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Freighthog
Paper Tape
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-12-2016
Location: DE
Views: 3,890
Message 1 of 8

P50: Clean Windows Install, 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD only drive installed

Hi, 2 days ago i bought a Lenovo P50 Worstation because my Mac Book Pro decided to give up on life afrer 10 years. I live in Germany so it came with the German language software, since Ive always used the English of OS and wanted a clean install to get rid of all that unnecessary bloat wear, i formatted the NVme M.2 drive and began to install Windows 7 or 8.1 or 10 but nothing works. I've used Rufus to make a usb drive but it seems that the install partition cant be formatted,"can't install windows on partition......". I am assuming i need a driver for windows to identify the M.2 drive or thatever. Is there anyone out there with a fix for this problem, I really need to get this workstation up and running. Thanks in advance

Freighthog 

 

 

 

- 39,6cm (15,6") 4K IPS LED Display, matt (3840x2160)
- Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 2.80GHz (8MB Cache; Intel Turbo Boost bis 3.70GHz)
- 8 GB DDR4-RAM (ECC)
- 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD
- 4 GB Nvidia Quadro M2000M
- kein optisches Laufwerk
- Wireless LAN 802.11 ac
- Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbit)
- Bluetooth 4.2
- HD Webcam und internes Dual-Mikrofon-Array
- Dolby Home Theater v4
- Fingerabdruckleser & TPM 1.2
- QWERTZ-Tastatur mit Nummernblock und Hintergrundbeleuchtung
- 8 Zellen Li-Ion Akku; Laufzeit bis zu 8,5h, anwendungsabhängig
- Gewicht: ca. 3,30 kg
- Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64bit (via Downgrade-Rechte von Windows 10 Pro)
- 3 Jahre Vor-Ort Herstellergarantie

Thomas-
Punch Card
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎03-05-2016
Location: SE
Views: 3,877
Message 2 of 8

Re: Clean Windows Install, 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD only drive installed

Have you tried using the Microsoft MediaCreationTool to make your Win10 installation USB stick?

 

It worked just fine for me when installing Win10 on a NVMe M.2-SSD.

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

 

Brgds...

 

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,319
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 3,867
Message 3 of 8

Re: Clean Windows Install, 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD only drive installed

I believe the Win10 installer already has support built-in for NVMe.  The old Win7 installer, not.

 

I suggest you use the Gigabyte utility to recreate your Win7 bootable USB install media.  It has been mentioned on other recent threads dealing with trying to install Win7 on new Skylake hardware, where support for USB mouse/keyboard is supported by new Embedded Controller (EC) hardware and special drivers are required.  Again, this is built into WIn10, but not in the old Win7 installer. This affects attempts to install Win7 on new Lenovo machines like M700, M800 and M900 (where USB mouse/keyboard is required, if there is no PS/2 port) but not on the P50/P70 where the built-in keyboard and touchpad mouse don't require USB drivers.  But for the NVMe drivers, the Gigabyte utility will add those required drivers to your USB boot media, and you should be good to go.

 

The people at Gigabyte discussed this issue on one of their technical articles.

 

They also developed a utility program (similar to RUFUS in its idea) that builds new bootable USB install media for Win7 from existing CD/DVD or ISO (much like "slipstreaming"), inserting the additional required USB drivers for mouse/keyboard with 100-series chipsets as well as NVMe drivers if also needed.  The utility is available from the Gigabyte download site for "Utility", i.e. the item named "Windows USB Installation Tool to Support Intel 100 series motherboards".

 

I think this should solve your problem.

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,319
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 3,856
Message 4 of 8

Re: Clean Windows Install, 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD only drive installed

You can also try this alternative method, using the F6 option early in the Win7 install to supply any additional drivers needed to complete the install. This is, for example, where in the old days you would normally provide additional drivers for disks supported by Adaptec SCSI controllers, etc.  Anyway, you can also provide the Samsung (presumably) NVMe drivers required in order to allow the old Win7 installer to recognize your new NVMe PCIe drives as supported target devices for the install.

 

I am attaching a ZIP file containing these crucial missing Samsung NVMe driver files, suitable for direct use at F6-time early in the Win7 install when offered the option of supplying additional drivers.  You would normally provide them in the root of a CD/DVD or FAT32 USB (since the P50 doesn't have CD/DVD). This file contains 1.4.7.17 version of the driver, dated 12/11/2015.

 

Personally I'd use the Gigabyte utility to recreate proper new bootable USB Win7 install media that has these same NVMe drivers already pre-installed (thus eliminating the need to use F6 to provide them), even though the Gigabyte INF file (in the folder used by their USB bootable installer media builder utility) shows 1.4.7.6 as its version, dated 5/28/2015.  I believe the Gigabyte package was built earlier last year, when their customers first began having trouble trying to install Win7 on new Gigabyte motherboards. This is a well-known issue, as Win7 (especially the installer) becomes more and more incompatible with newer hardware.  And we all know MS/Intel have planned to make next generation hardware only usable with Win10.  So, be warned.

 

Anyway, back to your Win7 -> P50 project, either of these two approaches should be tried, and hopefully one or both of them will be successful for you.

JensDavid
SCSI Port
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎06-11-2010
Location: SE
Views: 3,812
Message 5 of 8

Re: Clean Windows Install, 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD only drive installed

Hallo Freighthog 

 

Windows 7 setup does not support USB 3.0. You can't continue installation after setup has been loaded, if you try to install from an USB-stick or USB-DVD-reader. The solution DSperber suggested may work to slipstream the needed USB 3.0 driver.

