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    Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard

    J.Side_Kick

      All,

       

      I created this account for the express purpose of (hopefully) making the installation process a little easier for those who may have trouble installing Windows 7 on their new Intel 750 SSD.  After going through tremendous difficulty, I figured the least I could do is to lessen the pain for someone else.

       

      My motherboard:  Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7

       

      Here are the things that I had to do to get things working.  Note that these are not necessarily in order:

       

      1.) Have Windows 7 either on DVD or USB (using the Windows USB Installation Tool available from the Gigabyte support site).  Though Gigabyte claims that the USB installer is necessary, I found that not to be the case for me.

      2.) Change the 'storage boot option control' to "UEFI only" in BIOS

      3.) Change/maintain 'windows 8 features' in 'other OS' in BIOS

           -steps 2 and 3 are described with pictures in the 'Boot Guide for NVMe SSD pdf file:

      http://download.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/nvme_boot_guide_332098001us.pdf

      4.) Have driver CD (included with SSD) on hand, or load Intel NVMe drivers (from Intel website's drivers and downloads section) onto USB.  I used the CD.

      == KEY STEP THAT I MISSED AT FIRST ==

      5.) Convert the Intel 750 SSD to a GPT partition (vice MBR).  I wasted so much time struggling until I figured this out.

           Here's what I did:

                -Used Win 8.1 CD that I had on hand (from HTPC), and booted to that drive in UEFI mode (hit F12 to bring up boot menu).  From there, I used the built-in parstition utility:

           a. From inside Windows Setup, press Shift+F10 to open a command prompt window.

           b. Open the diskpart tool: 

      diskpart 

      Identify the drive to reformat: 

      list disk 

      Select the drive, and reformat it: 

      select disk <disk number> clean convert gpt exit 

           I'm told you can also use a Linux program (GNU Parted) to do the same thing.  I wound up with the disk being divided into 3 separate partitions.

      ==END STEP THAT I MISSED AT FIRST ==

      6.) Once done with the GPT partitioning, boot Windows 7 in UEFI mode, and then install the necessary NVMe driver from step 4.

      7.) Install Win7 into the 'primary' partition of the SSD (this was partition 3 for me).

       

      Installation should go smoothly from there.  I was getting error after error when trying to do steps 6 and 7 without doing step 5 first. 

       

      I hope this was of some help.

        • 1. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
          jonathan_intel

          Hello J.Side_Kick,

           

          Thank you for sharing your experience and solution, it will definitely help other users that may be facing a similar situation.

          • 2. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
            deleweye

            I have the same hardware you do, but:

             

            After going into BIOS and setting Optimized Defaults and saving, then going back into BIOS and setting "UEFI only" and saving, when I boot into F12 I don't get an option to boot into UEFI - my only choices are the two optical drives (with the Win7 install disk, and the Intel SSD driver disk) or to loop back into BIOS.  If I go ahead and let the machine boot into Win7 Setup, it will not recognize the Intel 750 either at the "load driver" sequence or going into command prompt and calling up DISKPART.  Setup does recognize the Intel SSD drivers on that disk, and even lists them as being compatible with installed hardware, but that's it.

             

            I've double- and triple-checked, tried every variation I can think of, but nothing will get me past that point.  Help?

            • 3. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
              jonathan_intel

              Hello deleweye,

               

              Please review the document: Booting from an NVMe* PCIe* Intel SSD. Here you will find information about configuring motherboards from major vendors in order to boot from the Intel® SSD 750, you should be able to locate an example valid for your system.

               

              Also, make sure you are using the Intel® Solid-State Drive Data Center Family for NVMe Drivers, version 1.3.0.1007

               

              If the issue persists, please contact the Computer Manufacturer Support and check if there is any limitation or additional configuration required in your system that would prevent booting from a NVMe* PCIe* drive.

              • 4. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                deleweye

                I have the booting instructions you referenced, and have been following the steps specified.

