0x8004240f Windows Vista Error: Complete Solution

Written by Pavan Kumar on March 24, 2009


This is the first Vista post and I am dealing with an error which no where has solutions all over the internet. Just three days back, I bought a Dell Inspiron Laptop :)  and in the very second day, I wrecked it :( . It was the error with code 0x8004240f. I will make everything a clear note as at least someone will find it useful. Also, here I am going to write what I did and how I fixed my system. I cannot be held responsible for whatever mistake you do by referring to this post. The issue will be dealt in enough details and read everything clearly before you start work. If you are covered under warranty, its better to call the support team.

First, how this originated. As you know all company setup systems come with a standard partition. Even this Dell Inspiron model was shipped with two partitions with one for recovery section of size 10GB (may vary for you based on your OS, mine is Windows Vista Home Basic Edition) and rest for the OS and installed applications. I tried Partition Magic to get my hard disk divided as my desire, but this had the issue. I over trusted the Partition Magic and ignored the OS warning that this software is not compatible with this version of Windows. And the installation itself had a problem, it asked to make some changes to the hard disk. The next reboot could not start the OS, it resulted in blue screen of death followed by an automatic restart.

Next, I tried to restore the notebook to factory settings, even this did not work :( . Next plan was to reinstall the OS. Here I found the problem. I tried to install the OS onto the large partition (some 222GB of 250GB HDD). The intention was to safeguard the recovery partition. By this time, I noticed that the large space was entirely named as unallocated space. Creating a new partition of that unallocated space was in vain. Each try resulted in the same 0x8004240f error. If you search for this error, you will find a lot of entries, but visiting each link results in same forum entry, same replies and NO SOLUTION (Hope my post makes it to front of Google to help the people in trouble :) ). Some MBRWORK is the solution they say, but it did not work for anyone based on those discussions, even it did not work in my case.

I found the error details in Microsoft site, but details were for some high disk space servers, not these laptops. Now, I decided to make use of that 10GB partition, thought that would be an easy solution. But it was not, Vista requires 16GB+ disk space to install. Follow the practical steps I did.

Deleted the 10 GB partition.

Recreated the 10 GB partition. This also created the other 222.8 GB partition, even I did not expect that, but I was happy.

Next, I tried to install the OS into this large space, the following error popped up:

Windows could not format a partition on disk 0. The error occured while preparing the partition selected for installation. Error code:0x80070057

Next, format the partition.

Delete > New > Format – these are the next steps I followed.

Then install the Windows Vista OS. Let me make it clear, my partitions were 25GB, 25GB and it did not allow me to create partitions of the rest unused disk space.

There were no problems with the rest part of installation. Installing OS was successful. But the hard disk partitioning was still a nightmare. I only had those 25GB partitions along with the 10GB partition which was empty. One among the 25GB partitions were installed with Vista.

And still some 175GB+ space was unallocated. I tried to create a new partition from Vista Disk Management. You can access it by right click on Computer in start menu, click on Manage > Storage > Disk Management. It did not work.

Finally, I could Extend the existing last partition(25GB) to include all unallocated space, this worked. Then all disk management was easy and quiet.

What I should have done to partition hard disk in Vista?

I never knew about Vista Disk Management. Even Windows XP has the disk management tool, but partition made with this results in destruction of all data in your hard disk. But Vista Disk Management does not destroy any data on your system. Its wise and easy to use Disk Management tool in Vista.

I think this helps you guys in trouble. If you have any other solutions, please share in comments. Also, if you have problems, we shall discuss and try to solve the same here. Now, you know how to overcome 0x8004240f error. But in this process, you have destroyed your backup partition. Here is the tutorial [http://www.goodells.net/dellutility/recreate.htm] to re create a recovery partition on your Dell.

Update: The tutorial that was linked here for partition recovery does not exist anymore. Please google for finding an alternative one.


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29 Readers responded to this post

Thanks. I have started using Vista recently. If i get this error. I will use this as a resource guide to remove it.