 

Windows 7 does not support NVMe either. The driver DSperber linked can be used when detecting installation disk (your new NVMe SSD is most likely Samsung-branded). The driver can be loaded to a separate USB-stick and plugged in when needed.

 

If you have a problem with formatting the SSD, you can force-clean it with the DISKPART program which is included with the Windows 7 setup. To do so: Enter language preferences -> Choose "Repair your computer" in the beginning of setup -> Load proper NVMe-drivers and choose "Use recovery tools ..." and click Next -> Choose "Command Prompt". 

 

The commands that is used to erase everything on the SSD is DISKPART to enter the DiskPart program. SELECT DISK 0 to select the first disk in your system, which is your internal SSD. And then CLEAN to remove every type of data and partitions on the SSD.

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,319
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 3,809
Message 6 of 8

Re: Clean Windows Install, 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD only drive installed


@JensDavid wrote:

Hallo Freighthog 

 

Windows 7 setup does not support USB 3.0. You can't continue installation after setup has been loaded, if you try to install from an USB-stick or USB-DVD-reader. The solution DSperber suggested may work to slipstream the needed USB 3.0 driver.

 

Windows 7 does not support NVMe either. The driver DSperber linked can be used when detecting installation disk (your new NVMe SSD is most likely Samsung-branded). The driver can be loaded to a separate USB-stick and plugged in when needed.

That's why I used a USB 2.0 stick rather than USB 3.0 stick, to use the Gigabyte utility in the creation of the new Win7 USB boot media (from my existing standard Win7 installer ISO file).  And I also used a USB 2.0 stick rather than USB 3.0 stick to hold the "standalone F6-time Samsung NVMe driver files".

 

When I first got my P70 (with HDD spinner), I also wanted to install Win7 from scratch onto the Samsung 950 Pro I added myself.  That's when I first had trouble, and realized the problem was with the old Win7 installer that didn't understand NVMe hardware.  And of course it also did not have its own built-in USB 3.0 support.  At the time I didn't yet know that the Skylake hardware also didn't support USB mouse/keyboard directly, but that wasn't a problem since the laptop has its own built-in non-USB mouse and keyboard.

 

Turns out the Gigabyte utility solved BOTH of these issues, because the additional "slipstreamed" drivers (inserted into the newly re-created WIM file) included BOTH (a) all of the possible USB 3.0/3.1 drivers needed, Intel and Alpine Ridge and Asmedia, needed to support all USB 2.0/3.0 devices including mouse/keyboard, and (b) the Intel and Samsung NVMe drivers needed to support PCIe NVMe devices.  These are the drivers already natively built into the Win10 installer and environment, but which must be added to the old Win7 installer which knows nothing about all this new hardware.

 

Using my second alternative, to provide just the Samsung NVMe drivers using the F6 technique early in the Win7 install, that will work fine for the P70 with NVMe drives installed, because the USB mouse/keyboard issue doesn't exist.  But if the target machine was a Skylake desktop like M700, M800 or M900 that didn't have PS/2 ports for mouse/keyboard, then the Gigabyte utility approach is really the only proper method to produce Win7 USB install boot media that contains everything required to do a Win7 install for the Skylake + NVMe hardware environment.

JensDavid
SCSI Port
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎06-11-2010
Location: SE
Views: 3,800
Message 7 of 8

Re: Clean Windows Install, 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD only drive installed

The Thinkpad P50 does not have any USB 2.0 ports, only 3.0 ports. It doesn't matter if you use 2.0-sticks in 3.0-ports because the computer needs to use USB 3.0 driver when something (either 2.0 or 3.0) is plugged in such port. I think Gigabyte utility adds USB 3-drivers to Windows 7 boot media and therefor is the use of USB 2-sticks instead of USB 3-sticks unnecessary. 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,319
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 3,785
Message 8 of 8

Re: Clean Windows Install, 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2-SSD only drive installed


@JensDavid wrote:

The Thinkpad P50 does not have any USB 2.0 ports, only 3.0 ports. It doesn't matter if you use 2.0-sticks in 3.0-ports because the computer needs to use USB 3.0 driver when something (either 2.0 or 3.0) is plugged in such port. I think Gigabyte utility adds USB 3-drivers to Windows 7 boot media and therefor is the use of USB 2-sticks instead of USB 3-sticks unnecessary. 


You're right.  Same on my P70.  I forgot that.  My mistake.  Using USB 2.0 sticks was clearly unnecessary, as the local USB ports used for reading/writing USB drives is handled by the hardware.  Nothing to do with the Win7 installer.

 

Where the USB drivers needed for the Win7 installer come into play is for USB mouse/keyboard, which is NOT any longer handled by the hardware directly in Skylake.  It's handled by the Embedded Controller, and DOES require special USB drivers.  And that's what the driver files added by the Gigabyte utility are slipstreaming into the Win7 installer WIM file... i.e. support for USB mouse/keyboard, for use on a Skylake desktop motherboard where it is required.

 

Incidentally, this issue is not unique to Gigabyte.  There is a similar ongoing discussion on the Asrock site, and those engineers have also developed their own utility much like the Gigabyte guys did. The Asrock people called it Win7USBPatcher, but it does the same thing as the Gigabyte utility.

 

The Asrock utility is available for download at the bottom of this Asrock driver/utility download link page, as the item named "Windows 7 USB Patcher ver:2.0.14".

 

And a bit more research shows that even Intel is providing their own utility to do the same thing, i.e. to recreate new Win7 USB install media that contains the required USB drivers for supporting USB mouse/keyboard on the new hardware.  It's available for download from Intel and is named "Windows 7* USB 3.0 Creator Utility".

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