“Windows can’t be installed on this drive” warning appears during Windows Setup

Applies to: Windows 8Windows 8 ProWindows 8 Enterprise

Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:
  • You are installing Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 to a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)-based PC.
  • The disk that you are installing to has a partition table but no defined partitions.
  • The disk is Online.
  • At the "Where do you want to install Windows?" screen, you select the disk.

In this scenario, at the bottom of the screen you may see the following warning message:

Windows can't be installed on this drive. (Show details)

If you click on the warning message you will see the following message displayed.



If you select OK to close the message, you can then select Next and the installation will continue and successfully complete.

Note: This error does not occur with previous operating systems or with BIOS-based (non UEFI) PCs.

Cause


Typically the warning message indicates that there is a problem with the disk, BIOS or UEFI firmware that prevents the installation of Windows. However, in this scenario, the warning message is caused by Setup failing to find the Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) path for the hard drive being installed to. As a result, Setup is unable to verify that the disk is bootable and displays the warning message.

Resolution


For the specific scenario listed in the Symptoms section, the warning may be safely ignored and you can select Next to continue with the installation.