How to install Windows 7 on Intel NUC with USB 3.0?

win7Recently 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.


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5 Responses to How to install Windows 7 on Intel NUC with USB 3.0?

  1. Ravi Kumar says:

    Firstly, I would like to say thanks, thanks for sharing this article.

  2. Walter Di Biase says:

    Simple solution.
    On the only usb 2.0 in the nuc (black port) install a usb 2.0 hub.
    connect your win 7 installation stick , your corded mouse and corded keyboard or simply your preferred wireless keyboard and mouse. Boot from the usb 2.0 and follow the installation instructions.
    once installed you can install your usb 3.0 drivers from intel's website.
    At this point, you can even connect a usb wireless network adapter such as Tenda which windows 7 recognizes and installs automatically … then… TA–DAAA!

  3. Pete says:

    The Windows 7 USB 3.0-Creator-Utility may be obtained from here.
    Your link is broken

    • guenni says:

      I've redirected the link to an Intel document, where a reference to a Gigabyte tool is given. Hope this helps – won't link to untrustable 3rd party sites (in case, someone is in need for the tool, try searching the internet).

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  5. Brian Bertot Bofill says:

    I was trying whit gigabyte's tool. Doesn't work for me in NUC8I7beh. I´ll intent it with the USB 2 internals conectors

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