If you try installing Windows on a disk or partition that does not support it, you’ll get one of the following error messages with the same error code:
- “We couldn’t install Windows in the location you chose. Please check your media drive. Here’s more info about what happened: 0x80300024”
- “Windows is unable to install to the selected location: Error: 0x80300024”
These errors usually happen because of the incompatibility of the installation media with the current boot mode and the current partition scheme.
Windows can boot in UEFI or Legacy boot mode which correspond to GPT and MBR partition schemes respectively. Currently, most methods will create a GPT compatible Windows installation media, but an old installation media may still target an MBR-based system.
These media will only install Windows with the compatible boot mode and partition, so you need to troubleshoot such conflicts to resolve the issue.
Apart from the boot mode incompatibility, hardware causes can also cause the above error.
Change SATA Mode
Your BIOS or UEFI settings also allow you to specify the SATA configuration mode, which determines how your system communicates with the SATA devices.
Depending on your situation, the SATA device or Operating System build you wish to install may not be compatible with a configuration mode. You’ll need to change the mode in such cases.
- Power up or restart your computer. Then, keep pressing the BIOS key repeatedly until you boot to the BIOS/UEFI settings. If you don’t know which key it is, check official sources for the information.
- Look for SATA Configuration Mode or a similar setting. You’ll usually find it under Advanced or Storage tabs.
- Change the setting to another option.
- Save the BIOS and exit.
- Try installing Windows again. If you still encounter the error, repeat the above steps to change to other options and check again.
If all the modes show the error, set the SATA mode to AHCI if you want to install a newer OS and IDE otherwise. Then, move on to the next solution.
Check Boot Mode and Delete Partition
You can’t install Windows that targets a GPT disk (UEFI mode) on an MBR disk and vice versa as they have incompatible partition tables. Both of these require separate types of reserved partitions as well.
Your current boot mode also needs to be UEFI for the installation to work. Otherwise, you’ll get the above error message.
To resolve the issue, you need to change the boot mode and then delete all the partitions on the disk. Doing so will create an unallocated space and allow the installation process to create the GPT-based partition data and reserved partitions using this space.
- Boot into the BIOS.
- Search for Boot mode or a similar setting. You will likely find it under Boot or Advanced tabs.
- Make sure it is at UEFI (not UEFI + Legacy).
- Save the changes and exit the BIOS.
- Boot using the installation media again.
- Get to the Custom Install Windows Setup screen while following the on-screen instructions.
- Here, look for the number of the drive where you want to install Windows.
- Select all partitions of this drive and click Delete > OK.
- Select the unallocated space and click New > Apply > OK.
- It should create a few partitions under the same drive (Recovery, System, MSR and Primary).
- Select the Primary partition and click Next.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to go through the rest of the installation process.
Properly Recreate Windows Installation Media
If you don’t wish to delete the current partitions, you can try recreating the installation media that is compatible with your partition scheme.
Since media creation directly creates a GPT-compatible USB installation media, I recommend using apps like Rufus for this purpose as they allow customizing this process.
- Download Rufus on your computer. You don’t need to install it.
- Then, download media tool creation from the Windows Software download platform and run this program.
- Accept the license agreements.
- Tick Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC and hit Next if the option is there.
- If you are running this program in the system you will be reinstalling, check Use recommended options for this PC and click Next. Otherwise, uncheck the option, specify the proper configuration and click Next.
- Select ISO file and then Next.
- Specify the save location for the .iso file and click Save > Finish.
- Insert a USB flash drive into the computer and open Rufus.
- Under Device, select your USB flash drive.
- Click on SELECT, navigate to the
.isofile, select it and press Enter.
- Select the Partition Scheme according to your system (MBR or GPT).
- Set the File system to FAT32 and change any other options per your need.
- Hit START.
After creating the installation media, use it to install Windows.
Convert to GPT
Another way you can handle this partition scheme incompatibility without deleting the partitions is by converting the current scheme. I recommend converting MBR to GPT even without such a necessity. You won’t lose any data during this process.
On the other hand, since GPT is the current standard, it’s better not to convert it to MBR. Doing so also deletes all the data inside, so it will provide the same result as deleting the partitions anyway.
To convert to GPT,
- Log in to your user account and open Run (Windows key + R).
cmdand press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Elevated Command Prompt.
mbr2gpt.exe /Convert /AllowFullOSand press Enter.
If you can’t log in to the account,
- Boot into the installation media and press Shift + F10 on the Install screen. It will open the Command Prompt.
- Here, enter the command
/disk:attribute to choose any other disk. But for such cases, it’s better to delete the partition instead since you will still be formatting the disk.
Remove Other Storage Devices
A PC contains many SATA ports and each one is numbered, usually starting from 0. Some older motherboard BIOS consider the storage device connected to the first SATA port as the default OS device. So, if you try installing the OS on another port’s device, you may get this error.
Other than that, if you have installed multiple storage devices on your computer, you may get conflicts while trying to install Windows on certain port’s devices.
If your motherboard has an M.2 port and you have an M.2 SSD, I highly recommend using it to install Windows.
Otherwise, you will need to disconnect all the storage devices and then connect only the disk you wish to use as the system disk in the first SATA port before attempting the Windows installation. You can connect the other devices after you finish installing the operating system.
- Unscrew the side panel of the PC and take it out. Doing so on some PC cases may be difficult, so check the official instructions or disassembly videos to learn how to do so.
- Make sure not to touch the circuit components with your fingers on the motherboard unless you have grounded yourself. The electrostatic discharge might damage the hardware.
- Look for all the storage devices on the PC and disconnect the additional devices. You need to press the connector on the data cable and pull it out.
- Check the SATA port numbers on the motherboard (not the revision number).
- Properly connect the necessary SATA device to the lowest numbered port.
- Reassemble everything and try installing Windows.
Check Storage Disk
You can also encounter this error if you are attempting to install Windows on a corrupt or damaged storage drive. You can check if this is the case by connecting this device to another computer, or you can use diagnostic software for this purpose.
If the disk does not work, you need to replace it with a new one or try to repair it with the help of a hardware specialist or its support center.