I spent much of the weekend installing Win 7 x64 SP1 on my NUC D54250WYKH, which had previously been running Mint and a couple other things as a sandbox of sorts. This NUC is going to be repurposed as a kids computer and home theater PC (won't update to Win 10 which removes Windows Media Center). So, I started clean by wiping the old partitions on the internal mSATA 256GB card. My unit has 8 GB RAM but no wifi/BT card installed. I was using hardwired Ethernet via the jack on the NUC; nothing funky. I figured it would be and easy install. Boy was I wrong.
Let me start with the big problem: After installing Windows, Windows Update wouldn't update. I'll skip straight to the solution, which I found hours later: run the Windows Update Readiness tool (KB947821). But I have lots of questions yet unanswered.
Here are the details:
1. I booted from a USB with the Windows installation media. The installation went as usual from the USB up to the point where the installer downloads updates. It sat there for a very few seconds, then instead of taking a long time dependent on download speeds, it zipped past it to the next step. I thought: Huh. I guess the installer can't recognize the LAN hardware in this NUC. Sigh, Windows update will take a long time.
2. I booted to windows to finish the installation. Not surprisingly, there was no network in windows. So I installed the LAN driver from a USB, that I had ready to go. In a couple minutes my network was up and running. I updated the chipset driver, graphics driver, etc. all over the web, verifying a nicely functional LAN connection. So far so good.
3. Tried to run Windows Update. No Go. It sat there saying checking for updates for over an hour, not apparently finding anything. I tried activating the Windows, and got an error message (the kind that is like 0x800000AE7 or somesuch). Couldn't even get to the point of phone activation.
4. The next many hours were spent googling and trying things unsuccessfully, including doing a complete reinstall with freshly downloaded SP1x64 media. No dice. Windows update always hung.
5. Finally, I discovered the Windows Update Readiness Tool which apparently "fixes many windows update problems." After running it, it sat at the standalone Windows Update "searching" prompt for a while. Then it offered to install the 947821 update. I agreed. Immediately when that was done, Windows update worked, within a few minutes found hundreds of updates, and I let it install everything overnight. I was able to activate in the morning.
So, why does the NUC not even support some legacy LAN mode to allow Win 7 installation to properly fetch updates during install? And why is the need for the Update Readiness tool not documented somewhere VERY PROMINENTLY. This would have saved me the better part of a day.
Does anyone have any other discussion around this, or alternate experiences / fixes?
Other issues: getting into BIOS or choosing boot order is an ordeal whenever I try. Only works 1 time in ~5 with F2 or other BIOS keys. IS there a way to make it wait LONGER at the "Press F2 to enter BIOS" screen? My monitor barely syncs before the thing boots straight into the OS. FastBoot is not enabled.
I like the NUC; nice box! But wow it was a challenge to get Win7 on there and up and running properly.