So if you have tried to install Windows 7 using a USB Flash Drive onto a system that only has USB 3.0 ports you might have found that you couldn’t get past the Language Select screen of the installer as your keyboard and mouse didn’t work. I recently had this problem when trying to install Win 7 onto my Gigabyte Brix XM12-3227 .
The keyboard and mouse worked great in the BIOS, but as soon as the Windows 7 installation media loaded and I was presented with that familiar Language Select screen, I had no cursor, or keyboard. I tried a couple of other things, like grabbing an older PS/2 keyboard and connecting it via a PS/2 to USB adapter. Same problem. It was at this point I decided to start Googling my problem, and low and I behold I quickly discovered that Windows 7 does not have drivers for USB 3.0 built in. In fact, it doesn’t even know what to do with those ports once the BIOS hands over control to the installer image. If your BIOS has an option to turn off USB 3.0, that is probably the easiest option. However my GIGABYTE BRIX had no such option.
Well, I didn’t give up, I knew there was a way to add the necessary drivers to the installer, and it turns out I was right! This also works great if you want to install from a fast USB 3.0 flash drive! The entire install takes about 5 minutes with one of those.
Step by Step Walk-Through
1. Get the right USB 3.0 Drivers
In order for your installer to work with your computer, make sure you grab the right USB 3.0 drivers. My motherboard used Intel USB 3.0 drivers, and so I downloaded the latest version from Intel’s site. Look up your Motherboard’s drivers and see which ones you need. For convenience I’ve added the latest drivers (as of the time of writing) for the most common USB 3.0 controllers.
- Intel eXtensible USB 3.0 Host drivers Win 7
- Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Driver
- VIA VL800/801 & 805/806 USB 3.0
2. Extract the Drivers
Inside that folder create 2 separate folders: “USB3″ and “mount”.
Now extract all of the drivers into that folder.
3. Get the “boot.wim” file
Next we need to get the file we need to install the drivers into. Open up your USB thumb drive that has your Windows 7 image on it and go the Sources folder. Move the “boot.wim” file into your “USB3 Fix” folder we created earlier.
4. Update the boot.wim File
Open up your cmd shell as an administrator. (Click Start on windows 7, or Windows Key + Q on Windows 8, type in “cmd” and then right click on the cmd application and choose Run as Administrator.)
Once open, navigate to the USB3_Fix folder in the cmd shell, and type in the following commands in this order:
dism /mount-wim /wimfile:boot.wim /index:2 /mountdir:mount
dism /image:mount /add-driver:”usb3″ /recurse
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:mount /commit
dism /mount–wim /wimfile:boot.wim /index:2 /mountdir:mount
dism /image:mount /add–driver:“usb3” /recurse
dism /unmount–wim /mountdir:mount /commit
It should look something like this
5. Replace the “boot.wim” file
Now you’re done! Simply place this modified “boot.wim” file back into the “sources” directory on your Win 7 iso bootable USB thumb drive and everything should work as expected!
Hope this saves people the 30 minutes it took me to find a solution that worked! Thanks goes to Rakeesh who originally posted this workaround at forums.mydigitallife.info.