While installing Windows 7 64-bit onto a Samsung 850 Evo SSD, I encountered error 0x80070057 immediately after formatting the hard drive. Microsoft has a couple of support articles on this issue, but neither of them provided fixes.
As detailed here, the root cause of the problem was the SSD being pre-configured with a GPT partition table.
For whatever reason, the Windows 7 installer is unable to re-configure the SSD with an MBR partition table during the formatting process. You have to use
DISKPART to re-configure the SSD with an MBR partition table before beginning the Windows 7 installation.
Convert Partition Table from GPT to MBR with DISKPART
Re-configuring the SSD with an MBR partition table is not difficult.
Start by turning off your computer and unplugging every hard drive except the one you want to install Windows 7 onto.
Next, turn on your computer, boot to the Windows 7 installation media, and get to the Windows 7 install screen that has a button titled Install now.
On that screen type Shift + F10. A Command Prompt should appear.
Type the following commands in the Command Prompt (be aware, the following commands will erase any data on the hard drive):
DISKPART LIST DISK SELECT DISK 0 CLEAN CONVERT MBR EXIT EXIT
At this point, the SSD has been re-configured with an MBR partition table and you can begin installing Windows 7 as usual.
Faulty Cables and Faulty Hard Drives
In addition to the problem above, I had a faulty SATA cable.
I encountered I/O errors while using the
DISKPART command on a Samsung 840 Evo SSD and Samsung 850 Evo SSD. However, to add to the confusion, I did not encounter any issues using that faulty SATA cable on a 1 TB Western Digital Blue hard drive.
In addition, the 1 TB Western Digital Blue hard drive did not require me to run
DISKPART. I can only assume spindle hard drives are not pre-configured with GPT partition tables but modern SSD’s are.
Once I connected a new SATA cable,
DISKPART ran successfully on the Samsung 840 Evo SSD but not on the Samsung 850 Evo SSD. In my particular case, the Samsung 850 Evo SSD was faulty as well.
If re-configuring your hard drive to an MBR partition table does not fix the Windows 7 installation problem, verify your SATA cables and hard drives are not faulty.