Finally you started getting familiar with Windows Vista too!! :-)


Hope you won’t get that error…. And I have told you the reason for my error, don’t make the mistake I made….

@Deepak Jain

Little bit… yet lot to know….

So you started blogging with Dell laptop :)


Not with dell laptop, this post was from my old pc. And this particular comment is from my dell laptop 😛

I am experiencing exactly the same problem I was using partition magic as well ! but i only have two partitions one, where Vista is installed and the other one unallocated of 270GB
what do u think i should do? format the partition where vista is installed or ?


If your vista is working fine, I would recommend you to use Vista inbuilt format which you can access in computer management (Right click on Computer(start menu)>Manage>Storage).

I tried partitioning my drive with patition magic . and now my laptop dell studio 1537 cannot boot the os . I cannot enter safe mode as well. the pc is giving me message to remove the software but i don’t know how. I wish to go back to my windows since i have some files there and teach me how to partition my drive. If you will recommend software for me to partion

you can use linux (ubuntu) – insert cd and start in safe mode than click to system administration gnome disk partition .. …………. u don`t have problem now :) see ya later ducks

@Paul from slovakia

I think you are aware of gparted [http://gparted.sourceforge.net/], even that is a very good bootable application I used recently. May be even that can fix the things.

i own a dell studio 1555 laptop (core 2 duo p 8600 processor 2.4ghz,4gb ram, 320gb hdd) and i tried to partition my hdd using the partition magic 8.0.as already mentioned it is incompatible to vista & i got the same problem as what you have mentioned.moreover a got a screen “windows error recovery” that prompts me to either :
1. start windows normally (which dont works at all)
2. start up repair (recommended)
i opted for the “start up repair” & tried each and every option (system restore, dell factory image restore setting etc) desperately to bring my system to original factory settings.i tried for hardware diagnostic & subsequently headed for re-installing the window os thru the windows dvd provided with the system but got this error. It was the error with code 0×8004240f.
i was happy to see ur post and wd try it to fix my problem.however i wd like to know tht you have mentioned to delete (or format) the recovery disk (15gb in my case & unalloacted space is 282.9 gb which is inaccessible at all).i would like to know how to re-create the recovery disk again.please do tell me if the dell factory image restore setting works well even after this.

@ Chandraveer

I think you entered the same situation which I faced, our problems are exactly same. In my case, I did not wanted to call the service guys for such problems. I never had thought of having a recovery partition and even today I don’t have any. My tutorial was just to get back the non working part of harddisk into working mode. If you have read the article till the end, you probably have noticed the link to article which deals with re creating of recovery partition. I never tried that but that tutorial might help you. If you still have your warranty period, its better you call the service personnel and they will attend your laptop in your place.

I have same prob, but my case is a little bit different. I have Compaq Presario CQ40, i boot with windows vista and the problem is my primary harddisk is 2GB only and extended 280GB. I try to boot with winxp sp2 cd but it crash with blue screen.

The solution for this prob is:

1. Remove your hdd and install in usb external storage.
2. Connect the ext storage using PC or Laptop with windows vista on it.
3. After vista detected and install the usb, right click at Computer icon and choose Manage.
4. Click on Storage > Disk Management. On this section you can see your external hdd.
5. Delete the primary and extended partition.
6. Recreate your primary partition and format it. I suggest Primary is 50GB.
7. After format is complete, put your hdd back into the laptop.
8. Boot with your selection of OS Vista or XP and install on primary hdd.

That all, hope you all can your prob with my solution.

P/S: Sorry for my bad english, I’m from Malaysia. Visit Malaysia.


Its good that you have published your solution too. May be someone will be helped with your solution. Thanks and Cheers :)

Dude. . Ur just awesome! I cant thank u enough. . I did the same stupidity with partition magic. . Same problem. . Will fix using ur solution soon. . I m sure it will work. . Till then. . All hail pavan! U little genius. .

