I've encountered this issue when I am trying to reformat a second hand Toshiba Portege Dynabook Ax/940LS laptop from a desperate customer - actually the unit came from another shop but they couldn't fix it.
So, I check the unit..physically it looks fine but the specs are not accurate ( the label says 8GB RAM with 500GB HDD but the actual is 2GB, 40GB HDD) and the customer was shocked when I told him. Anyway, that's not the main issue I'm going to discuss here haha
I discovered the problem when I booted up the laptop for Windows 7 - at the early stage of the installation process a command line window will pop up and just stuck in there forever. You can't access the partition dialog or the point when you choose to format the hard disk. Below is the screenshot of the error.
I thought my installer was corrupt or the internal hard disk had bad sectors so I did the following workarounds:
- Format the USB and create another bootable installer - same error
- Used Windows 7 OEM DVD installer - still same error
- Use Windows 10 / Windows XP USB installer - still same error
- Run CheckDisk and SFC / Scannow (No error detected) - Still same error
- Reset bios to default and check if HDD detected ( Yes, it's detected) - Still same error
- Reseat SATA cable / hdd connector
- Disassemble and clean all the parts - Still, it didn't work and I'm burnout already.
I tried Google but to my surprise, nothing really came up relevant so, I parked the task to rest (after more than 8 hours of troubleshooting the shrakh).
The following day, I open the laptop without the hard disk and I found out that the BIOS still detected the HDD - the moment I realized there must something with the BIOS. It can't properly detect the laptop hard disk that's why the installation gets stuck.
1. I inserted back the internal hard disk and reboot the laptop with Windows 7 installer.
2. While Windows 7 files were loading, I removed the internal hard disk.
3. By then, I was able to enter the Language and other preferences and click the Next button.
4. Then, I click Install Now as normal.
5. I re-inserted back the Internal Hard Disk.
6. I accepted the license terms (put box check) and click Next.
7. And bingo! the hard disk was already detected then, I was able to create a partition and finally installed Windows 7 successfully.
Mission accomplished. The customer was very happy.