I have been unable to successfully boot my NUC8I3BEH into Windows 7 Ultimate from a boot USB stick. Have read quite a few threads and web pages on how to do this, and I have followed the Intel guide “Install Windows 7 on USB 3.0 Computers - August 2018”. I used the manual command line version of DISM via a Windows Powershell (Admin) method – drivers were successfully added and the boot.wim and install.wim copied back to the Windows 7 boot USB stick (used index:4 for the install.wim file and index:1 and index:2 for the boot.wim file). Unfortunately the NUC cannot get past the first Windows 7 install screen because the keyboard and mouse cannot be “seen”. I used the latest version of USB 3.0 drivers from the Intel downloads web which were “Intel(R)_USB_3.0_eXtensible_Host_Controller_Driver_126.96.36.199_v2” and the keyboard is via USB cable. My NUC has the latest version of BIOS which is 86A and I am using the Legacy boot from USB stick.
I have easily installed Windows 10 Pro, but I don’t have a product key for that version – that is why I need to install Windows 7 because I have a key for Win 7, then activate it, then I can overlay Windows 10 on top of that. I realise Windows 7 is not supported on my NUC, but it’s only a means to get to the end.
My final option is to buy an adapter cable to plug into the USB 2.0 4-pin header on the motherboard, so it can see a keyboard, but the software solution should work, and I don’t like to give up easily. So has anyone else had a similar problem who can please offer some advice.
Only Windows 10 is supported on your nuc. Specifically, only WIndows 10 is supported on 7th gen and later processors.
And, Windows 7 only has a couple of months support left from Microsoft, so get a Windows 10 key, and be supported.
I ended up buying a cable - USB2.0 to 4pin-header connector to try and install Win 7 that way - but this also failed for me. I tried disabling the other USB3.0 ports via the BIOS, but no matter what I did, I still could not communicate to the NUC via USB 2.0.
So I gave up.