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Thread: Unusably slow Win7 install from USB drive on X79

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Unusably slow Win7 install from USB drive on X79


    I am trying to install Win7 Ultimate from a Toshiba USB3 drive onto a new system. When I try to boot from the Win7 install drive, the external drive spins up and the activity light goes crazy for several hours while a white cursor blinks on the screen - but nothing else happens. I have tried the drive on several USB ports, tried disconnecting all USB ports bar the drive and keyboard.

    I have a Win7U license and a Win8 upgrade license, so can't install Win8 directly. I have no internal CD/dvd drive, and my install DVD is in another country so no luck there.

    Board is an X79 Extreme6, I'm not entirely sure about bios revision, I just see "UEFI version 1.5" in the bios config screen. I have an SSD and a SATA3 HDD built in.

    I have read that this happens with Win7 on some other boards and that you have to disable the floppy drive (I do not have one) but I cannot find an option to do this. Am I missing something very obvious? What other information would be helpful to figure this out? Apologies if this sounds stupid but I am very new to both UEFI and Asrock and am totally lost at this point.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Third stone from the sun

    Default Re: Unusably slow Win7 install from USB drive on X79

    Two things may be the issue here.

    First, the USB Windows 7 installation drive must be used on a USB 2.0 port on the boards I/O panel. Windows 7 does not have a native USB 3.0 driver, so none of the USB 3.0 ports will be active until their driver is installed.

    Next, your target OS installation drive must be connected to an Intel SATA port, not one of the extra ASMedia SATA ports. Check your manual for the Intel SATA port locations.

    When installing Windows, only have the target OS drive connected (or powered up) to the PC. Otherwise Windows will put the MBR on any other connected disk, and if that disk is removed or fails, Windows will no longer boot. That can be repaired, but its better to have it right the first time.

    Also, what do you mean by the "external drive"? Is that your OS target drive? If so, that won't work. That external drive is causing problems, and I have no idea how it is connected to the board, USB, eSATA? Remove it while installing Windows.

  3. #3
    profJim's Avatar
    profJim is offline Chief Munchkin + moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Tacoma, WA. [USA]

    Default Re: Unusably slow Win7 install from USB drive on X79

    Welcome to the forum.

    ASRock > X79 Extreme6 Specifications says:
    USB 3.0
    - 4 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by TI, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
    - 1 x Front USB 3.0 header (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) by ASMedia ASM1042, supports USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s

    I think that you are stuck with usb 2.0 speeds until win7 is installed and you are then able to load the TI and ASMedia usb 3.0 drivers.
    I don't know if there is a way to load these drivers from your usb drive at the beginning of the installation so that you can access your usb drive at 3.0 speeds which would be much, much faster.

    Stupid question? No way, but you've gotta look out for stupid answers.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: Unusably slow Win7 install from USB drive on X79

    Thanks very much for these tips - I will try this tomorrow.

    I generally move move \Users off the SSD right after installation and link with a junction, but I can do that after I've got Win8 on the box.

    I'll give a shout if it works. Much appreciated.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: Unusably slow Win7 install from USB drive on X79

    Hi again,

    it appears to be working - thanks to both of you.

    It turns out the damned install image on the USB HDD was a dud! I got my grubby little hands on a loaner Windows 7 DVD and an external USB drive. However, I still had to take the steps described above:

    - did not work with an external USB3 slot. Moving to USB2 got it working.
    - I had to remove the non-SSD HDD and move the SSD to a SATA2 port

    It's currently happily installing. Thanks again, I may now finally have a working PC!!!


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