Recently I stumbled upon an interesting problem. The question was, how to manage a Windows 7 install on an Intel NUC system with USB 3.0. This is causing issues, because Windows 7 doesn’t provides USB 3.0 support during setup.
The question was raised from an administrator within a German forum. He was ordered, to exchange a lot of Office PCs with Intel NUCs. The company is using Windows 7.
What’s the problem?
The user wrote, that those Intel NUCs comes with four USB 3.0 ports. After installing Windows 7, USB 3.0 controller driver is missing, so none of the USB 3.0 ports are working. So he wasn’t able to use an USB keyboard and mouse to fix this issue.
Fix #1: Use an additional USB 2.0 port
One suggestion made within the forum was to add an additional USB 2.0 port to the Intel NUC. An Intel NUC LID Additional Dual USB 2.0 Ports is offered via Internet.
Fix #2: Integrate USB 3.0 driver into install image
Another suggestion was, to integrate the required USB 3.0 driver into the Windows 7 install image. This can be done with Microsoft’s deployment tools – in case that fits, start here.
Fix #3: Use Intel’s Windows 7 USB 3.0-Creator-Utility
The coolest suggestion I ‘ve read was, to use Intel’s Windows 7 USB 3.0-Creator-Utility. This utility automates the process to create a Windows 7* installation image to include USB 3.0 drivers. You can then use the new installation image to install Windows 7 on Intel® NUC products that have only USB 3.0 ports. The Windows 7 USB 3.0-Creator-Utility may be obtained from here.