                 

                1. In no configuration will the motherboard boot into UEFI mode.

                 

                2. When attempting to manually create a UEFI USB installer according to the instructions on PP 27-28 of the document, diskpart/list disk will not recognize any USB flash drive.  I have tried two different USB flash drives in two different USB ports.

                 

                I initiated a Tech Support ticket with Gigabyte five days ago.  Gigabyte has not bothered to respond.

                • 5. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                  jonathan_intel

                  Hello deleweye,

                   

                  Since you have tried the actions from the guide and the recommendations from other users, we advise to contact the Computer Manufacturer Support and make sure you are using the most updated BIOS for your motherboard.

                   

                  Also, check with them about the actions required to configure UEFI boot in your system.

                  • 6. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                    tysoncreative

                    So the short answer is that the Intel 750 PCIe SSD is, in fact, compatible with the Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 Motherboard?

                     

                    I need to know the answer to this question because I am having MicroCenter build a PC and those are my components, the Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 Mobo and the Intel 750 PCIe SSD 1TB.  They have managed to load windows onto the drive but for some reason it doesn't boot to windows.  It boots to BIOS, then I have to go into boot menu and only after a minute or so can I select the Intel drive and it will load up.  They are trying to tell me it's a compatibility issue.  I cannot really refute that since Intel only wanted to test the Intel 750 PCIe SSD on the Z97 and X99 Mobos.  So, apparently the only official boards are z97 and x99.  However, on NewEgg the videos seem to indicate that the Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 board is NVMe compatible.....ughh...had I known it would be this difficult I would've passed on the INtel 750.

                    • 7. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                      deleweye

                      I haven't gotten as far as you in getting Windows loaded, but I have run into the booting problem with the SATA SSD I'm using until the 750 cooperates.

                       

                      When you go into BIOS to set the boot priority, you also have to click on the line just below that will set the hard drive priority.  Make sure that lists your boot drive as first.  I double-check on the peripherals page to make sure everything is active (though I'm not sure which sub-category would list the 750).  Sometimes it seems you have to let it go through the "not found" sequence then hard boot and let it find the right drive, but setting the hard-drive priority as well as the booting priority solved that problem for me.

                      • 8. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                        jonathan_intel

                        Hello,

                         

                        The Intel® Z170 Chipset support NVMe drives, such as the Intel® SSD 750 Series, so we would expect most of the systems based on this chipset to work well with this drive. However, the design of each motherboard, and the system BIOS are handled by the System manufacturer. Some motherboards may require different configurations to boot successfully from this drive; unfortunately, the guide:  Booting from an NVMe* PCIe* Intel SSD only has examples for X99 and Z97 based systems, if your motherboard is not mentioned in the reference guide the best resource to confirm the configuration required in your system is the Computer Manufacturer Support, since they are responsible to test and certify compatibility with PCIe* NVMe* drives.

                         

                        As you can see from the posts from other customers that had success with similar systems, some boards may require additional configurations that are not mentioned in the reference guide.

                        • 9. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                          tysoncreative

                          I followed your instructions but was unable to convert disk to gpt. It gave me the error "The arguments specified for this command are not valid". I was only able to clean the disk 0. Could not convert. So does that mean it already is gpt? Or something else...?

                           

                          Also, what I don't understand is how the system is seeing it when I put Windows 10 Pro 64 disk in and start to install Windows yet for some reason it isn't even showing up under Boot Options in BIOS...???? The only place I even see it is under the Peripherals tab in BIOS. I'm not sure if I'm even supposed to be seeing it there.

                           

                          Right now I'm making negative progress. At least MicroCenter was able to load Windows to the drive. But since they couldn't get it to boot to Windows I had them delete it. I then reformatted the drive to one partition and was attempting to reinstall it after following the instructions here as well as the pdf "Booting NVMe drives.." But, it just says "Windows Cannot be installed to this disk. This computers hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disks controller is enabled in the BIOS menu. "

                          I don't know how or where to go to do that. Any help with that please...???

                           

                          Also, in BIOS under Peripherals  when I go into NVMe Configuration it is completely blank. Is that normal? I would think something should be there...

