Error Code 0x80070241 – Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack1
Hardware: HP Laptop DV9700 with 3 gb of RAM and 250Gb of hard drive space
CPU: AMD Turion 64 x2 with NVIDIA video card

Summary of root cause and solution
Error message (root cause): Windows setup could not configure Windows to run on this computer’s hardware

Solution: Disable the video card, ethernet controller and audio card in Device Manager, before continue the installation
On this particular case, the Nvidia video card was the root cause of the installation failure. the MS Engineer had to download and install the video driver from the HP ftp site because the card was customized by HP to allow for the hot key and other features used by the HP laptop. The NVidia site explicitly tells you to go to the computer manufacturer for the latest driver

NOTE: Windows will automatically re-enable the devices after it finds the correct drivers and installs them for you (new Windows 7 feature)(make sure your computer is connected to the Internet after completion of the installation

These were the steps I took based on MS recommendation
I uninstalled one memory stick from the laptop and copied the contents of the DVD into and temporary folder on the desktop. (This is to test if the DVD has a problem reading the files; If the copied folder on the desktop contains the same number of folders, gigabytes (2.34gb) and files, it means that the DVD is perfectly fine
After the steps above, I tried the install and again it failed:
Windows setup could not configure Windows to run on this computer’s hardware, followed by:
Error message: Windows could not complete the installation. To install windows on this computer restart the installation
At this point I had to disable the audio, NIC and video cards as follows:

Hold the shift key and press the F10 function key (This will open the command prompt)
Type: devmgmt.msc (This will open the GUI of Device Manager)
Look for the video controller, audio controller and ethernet controller
disable the video controller
disable ethernet controller (two entries)
disable sound controller (did not find one on this laptop)

The next time I rebooted the laptop with MS Windows 7 upgrade DVD on the DVD drive
Pressed the tab key when asked to boot from the DVD
Answered the standard questions (language, country, etc)
and clicked on Custom Install
Clicked next to go to the partition screen
A HP Windows Vista laptop shows two partitions
Disk 0 Partition 1 (where the OS is loaded)
Disk 0 Partition 2 (where the HP recovery partition is loaded)

A Windows 7 installation will show three partitions:

Disk 0 Partition 1 Type: system (system reserved partition used for Windows RE a new feature of Windows 7)
Disk 0 Partition 2 Type Primary (Install Partition)
Disk 0 Partition 3 Type Primary (HP recovery partition)

That is the reason why you need to take the following steps, so Windows 7 loads the extra Windows RE partition ( the standard install will do it automatically, you won’t need to go to the drive options and format the disk 0 partition 1)

You will click on Drive Options
You will need select and format the Disk o Partition1
Then, you need to delete the Disk 0, partition 1 (it will say “unallocated” instead of Partition
Then, you need to create a new partition again by taking the default options
Note that the 3rd partition (system reserved partition)is automatically created on this step
Then, you need to format it again (this is a quick format, so it should take no more than 10 seconds)

After this step Windows will start the actual install by performing the following steps:

Copying Windows files
Expanding Windows files
Installing Features
Installing Updates
Completing Installation

NOTE: You should get a green check mark on left side of each step after the step completes
The completing installation step will take longer (It should bypass the hardware error message, now that the suspect components are disabled) and eventually you will get the message:
Setup is preparing computer for first use
You will be asked to enter username, password, computer name and Product key
You will be asked to select your wireless network
and Windows 7 should start normally
If it was the video card that was not compatible, you will need to visit the manufacturers web site
(in my particular case Nvidia and HP) and find the correct drivers, download and install it

NOTE: The Windows Vista video drivers WON’T work on a Windows 7 installation!

Also, HP had the correct drivers, not Nvidia

HP did not have the co-processor drive for Windows 7. You might need to contact HP for the latest co-processor driver ( the computer runs fine even if the co-processor driver is not loaded)
Make sure you load the correct drivers for the other unknown devices listed in Device manager

Finally, My recommendation: DO NOT upgrade your HP laptop with NVIDIA graphics from Windows Vista to Windows 7. It is a nightmare, until HP, AMD, NVIDIA and Microsoft are all on the same page!



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