I was working on one of my computers at home and decided to load Windows Vista on it.  I grabbed a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate and thought I’d throw that on it.  So, I put in the DVD, boot it up, pick my language, enter the product key and I get the following message: “Windows cannot be installed to this HD space. The partition contains one or more dynamic volumes that are not supported for installation”

Ok, let’s delete the partitions and install on a fresh partition.  That’s wierd the delete and format options are greyed out.   

Ok, well, I’m thinking this must be a driver issue.  The setup must not be able to see the drive properly.  But, in the window above that it correctly was showing my drive with the existing partition and the correct size and everything.  This was not a brand new drive, it was one I had used in another machine.

So, I’m thinking, well, the drive is making a very whiny noise anyways.  I don’t really want to use this drive because it’s liable to die.  So I grab another drive from a different machine and I get the same results.  Again, not a new drive but one that had been in use.

I do some poking around on the internet and find a lot of explanations and possible fixes, but none of them work.  I grab the motherboard driver CD and try loading drivers for the SATA controller, but no luck.  (On a side note, the ability to load drivers from a USB drive or CD/DVD as opposed to by floppy like XP does is a very cool feature).

My next move is to find a bootable disk that I can use to nuke the partitions on the drive and see if that helps.  Bingo!  I downloaded Ultimate Boot CD from here.  Amongst the many useful tools on the Ultimate Boot CD are a number of Partition tools and I managed to use one to delete all partitions on the drive.  After doing so, the Vista installation took off and worked without a problem.

I thought this issue was really strange because the 2 drives that I was trying to use had come from Windows XP installations and had been formatted NTFS.  Oh well, it works now and that’s what counts!