Ahead of Windows installation, you need to download the LAN driver and/or the WLAN (wireless) driver. If you are going to use Windows 7, you also need to download the USB 3.0 driver. Have them on the installation media that you use to install Windows (in the case of Windows 7, you may have to use the USB 3.0 drivers during the Windows installation).
As for the remainder of the drivers, you are going to have to install quite a few of them. Here is a list of the drivers you should install:
Intel® Wireless Adapter Driver
Intel® Bluetooth Driver
Intel® Gigabit Ethernet Controller Driver
Realtek* ALC Audio Driver
Intel® HD Graphics Driver
Intel® Chipset Device Software
Nuvoton Consumer Infrared Driver
Intel® USB 3.0 Driver (if using Windows 7)
As well, there are a number of optional drivers that you may need or want to install, depending upon your NUC model and the features you will use:
Intel® Management Engine Driver
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology Driver
Intel® Ready Mode Technology
Near Field Communication (NFC) GPIO Driver
Obviously, which ones you download will depend upon the version of Windows that you are going to install. Some driver packages cover multiple versions of Windows while others are specific to a particular version. For example, there are separate installers for the CIR driver for Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10.
I personally download all drivers and have them on media (typically the same USB flash disk that I put the Windows installation package on) ready to install as or just after I install Windows.
Hope this helps,
Scott, thanks for a very useful post.
1. Yes im putting Win 7. But like 7 and others, im used to the OS installing drivers for what i connect to the PC unless the MFR of the item, like a scanner, includes its own drivers. But even then, if I dont install any driver for a printer, scanner, etc., Windows will fetch something from its own base that it can use. You know what I mean, you plug-in a keyboard or mouse and the dialog box appears that Windows is fetching a driver and then the keyboard is ready to use. When 7 is installed, it will not detect an audio or graphic card (or anything else) and therefore not attempt to install a driver for it automatically? OR, are any attempts by Win7 to install any driver to be suprressed? This point was the basis of my original question.
2. I dont know what OS I will wind up with later but for the first day I'll save money by letting a local computer company make an OEM installation of Win 7 and I need to tell them what to do. I can download your lists and have the drivers ready on a USB flash drive.
3. I never paid much attention to this but on DELL's website they repeatedly warn that the order of installs of any software is critical to proper function. Does INTEL have a stated order of installs of your lists? As I read around this forum, is a reason for peoples' troubles that they ignore order of installs of drivers and other software?
4. You didnt mention BIOS updates. On the first day, should I do nothing about BIOS or install the latest first, before doing any other install including the OS? Are the updates progressive or cumulative? Do I have to install 0028, 0029, 0030, 0031, etc?
5. Though I can download all first and place on a USB device, should I first install Win7 and then go online to use INTEL's auto-detect feature contained on the website and let that become the list of what I need?
As a member of the Intel Desktop Boards and Intel NUC development team (though now retired), I have installed Windows on these boards literally hundreds of times (and I have seen (and felt) the gamut of the frustration that can occur)...
- The thing to remember about Windows 7 is that it was released a long time ago and hardware has changed significantly since then. First and foremost, Windows 7 has no support for USB 3.0. You need to have the USB 3.0 drivers injected into the Windows 7 installation image. If you don't, you are not going to have a keyboard or mouse to complete the install.
- I am unsure how having some company install Windows 7 for you is going to save you money - maybe save you time and aggravation, but not money. There are a number of posts (and websites) that provide information about the process for setting up the Windows 7 install media. Check them out.
- No, the order of installation for these drivers is not important. If you want to play it safe (though I never do), let the reboots occur at the end of each driver install.
- The answer to this one depends upon what BIOS you start with and what other hardware you have...
- First of all, with the exception of the LAN (or WLAN) and USB 3.0 drivers, it's true that you should see some drivers resolved by Windows Update, but I personally avoid loading drivers via Windows Update due to the many issues I have seen with this over the years. [Aside: When I installed Windows 7 onto a NUC6i5SY recently, Windows Update had almost 300 hundred updates to install and almost 1 GB of files to download to install them. I definitely recommend a good internet connection for this!] Secondly, the Intel Driver Update Utility only supports a subset of the full set of drivers that you are going to need.
Great post, thanks for your trouble to get it all down for me and others.
1. Without highjacking my own thread, I can say that of all the Windows machines I have in current use, XP works the best but we wont even talk about XP anymore. Next is Win7 and I say Win7 because I hate 8.1 and Vista that I also use. So tell me, i can choose, which of all is the NUC most comfortable on? I can install whichever of them.
