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06-03-2016

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m900 Win 7 install - no storage drivers?

2016-06-03, 16:10 PM

Trying to install Win 7 Pro on a M900 and no storage drivers seem to be available to continue through the install. Any suggestions? (Bios has the SATA set as AHCI)

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2508 Posts

06-13-2013

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Re: m900 Win 7 install - no storage drivers?

2016-06-04, 22:35 PM

There is a very informative other existing forum thread concerning wanting to install Win7 on an M700 that was purchased with Win10 pre-installed.  It's a rather lengthy thread, but that's because there were many issues to discuss and overcome.

 

The most fundamental problem trying to do a "conventional Win7 install" is that the new Skylake motherboards used in the new M700/M800/M900 no longer support USB mouse/keyboard directly from the hardware or BIOS, and also that the MS Win7 installer also does not support USB directly.  It's part of the "embedded controller" in the chipset, and this EC hardware is not known to the old Win7 installer from 9 years ago.

 

So without PS/2 ports on the machine (as most of these come without them, although it is shown as "optional" in the specs but there's no way to actually order the machine motherboard with PS/2 ports present) and with no way to support USB mouse/keyboard, you can't actually perform the Win7 install since clearly you need a mouse and keyboard to move forward with the install process even if you have boot media that allows you to get started.

 

The eventual "successful" outcome from that other thread is to make use of a new Win7 installation boot media builder utility provided by Gigabyte (developed for its own customer base, who wanted to install Win7 on Gigabyte's new Skylake 100-series chipset motherboard systems).  The Gigabyte utility is discussed on this Gigabyte tech support site article on the whole problem of installing Win7 on this new hardware, and the solution using their newly devloped utility. The Gigabyte utility is downloaded from the "Gigabyte download support site" specifying download type = UTILITY, referred to on that page as the "Windows USB Installation Tool to Support Intel 100 series motherboards". 

 

Essentially the utlity does what it needs to, adding the needed and currently missing "modern" USB drivers to an old Win7 install ISO/DVD that didn't contain them.  It actually will also add additional "modern" NVMe drivers to support M.2 PCIe storage that also might be your install target hardware, and which again is completely unkown to the 9-year old Win7 installer. 

 

Assuming you already have your own ISO image or retail DVD for a Win7 installer, you can use this Gigabyte utility to build new/updated/modern bootable USB install media (which is obviously desirable if your new machine doesn't even have an optical drive on it) which now has full Win7 installer support for both (a) USB mouse/keyboard, as well as (b) even for new target M.2 PCIe storage drives if your machine configuration includes that type of storage.

 

If you use that Gigabyte utility to build yourself new bootable USB Win7 install media containing the needed USB drivers for your M900, you should then be able to accomplish the Win7 install you want to accomplish.  I assume your M900 already arrived with Win10 pre-installed, so run the Gigabyte utility from that operational Win10 environment.  All of the required drivers for hardware will be copied onto the output USB boot media built by that Gigabyte utility.

 

Please report back if you have success, or run into any additional problems or obstacles not addressed above or by the other large forum article I linked to originally (i.e. wanting to install Win7 onto an M700 which came with Win10 pre-installed).

 

Note: you may run into issues if you are trying to ADD a Win7 partition to an existing HDD spinner that came from Lenovo with your M900.  Obviously you need to have free space unallocated on the drive to be available as the target of the Win7 install (which you can easily produce using Partition Wizard to shrink your existing Win10 C partition) but the partitions on that HDD spinner may be GPT format, and your existing Win7 installation DVD/ISO may expect MBR partitioning.  If that is the case, report back here.  The obstacle is not insurmountable, but overcoming it is another topic for discussion (in fact I talk about that myself, in my own post #64 on the last page of that thread).  So let's see how far you get using the instructions I've already provided above.  If you're wanting to add Win7 as a second bootable OS onto a second HDD spinner or SATA3 SSD that you've added to your M900, you probably won't have any problem since the new second drive is completely blank and the Win7 installer can simply create MBR partitions as it wants to on the raw drive space.

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2508 Posts

06-13-2013

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Re: m900 Win 7 install - no storage drivers?

2016-06-09, 11:04 AM

Have you made any progress overcoming your driver problem on the M900 Win7 install-from-scratch?

 

Please provide additional specific details, so that others who may read this thread can benefit from your experience.

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06-28-2016

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Re: m900 Win 7 install - no storage drivers?

2016-06-28, 17:26 PM

Are there any instructions on using the Gigabyte software? I'm trying to use this utility but it keeps failing saying unable to load drivers onto image. I used the Windows tool to create a bootable USB drive then use the Gigabyte software to load the drivers. Is this the correct way?

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Re: m900 Win 7 install - no storage drivers?

2016-06-28, 18:18 PM

The assumption is that you already have an existing "retail" Win7 install DVD from years ago.  This constitutes the existing "image".  I think you can also point to an actual ISO of that DVD, if you've got one downloaded.

 

You're now wanting to "slipstream" the additional USB and/or NVMe drivers required for "modern hardware" into that image, with the combined result (as if the newly added drivers had been provided originally by MS on that retail installation DVD) written out to a USB target which is made bootable.  So you can then boot to this USB running on new hardware, and support USB mouse/keyboard as well as specify NVMe PCIe drives for the installed Win7 target.

 

I believe the output USB device must be at least 8GB.  Otherwise, I think that you can simply point to either your DVD drive (with Win7 installation DVD inserted) or an ISO file on some hard drive as your input when you run the Gigabyte WindowsImageTool.exe and of course you have a blank 8GB or larger USB device inserted for output (I think I may have used Partition Wizard to format it as an empty FAT32 partition).

 

I had no problem creating my output bootable USB drive, pointing to a Win7 Pro SP1 x64 ISO file I'd downloaded.

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08-21-2017

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  • Message 6 of 7

Re: m900 Win 7 install - no storage drivers?

2017-08-21, 19:39 PM

I have a Thinkcentre M910q.  I followed the instructions and used the Gigabyte software to install Win7 x64 and it worked.  Now I have run into another issue.  The video drivers for this model and OS version do not work from the Lenovo website.  It keeps saying:  The computer does not meet the minimum requirements to install this software.  When I use the Lenovo System Updater, nothing shows up for the video driver.  I even tried Intel's website and installed an OEM driver with the same results.  Does anyone have a working video driver?

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  • Message 7 of 7

Re: m900 Win 7 install - no storage drivers?

2017-08-21, 20:32 PM

Do you have a discrete graphics card (from nVidia) installed?  Or are you using built-in Intel HD Graphics?  What is your monitor plugged into on the back of your PC... motherboard video ports (and if so, which one are you trying to use?), or video ports on the expansion card (again, which one are you trying to use?)?

 

Presumably at the moment you're simply using the generic standard MS VGA driver built into Win7.  Can you please provide the Hardware ID for the display adapter(s) shown in Device Manager.  Right-click on Computer, select Properties, select Device Manager, click on Display Adapter to expand, select what is shown and right-click on it, select Properties, select "Details" tab, click on down-arrow on the right side of the dropdown list item under "Property" and select the "Hardware ID" item in that dropdown list.  Right-click on the item details shown to COPY, then PASTE into your response here.

 

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