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Windows 7: Win 7 Install on Dell N7110 Failing at Drive Selection Stage

22 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Win 7 Install on Dell N7110 Failing at Drive Selection Stage

Hi All - Hope you can help!

A family member got a particularly nasty virus on their Dell Inspiron N7110 that resulted in the entire HDD needing to be wiped.

I have now extracted an ISO image of Win 7 Premium w/ SP1 (obtained from MS) onto a USB drive. When I boot from the USB and hit Install Windows I'm presented with an error that says "A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD or USB flash drive please insert it now."

Some Googling seemed to suggest this problem was actually the HDD although the message refers to CD/DVD drive. I downloaded the SATA driver from Dell (R296885.exe) and extracted that onto a SD card however after attempting to install the recommended driver the message "No new devices could be found" appears. (If I untick the hide drivers that are not compatible there's a whole list but I'm not sure which I would use)

I have also used diskpart to run the following commands on the HDD:

clean all
format partition primary

I have also in the BIOS tried changing the disk controller from AHCI to ATA but also to no avail.

I'm now stuck! Does anyone know what I might try next?

Many Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #2

Windows XP 32bit

welcome to seven forums
i have same problem but i don't have virus
is this the problem?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

1. Make sure you are installing the same version of Windows 7 that came with the Laptop. Otherwise activation will fail.

2. You have to make a proper bootable pendrive with Windows 7. ( Just extracting the ISO to the pendrive and trying to boot it will not work.)

3. Download the Universal USB Installer Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3 | USB Pen Drive Linux and run it. Select Windows 7 Installer in the drop down menu, select your Win7 ISO, select your pendrive, select to format it to FAT32 and click on create.

Win 7 Install on Dell N7110 Failing at Drive Selection Stage-usbw7.jpg

4. Download all necessary drivers from the DELL Support Site before starting the clean install.

5. When you install with a regular Windows 7 Installation Media, you will be required to activate using the COA key on the sticker of the laptop. May be you will be required to activate by phone.

All that said, I would suggest that you contact DELL Technical Support immediately and they will promptly send you the OEM Reinstall Disk for which you are entitled.

Installation with OEM reinstall disk will preserve the OEM activation. So if you can wait for a day or two till you receive the disk, that would be preferable.

There will be no problem with Phone Activation per se, but I would still consider it an unnecessary botheration. It is upto you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hi Jumanji - Thanks for responding.

The bootable pen drive unfortunately still caused the error to be returned.

I have an official ISO from MS and a key that I'm not using on any other machines so activation should work.

I'm currently downloading the x86 ISO in case it's the x64 one that's giving me the issue.

mezda - Those are the errors I am seeing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP


Win7 is driver-complete in the installer, with newer arriving quickly via optional Windows Updates. Put your wireless driver on a stick just in case so you can get online quickly to Update drivers. Then only import those missing in Device Manager from Dell Downloads page for your tag number.

Try resettting the BIOS to defaults. Then in BIOS setup set HD first to boot, SATA controller to AHCI first.

Confirm the ISO or download another, try wiping the HD again with Diskpart Clean Command from installer Command Prompt now that you have a reliable installer.

If using flash stick installer, unplug the DVD drive; any floppy drive should be removed permanently.

Let us know how 32 bit install attempt goes.

A last resort is to move the HD to another PC to install Win7, then SysPrep before moving back to problem computer: SysPrep to move HD to another computer. This will elminate the installer as cause since the error is almost always the installer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

IMO, X86 or X64 should not matter.

If you are confident that you created the bootable pendrive the right way, then I would suspect a corrupt ISO download. Atleast one user had found it to be the cause for the error message and a redownload cleared it.

Redownload both x86 and X64 versions from the official download site and try.

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1-U ISO
English x86: X17-58996.iso
English x64: X17-58997.iso

I hope you are doing that. :)

EDIT: Apart from the Wireless driver download, download Microsoft Security Essentials too and install it before you connect to the internet for any updates. Better to be safe than sorry. Have your computer protected before you connect to the net. That is one reason why I always prefer to keep all drivers ready, install them, install MSE and then only connect to the internet. Your first update should be MSE updates. Other updates then can be taken care of safely thereafter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Annoyingly the x86 version also didn't want to install.

However Vista (ick) is currently installing... It's a bit of a fudge but the upgrade route might just work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


Run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor first to see if it flags anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Try Cleaning the HD Drive, using the CLEAN command (no need to use CLEAN ALL) in Step One in this tutorial:
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
Do not partition or format.
Than clean install with the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disk.

information   Information
We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
& made the Startup Repair CD.
startup repair disc-create

Did you make the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?

How to use Dell Recovery Partition,make Recovery Disks & how to order Recovery Disks.
Dell - Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2013   #10

Win 7 64 Bit

The problem is not related to the AHCI driver, it is a USB 3.0 driver that is needed.

Anyways here is the link to the driver Renesas USB3.0 Host Controller, v., A01

Run it and burn the folder to a cd/dvd drive


When you are prompted to select a driver during the win 7 install , select the



The file you want to select is nusb3hub.inf

This solved my problem.

Thanks Ray
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win 7 Install on Dell N7110 Failing at Drive Selection Stage

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