2. Save money. Im from California but in Malaysia now and here i bought the NUC. The NUC dealer wanted to set up Win10 and I said just give me the NUC and let me go. They only sell full licences of Win10 for about $150. Another shop I go to sells various OEM versions under their licence, the way that Toshiba is allowed to install Win on their factory machines, for about $13, hence the savings. (we arent discussing any legalities here, just what the situation is.) They recommended Win7 for NUC for their own reasons but I could put any, and also I can buy full licences directly from Microsoft here but Microsoft only stocks Win10 officially and though they DO have 8.1 for sale, they greatly, intensely pressure me not to use it and refuse to actually hand it to me. MS wants every human being on Win10. Which I dont want. What does the NUC want? I called all over the country and found one MS dealer who still has exactly ONE box of 8.1 64-bit left for about $250--outragious but there it is. Win7 is the most widely available OS, OEM versions are about $125, a few full licences are still around for about $150, but very few, like one or two. I dont like OEM because of no transfer rights but whatever.
3. Your point about "many installs, many problems" is salient. My NUC is sitting sealed on a table because I dont want to be the next person in this forum to post 20 problems that wrecked up their life because they didnt follow whatever the right steps are--or even if they did. I need to minimize the problems and get to WORK. Im not posting for my health! --- or maybe i am! lol
Scott, i'll add that you might be the right person to write a steps guide "NUC NOOB START HERE" and get down all the steps in order, more than what INTEL has written on the site. As I read around the forum, some problems are NUC, some are software, but most seem to be people who were anxious and didnt follow any steps or rules. When I bought the NUC the dealer didnt want me to take it, they insisted they be allowed to set it up to avoid myriad tech support calls later. I probably should have let them but then what would i learn?
People need to remember that the NUCs are delivered as kits and that, to use them, a significant level of knowledge is necessary regarding both hardware and software (Windows, Linux, etc.) installation and configuration. If folks don't have this level of knowledge, they should rely on the folks that sell the NUCs turnkey (i.e. with disks, memory and O/S already installed). The problem is that too many folks are not willing to admit that they don't have this knowledge (pride can be an ugly thing) -- or worse, they say they want to go through the learning process but are not truly committed to the cost of doing so (i.e. being prepared to make mistakes and overcome the consequences - and without blaming anyone but themselves). No, I am not talking abut you. I certainly understand where the dealer is coming from. In many (most?) cases, the difference between a dealer making a profit or suffering a loss on a particular sale can boil down to the cost (expense) of a single tech support call...
As a 35 year (21 with Intel) veteran in this field, I have seen it all -- and probably made every mistake there is to make (some more than once ). This includes an understanding of the issues with delivering documentation - and especially with how-to guides. The problem with trying to produce a how-to guide is that there's always more to go wrong and more to be documented - and negatives like being blamed (and insulted) when someone runs into an issue that you missed. When you look at new hardware choices, there are compatibility issues left, right and center (consider this recent issue with the Samsung 950/951 Pro M.2 NVMe SSDs). When you look at software choices, there are new O/S releases (and even new distributions) and new updates (and new driver releases) coming out all the time. One person can't keep up with it all (well, not and have a life beyond this alone).
I am retired now - and want to stay that way (um, relatively speaking). I am already committing a good portion of my time to helping folks in the (Desktop Boards, NUC and Compute Stick) forums, but that's all I can commit to for now. If something really, really interesting (or tweaks my curiosity) comes along, I may investigate deeper and may even document it (as it did when I looked into using Intel Smart Response Technology; see my posting in the Documents section), but I cannot commit to anything beyond that right now (sorry)...
Well, you left me no room for argument because you are RIGHT on all the fronts you mentioned.
I readily admit Im not a PC tech. I hold an inactive MCSE and built a PC exactly ONCE in another life. That said, I bought NUC eyes wide open and honestly it seemed simple enough. I'll give total honesty here by saying I've gotten stuck in this process because I genuinely and maybe wrongly believed that in the 21st century, and INTEL of all companies, the very finer points of hardware and software conflicts would have been resolved, that an OS is more powerful than it is in overcoming them. Reading around the forum its like 1978 all over again but with even deeper complications.
Im fine about hardware but how the hardware relates to software (when you are building) is the issue and all im trying to do is reduce problems by gaining some additional understanding first. I do understand when one buys a ready computer in a box, all these issues have been tested and worked out by the MFR and thats why the thing straight works. But are NUC owners really left so far in the dark? And yes, as kits, no MFR has pre-tested all the RAM and HD and CARD and myriad other options. NUC owners are doing that. But havent any standards settled down so that, for example, an un-tested SSD from one MFR will work the same as another, with the internal processing code of a PC accounting for it? Whats the industry been doing for 40 years?
Meantime, what is your OS recommendation of the Windows variety? After that selection I'll download drivers for it and get ready.
Standards settle down? Hah! There are new devices - and new technologies - being introduced all the time. For example, while PCIe M.2 support has been around for two generations now, only in this past year have we seen vendors actually taking advantage (and/or prices dropping to the point where users, in significant numbers, can afford to take advantage as well) and producing higher-performance SSDs that take advantage of the multiple PCIe rails available in M.2 - and the (I will call them) teething issues appearing. USB took years and years to settle down (and then truly didn't as USB 3.0 and then USB 3.1 have been introduced). If this Intel's fault? No. I heard an estimate a few years ago, from a BIOS engineer, that there were more than 500 workarounds in the BIOS to make up for the crappy USB (hardware and protocol) implementations that exist in the plethora of the devices out there. I imagine that there are a *lot* more now...
