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"Invalid Partition Table" when installing Win7 from USB

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#1 Mike Howard

Mike Howard

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 19:12

I have Win 7 on a USB. Used this exact it to install on my laptop, install went smooth as silk, two hours ago.
Then put the same USB in my desktop, change boot sequence to boot USB first, and i get black screen with error message "invalid partition table".
Any thoughts guys?
Windows 7 should be on this drive ok, if it installs properly on another computer right? Or might my desktop need the USB to be formatted differently?
USB is 8GB (if that matters)
Computer is Dell Dimension e521

#2 John.D



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  • Joined: 10-November 09

Posted 15 January 2014 - 19:26

WHAT did you use to put Win7, on the flash drive? Dont think you can copy a dvd as is to it. You would have to use something like Rufus or the Win7 download tool

#3 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

    Electrical & Computer Engineer

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 00:19

The board may actually be old enough that it won't boot USB-HDDs. I've seen firmwares that had specific modes USB-Floppy, USB-HDD, etc. where you'd get a boot failure if the correct mode wasn't selected.

#4 srbeen



  • Joined: 30-November 11

Posted 16 January 2014 - 00:38

Have you tried looking in the mainboard manual for USB boot methods/requirements? You should be able to find a PDF if you lost the hard copy, or never actually got one. If its a prebuilt, the manufacturers site may have details on a specific partition requirement for that model. Sometimes it needs to be in a specific port on very legacy equipment.

As for booting USB, if I've seen it in the BIOS menus I was always able to get it to boot off USB if the BIOS shows the actual USB device in the boot order priority. You can try unetbootin and see if you can build a unix image on another USB and get it to at least load, provided you have another USB stick to spare for a bit. The actual USB stick may not be compatible, thats not unheard of.


You can also look for a BIOS update, but you'll probably need to figure out how to install windows to apply the update anyway.


You can use win32diskimage (http://sourceforge.n...in32diskimager/) to make a 'clone' of your USB stick to a file. It'll be as big as the stick. Then you can just restore the file back to any stick and it'll work like it did before. IE if you wanna copy your windows 7 installer USB to another same or larger sized stick to try compatibility, this'll work.