Can't See Drives/Partitions Installing Win7 to Dual Boot with WinXP

#1
I have a custom built PC with 3 physical hard drives (one for Win7, one for WinXP, one for Data Backup). I installed WinXP Pro 32-bit and when I boot the drive it's on is labeled C. I have two optical drives (D and E). The empty drive where I want to install Win7 is F and the Data Backup drive is G. I installed WinXP first because I know it will not be able to recognize the boot manager used by Win7.

Okay, so I set my BIOS to boot from CD first, pop in Win7 Pro 64-bit and when it finishes loading files and "Starting Windows" finishes, I get to a window that says, "Install Now". There is also a couple options to the lower right, one is labeled Recovery something. I go there to see if it will detect my drives (each has only 1 partition that takes up the entire drive).

Win7 doesn't see anything. I don't know where to go from here. Most of the tutorials that describe installing only discuss setting up a new partition on the same drive as WinXP, then starting the Win7 install and show screen shots where the partitions are detected. Is my approach so uncommon? I think it's a good thing to put each operating system on a separate drive.

My hard drives are all SATA drives by the way.

I had a WinXP/Vista install prior to this and when I installed them I followed the same routine and it worked without a hitch (Vista saw the drives and allowed me to choose). What's wrong here?

Thanks much.

Editted to add:

I just tried the Win7 32-bit install disk and it doesn't see anything either.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
W7 Install should look exactly like Vista.
If you've pre-formatted the F: partition and the setup can't therefore see any "empty" space, you'll need to use the facility ( advanced or custom or something like that from memory) which takes you to another screen where you can point it at your pre-formatted partition and tell it to overwrite it ( I think it does its own "quick" format" again)