You noted the most salient point. Intel (and their BIOS vendor) can't test everything; there is simply too much out there - and more arriving every day. Worse, BIOS testing can only involve so much hardware before the (time) cost becomes prohibitive. A simple BIOS update can cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce - and this is mainly because of the validation costs. It's unfortunate but, in most cases, it takes a user out there purchasing a device - and reporting that it doesn't work - before the issues with its support (and its implementation) become visible to the NUC team.
You asked about Windows releases. I run Windows 7 on almost all of my machines. I bought a new laptop and it came with Windows 10. I set up only a local account (no MS tracking!). I disabled Edge, Cortana and One Drive and I disabled (and uninstalled wherever I could) every single Metro app. I am p... (expletive deleted) off that I cannot manage the Start Menu (and what appears (or doesn't appear) within it) the way that I could with Windows 7 (and previous). I *hate* this alphabetical list containing every single app (and applet), regardless of whether I will ever use it. On my Windows 7 machines, I implement a proper hierarchy for applications based upon usage (for example, multimedia apps separate from networking apps) and frequency of use, not simply sorted by what character its name happens to start with. I am not upset with Microsoft for introducing (what they think are) improvements in usage models for the uneducated masses, but I am very upset that they (in their arrogance) took away the support for the older usage models (and paradigms).
Ok, rant over; let's get practical. I fully realize that Microsoft is going to kill Windows 7 as quickly as they can. They want to force everyone to use their app store and they will do whatever it takes to make this happen (witness their slimy moves regarding the installation - and invocation - of the upgrade app). I would like them to put back support for the older usage models (like they promised before the Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 releases), but this will never happen. I will eventually (but oh so reluctantly and only when I have to) move over to Windows 10. Yes, I realize I am still ranting. Let's switch and talk about this from Intel's standpoint (in my humble opinion). Every product group in Intel is attempting to control their costs. Whether we are talking about the technology groups that do drivers (for graphics, ME, USB, SATA, PCIe, LAN, WLAN, etc. and etc. and etc.) or the groups that do system-level products (like the NUCs and Compute Sticks), they all want to reduce their schedules and costs. They want to reduce their validation matrices as far as possible. Every O/S release included in the matrices is a significant multiplier for the time cost of validation - and is often a multiplier for code complexity as well (and this too affects validation). They thus want to limit the number of O/S releases that they test with. This is why there are no Windows 10 drivers for 2nd generation and earlier Core processors or for 6th generation chipset (or earlier) motherboards. This is why...well, you see where I am going with this. Intel wants Windows 7 to go away as much as Microsoft does. It's all about costs. It is why we saw a time where Windows XP and Windows 7 were supported yet Windows Vista was, for the most part, not. It's all about costs. Every other company out there doing system-level products is thinking the same way. Bottom line, support for Windows 7 will continue to deteriorate. Support for older hardware will also continue to deteriorate. The focus is on Windows 10. For best support and compatibility, go with Windows 10...
All points well taken and well understood. Really I nodded throughout. If I were to add anything it would be to expand your own rants! And I dont mean for whining but for what I started about --"standards and measures."
You made salient points.
BIOS and validation. Right, there IS so much crappy stuff in the market and its not made to the same standards and measures as the next piece. If it were, validation would be far easier and so cost-effective that much of the work might not have to happen at all---which is what i thought was being industry-targeted all along! 100 years ago cars were handmade to the factory's own standards which was eye-sight. As a result, a fender from one car wouldnt fit on the next one assembled. It wasnt until a Brit invented the micrometer that standards could be adopted so that lets say, all a Ford Model A's parts could be swapped into another Model A and work perfectly. The micrometer transformed mass production.
The concept relates straight to computing. Since I can take a #10 machine screw from a store in California and match it to another brand of the same screw in a store in NY and know that it will be the same, I really thought Intel, MS and others had been working all this out over the decades, to essentially have one code, one measure, one standard, and that the products of any nature cant come into the market unless they carry that stamp of approval. I mean, if costs are the main issue in computing development, why would they think its better to overspend on validation and patches and workarounds? 500 workarounds? You realize thats APPALLING, right? Or am i so naive as to be inappropriately appalled?
Kits of 1978 era were rough. PC Club was a chain of stores that geeks created to build PCs from scratch and for years it had a huge following. But nearly 40 years later, and in internet time too, I thought a NUC of all things was as close to a turn-key kit as one could be--buy your components, plug in and go. But no, not so fast, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars that continue to flood through the system. In a way im speechless that in 2016, after all this, "two #10 machine screws" in the computing world still dont match. Seems like the industry doesnt need another POWER button, it needs a PAUSE button.
Thank you for your explanation on this topic.