@ Ajay,

Thanks for comments. This article exist here because of my stupidity :mrgreen:

Hi there, I ‘ve got the same problem as many of you guys. However, magic partition basically deleted off my D drive and left me with my C drive which contains my operating system. The thing is I have lots of valuable data on my D drive and I cant access to it. I’ve tried to extend my C drive partition to take up the D drive space but it wouldnt let me. Can anyone suggest to me how I can recover my files from my D drive? I still believe the datas are still in tact in my D drive.

@ SaintX

Here I have shared the solution which I found while fixing my laptop problem. I think you should discuss such critical issues in forums where most of the people are doing exactly related stuffs. As in your case data is important and also the expert advice. You may reference them to this article to give in depth explanation.

Here are few recommendations:


I appreciate the original author for his work but I’m found what I believe is the simplest
solution. If anyone has this issue and they have a Windows XP installation CD lying around
use it to delete and recreate the partition.

Here’s what I did.

A: Start a Fresh Installation using Windows XP CD
B: Delete existing factory partitions.
C: Recreate the partition(s) of whatever size you desire – no limitations.
D: Take out the Windows XP CD
E: Start the Vista / Windows 7 installation with thier respective CD.

That’s it. Worked fine for me. I have a Dell Inspiron 1501

@ Norman,

Thanks a lot for heads up. I hope someone will find it helpful and that’s why, I have made your comment bold :) . The problem with both of us is, we simply eat up the entire disk which is a problem for users who have used the system for a long time and stored important data on it.

I made the same mistake dude. That too on my friends computer. He’s pi**ed off with me now. Hope this solution works for me. You rock!

i have the same problem but after i partitioned my disk (during installation) i hit the “next” button and got the massage “windows is unable to find volume that meets its criteria for installation”.

please help :-).


I like to give you a solution how to access your data on a hard disk, after having problems to start OS. The easiest way is to download Hiren´s boot CD, which has some very useful tools. It might help.
I had the same problem on my Dell laptop as mentioned in the forum.


thank you so much for this hints…I had the same problem and now it’ finally solved!
i was scared i would lose my laptop… xD

i did the same thing until the part where you delete the 10GB partition…then i restarted my computer and windows opened! =DDDDDD

I’m so happy!!!
thank you very much!! =D

thank you main literally 5 min and it was installing the os with no error…..i wish all posts were this helpful.

The dell comps usually come with 3 partitions. Delete one of them i.e dell media direct before installing win vista in your desired partition. then make as big partitions aa you like. Gl all

(Windows 7)
I kept getting the same error. With no success in trying to keep clicking “New” option on the unallocated space, i just decided to give into deleting the MEDIADIRECT partition (2.0 GB), and another partition which i hope was the default os restore partition that came with the laptop (4.7 GB).

After clicking “Delete” on both of them to add to the already existing allocated space which had the error, the error disappeared and everything worked smoothly after that.

The unallocated space before i did this was i think from when i messed up before trying to make a custom “Backup” section on the harddrive, with no success. I think it was about 25 GB or so…

So now, thanks to deleting dell’s $#!@, i gained an extra 7.7 GB space on top of the 25 GB space i forgot about into the new single primary partition.

Maybe it was me being a pack-rat that i didnt want to delete the thing that connects to the nifty button on the top of the laptop (Dell Inspiron E1505 + MediaDirect Button), but i just convinced myself that i’d rather just do a full boot into the OS to play a dvd if i had one; And i dont turn off my computer anyways except for updates or power outages.

this if the most useful post on this error, when compared to rest alll.thanks mate

Thanks, Pavan, I was strruggling with this problem for over 8 hours today, but finally found your post and now I followed the steps above, and I am able to reinstall Windows Vista, and also partition it using the method above.
Thanks again!

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About The Author

    Pavan Kumar

    Pavan Kumar completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication in the year 2008. He is very enthusiastic and keen to work on different aspects of computer, internet and mobile related fields. The articles here reflect his creativity. This blog was started as a showcase of solutions for different problems and today it has got a good reputation in the blogosphere. Read More...

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