                           

                          Also, the pdf "How to boot nvme drives.." Says that Gigabyte boards should have CSM disabled. (Even tho it shows and example where it isn't disabled). When I disable that it removes the options to change Storage Boot Option and Other PCI device ROM priority.

                           

                          Can somebody please help me with this. If I cannot figure this out in 3 days I have to return the drive to NewEgg. I don't want to risk getting stuck with a $1k drive that doesn't really work in the real world. I just cannot believe Intel isn't providing better support for this. And what does "Contact Computer Support" mean? It's a custom PC Build. So, the Motherboard vendor? Well that's Gigabyte. They don't give phone numbers. U have to submit a ticket and hope they respond. Which they don't.

                          • 10. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                            hanzzon

                            Well, the instructions in this thread are to install Windows 7 on a Z170 chipset based mainboard with a NVMe drive.

                            That is much harder because Win7 lacks both native NVMe and USB3 support so several compatibility settings need to be changed in the BIOS.

                            Or the installation DVD updated with Intel's USB3 drivers which is quite cumbersome.

                             

                            But you write in your last message that you are trying to install Windows 10 so all of that mucking about does not apply to you.
                            The system should just install as is unless there are some compatibility issues as you mention.

                            Have you updated to the latest BIOS F5 as released quite recently by Gigabyte for example?

                             

                            Gigabytes own compatibility list mentions support for the Samsung NVMe SM951 SSD drive.

                            Ok it might not be an Intel but from what I have seen if a mainboard is NVMe compatible it will work with all drives.

                            The BIOS obviously has a generic NVMe support module, there is nothing Intel or Samsung specific about it...

                             

                            A Google search reveals several forums where people say upgrading their BIOS helps:

                            https://www.google.com/search?q=Gigabyte+GA-Z170X-Gaming+7+nvme

                            • 11. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                              tysoncreative

                              yes i have I have updated BIOS to F5. Still no luck. When I try to install windows it tells me that I have to enable the controller but I don't know where to do that in the bios.

                              • 12. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                                tysoncreative

                                After mucking about with BIOS settings for hours and just out of despair deciding to move the Intel 750 SSD from the PCIe x8 slot to the PCIe x4 slot I was finally able to load Windows 10 onto the drive and now I can also see the drive under Boot Priority in BIOS.  I figured I was done but nope.  When I do a powder down and reboot it goes straight to BIOS.  Now, I can just hit Save and Exit and it immediately launches Windows 10 so it's not a huge deal but for this kind of money I don't see why it won't just boot to Windows from startup.  So I'm returning the Gigabyte motherboard and will try another, especially since they seem not to have a support department.  Thanks for your help though.

                                • 13. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                                  tysoncreative

                                  Ok gang here's the answer...you need a new BIOS.  I explained the issue to Gigabyte Support and they created and emailed me a BIOS update.  I don't know if it's on their site yet but it's called BIOS F6b.  That is what finally solved the problem of being able to boot straight to Windows from cold boot with the GA-Z170X Gaming 7 Gigabyte Motherboard using the Intel 750 PCIe SSD (NVMe).  Before that BIOS update I was using F5 (which apparently worked for some people) and was only able to do warm reboot to get straight to Windows.  After flashing to F6b all problems are gone.  Everything is running great.  Problem Solved.

                                   

                                  -Resolved.

                                   

                                  Tyson

                                   

                                  p.s. - Thanks to those of you who responded and assisted.  And I gotta say, I know alot of us were knocking Gigabyte support for just generally seeming to not give a damn (like most companies nowadays) but in this case, they did it.  I emailed them and got the answer in one day.  Pretty damn impressive by any standard if you ask me.  They're Aces in my book.

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: Getting Intel 750 SSD to install and boot Windows 7 on z170 motherboard
                                    k4kman

                                    Thanks tysoncreative  I have contacted Gigabyte to see if they have any type of updated Bios for my G1 board

                                     

                                    will update after they get back

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