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Windows 7: Win 7 64 bit installation nightmares

29 Aug 2019   #1

Win 7 Pro 64 Bit
Win 7 64 bit installation nightmares

I have successfully installed Win 7 Pro 64 bit on several PC's without issues, but my newly built PC is giving me serious grief. It comprises a Gigabyte GA-H170-D3HP (rev 1.0) motherboard, 16 gig of Corsair RAM, an Intel i7 6700K processor, on board video, an elderly Adaptec ASC-29320LPE SCSI card to run my LTO4 Tandberg tape drive, and a Silverstone 4 port true serial card add on card.

The C: drive on which I loaded the OS is a Corsair MP510 M.2 PCIE4 of about 240gB size. The PSU is a Corsair 550 Watt unit. All bar the Adaptec SCSI card are brand new. I added the PCIE drive drivers using the Microsoft tool to a fresh image of Win 7 64 bit pro iISO downloaded this week from MS on a USB stick.

I loaded the OS seemingly OK and it found the M.2 drive. At install time I ONLY had a (new) DVD drive connected and the (new) M.2 drive fitted. I had struggled with the BIOS which is a lot more complex to those I was used to. Things like AHCI or Intel something or other in the SATA settings puzzled me I then found that the Intel one seemed necessary for the RAID1 to work. Legacy or UEFI stuff also had me guessing somewhat.

Adding a pair of working and matching mechanical 1 gig RAID1 loaded drives to become my D: drive from my old PC RAID1 set up running on another PC just fine for three years on the same OS was a bit of a struggle until I realized I needed to load the Intel Rapid Storage drivers. I did this, fiddled rather blindly in the BIOS again and eventually they appeared and seemingly worked fine with all (backed up elsewhere) data intact and available.

I then added a mechanical E: Drive which was also found and worked fine. My first concern was the Intel stuff on boot showed the RAID1 pair but also, preceding them in the list, the E: Drive shown as none RAID. I don't recall the older PC doing this... But I may well be wrong! Anyway, I started loading apps and all seemed good until I left the PC on doing nothing but polling e-mail for a couple of hours. When I came back to it I found it had crashed as on moving the mouse it started to reboot eventually saying Windows had closed abnormally.

It rebooted with a "normal" boot and ran fine again. Another issue presented itself as when downloading the myriad of updates from MS Updates showed many, mainly NET 3.5 and other NET versions had failed to update. Another important update would never get beyond 11% before failing. Dozens of attempts over 3 days failed to get it load the update.

I then, in my ignorance, decided to fiddle with the BIOS setting again and I believe changing SATA to something other than Intel whatever (the name escapes me) to the alternative has now seen the PC fail to see the PCIE drive and boot up at all. In the boot screens it appears to be trying to boot from the E: Drive! It fails with No BootMGR or similar. I tried loading the Win 7 install disk to do a repair but it says it cannot attempt one as some file system is incorrect. I suspect if I can get the Boot Manager back onto the PCIE M.2 drive it just might become bootable again, but that would still leave me with an unstable PCI guess.

My questions are, what's the easiest way to get any willing experts on line to view my BIOS settings and critique them, and also are these M.2 PCIE X4 drives more hassle than they are worth on Win 7 64 bit?

What gives with updates failing continually, many did load work correctly but a whole raft of then failed to update. Is there mileage in creating an image with them pre loaded?

I am spending hours on this to the point where the learning and fun factors have been replaced by sheer frustration.

I use many amateur radio apps and read constantly of Windows 10 updates breaking things, mainly audio stuff. I am comfortable with a working Win 7 set up and security is an issue I am not too bothered about security as it won't be used for anything very private or financial.

Sorry for the long tome, but if anyone has reached this point I'd be immensely grateful for opinions on whether to persevere with the installation as is, start afresh, or use a normal SSD for the C: Drive! Thanks :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2019   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

In my experience you cannot run SCSI and SATA in the same computer because they're on the same hardware channel, thanks to SATA being a SCSI derivative. So when Windows calls on the SATA drives, sometimes the SCSI controller will respond and vice versa, which results in the drives randomly being inaccessible, unresponsive, and basically dropping in and out while Windows tries to read from/write to them, which shows as corrupted files and read/write errors. There is no software solution around that problem.

AFAIK the M.2 is using the SATA interface and the driver is only for the controller.

I once had SCSI CD drives and scanner, and the only way to get the SATA drives to work reliably was to remove the SCSI controller. What I found then is that if you're able to change the SCSI controller to have a higher IRQ (which isn't something you normally touch in a modern computer) then it may be able to coexist with the SATA controller, but otherwise you're SOL and have to let go of your SCSI hardware. My Iwill controller don't allow the required reconfiguration, so I decided to abandon the SCSI entirely (still have the drives and controller somewhere though).

As long as you've got a W7 driver for the M.2 then it should work fine, but with anything newer than the OS it usually takes a few driver updates before it works perfectly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2019   #3

Win 7 Pro 64 Bit

Ah, I puzzled over your reply and left replying whilst I assimilated it. I think I see where have been less than clear about my set up. The RAID1 pair of SATA drives are software (Intel) RAID. The "proper" SCSI card is for my tape LTO4 back up. It worked on a similar earlier Gigabyte MB and now it's working on this new one too. The software RAID1 is fine and so far back ups and a test restore from tape also appear to be OK, I had some BIOS settings wrong. I appreciate the heads up about conflicts, I'll watch out for glitches for a while, much appreciated! :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Win 7 64 bit installation nightmares

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