 port whichever is first for it to detect it for installation. For further assistance, please call us at 1-800-435-0640 (USA and Canada only) M - F 6am - 6pm PT and I or another available technician will assist you.


I don't know where to start or which operation to perform.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:34 AM   #8
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Here is something interesting from the Kingston website..


Our SATA III (6Gbit/s) SSDs are tested to be backwards compatible to SATA II (3Gbit/s). They are not designed or tested to be backwards compatible with SATA I ports (1.5Gbit/s). Most systems made before 2008 used SATA I ports. Our SSDs will likely not work in these systems.


Any chance this is a SATA 3 drive ? and can you check the SATA support of your laptop ?
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristar View Post
Here is something interesting from the Kingston website..


Our SATA III (6Gbit/s) SSDs are tested to be backwards compatible to SATA II (3Gbit/s). They are not designed or tested to be backwards compatible with SATA I ports (1.5Gbit/s). Most systems made before 2008 used SATA I ports. Our SSDs will likely not work in these systems.


Any chance this is a SATA 3 drive ? and can you check the SATA support of your laptop ?
yeah, I was aware of this...and prepared in the event the drive would not work at all.
I have another computer that can use it.

But the drive is recognized and is there is the list of available drives.
Its just that Windows says it can't install to the drive.
I'm thinking that means its a different issue.

I don't know how to fully identify my system.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:01 AM   #10
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Trying spunk.funk's suggestion ...
opened the drive in minitool wizard.
I had already formatted the ssd, but I converted MBR to GPT as instructed.

As I said before the Disk Access Mode offers me DOS or OTHER
I have no SATA controller options.
I tried installing the Gateway updated SATA control driver, but nothing will work within Win 10, which is what is on the current drive in the laptop.


Just starting the Windows install of the laptop (with the SSD installed).

...
...
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:14 AM   #11
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What about migrating or cloning the OS from the existing drive to the SSD?
Will that work?
Rather than trying to install fresh Windows on the SSD.

Or, will it still not like the SSD?

I am going to reformat the existing drive...dump Win10 and go back to a fresh install of Win7.
After i do that, and get a few things set up, I could migrate the OS to the SSD (using MiniTool).

Or, as a I said, is there still an issue with the SSD being compatible
and thats what I need to fix first?
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:00 AM   #12
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Well, no luck so far...I have a Windows issue that is interfering with anything I try to do.
Everything I plug in (wireless mouse, external HDs, webcam...) works fine.
Plug and Play.
But then...
At some point, after installing SP1 or certain other Windows updates, a number of things start to go wrong on my system.
One is my USB ports.
My 5 Button Wireless USB Mouse stops functioning...although a different 2 Button wireless Mouse still works.
Two of my four external Pocket HDs stop being recognized.
I have to plug/unplug/plug multiple times before they are seen.
My new webcam worked fine up to this point...and then, its completely not seen.

I'm only installing critical updates and SP1...but something is affected by that.

This is of course affecting using MiniTool Partition because the system doesn't see the external SSD Drive (at first) when I plug it in.
Once I refresh the program, it sees the drive.
But it can't complete any changes or actions to the drive.
But its not actually seeing it.

I've tried reinstalling Windows...but as I said...there is a point during updates where things go wrong.

And...regardless of the Windows issue, I still haven't got BIOS to see the SSD drive.
I don't know how to do that.
I don't know if updating the BIOS will help...or do harm.
I tried installing a BIOS driver for SATA controller, which apparently went fine...
but it didn't change options within the BIOS.
I still see no SATA Controller options.

IF I have to give up on the SSD, I will...but not before I'm sure there is no way to use it.

I've also decided to forget Windows.
Since I need the the webcam and external drives to work.
So, I think I'll try Ubuntu again.
I've used it before, and I like it.
Only reason I don't use it on my main PC, is certain programs I use are not compatible.

So, forgetting about installing an OS, how do I get this SSD to be the primary (and only) Drive?
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:44 PM   #13
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Remove all other HDD's in the computer. Remove all external drives in the computer. Install SSD. Boot into the Bios, is the SSD recognized? If so, it is the only drive, hence Primary drive in the system.
Boot off of your Ubuntu Live CD and install to the SSD. After installing an OS, then attach your other drives.
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:56 PM   #14
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You're not understanding...I can't install anything onto the SSD.
Thats the point.

With the SSD in the laptop, it is the only drive.
(No externals are plugged in either)

...and the BIOS shows "no primary disk".

And there are no options to change the SATA Controller (as you can see in the photos I already posted).
The only thing that gives you any options is the "Large Disk Access Mode".
You can choose DOS or Other.

When booting with the OS disc, it loads the files and goes through the install process...
when you get to the screen to choose where to install the OS, there are no drives showing.

I hit refresh, and then the SSD appears as an available drive.

However, if you click it and choose to install to that location,
you get the "can't install to this disc..." error.

Thats it.

I have the option of installing a later version of the BIOS for this laptop, but I am wary permanent damage to the laptop.
The new SSD is SATA 3, backwards compatible to SATA 2.
SATA 1 is not supported by this SSD.

And I must assume this laptop is a SATA 1 interface.
So, will changing the BIOS even make any difference?

I think I'll just forget it...keep the SSD for use in my Media/TV PC.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
The drive may be initialized as GPT, instead of MBR.
Put the drive back in the caddy and attach it to the other computer. Download Minitool Partition Wizard Free edition. start the program And Highlight the drive and choose Convert MBR. Do not Format it, leave it Unallocated Space. Now put it into the troubled laptop.
Attach the SSD to a USB-SATA Adapter, Dock or Enclosure and attach it to working computer. Use a 3rd party app like Minitool Partitions Wizard. If drive is Initialized as GPT, convert it to MBR, Do NOT Partition and Format it.
Put it back in the troubled laptop and Windows should now see the SSD to install to.
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:14 PM   #16
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I thought we covered this already...about 11 posts back?
Post 6.
As I said in the very first post, before you told me not to format it...disc was already formatted.
And the drive was not GPT...it was already MBR...thats why I didn't follow up on that topic.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:00 PM   #17
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You never mentioned that part. If you did, I wouldn't have brought it up again.
Then this laptop is too old for an SSD.
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