Troubleshooting Windows 7 Installation

September 7th, 2009

I’ve started installing Windows 7 on my machines, and most of them install like a breeze. However, winds changed when I attempted to install Windows 7 on Gateway GM5485E. I think it’s worth to note here since there are quite a few tricks involved.

I bought the Gateway machine from Costco two years ago. It had an IDE CD-ROM, and SATA hard drive. Unfortunately Windows 7 installer does not like this configuration at all: it will tell you CD/DVD driver missing right after booting from the DVD. I’ve Google’d the web a bit and there are several suggestions floating around:

  • Update BIOS settings: this does not work with my Gateway machine
  • Mount install.wim to get the driver: this is BS, it does not work.
  • Boot and install from USB: this works!

Here’s the summary (and safer) way to create a Windows 7 bootable USB stick. First, you need to format the USB stick in Disk Management. Right-click Computer, select Manage, which will bring up Computer Management. Select Disk Management, which shall show your USB stick. Select the partition that’s already on your USB stick, then select Action, All Tasks, Format to format the partition as NTFS. Again Action, All Tasks, Mark Partition as Active. So you will have an Active and Primary partition on your USB stick.

Now launch a Command Prompt as Administrator. Put the Windows 7 DVD into DVD drive. Suppose the DVD is in D: and your USB stick is U:, then we need to type following commands:

D:\>cd boot
D:\boot>bootsect /nt60 u:

Go back to Disk Management and check if U: is now System and Active. If so, copy over everything on D: into U:, and this USB stick is ready to rock-n-roll!

Okay, now we need to be very careful before shouting hooray. If you had a lot USB connected devices like I did (web cam, printer, external hard drives, camera, …), UNPLUG THEM ALL BEFORE YOU BOOT! After booting into Windows, finish the setup, PLUG THEM BACK ONE AT A TIME! I’ve stucked in some deadlock and forced to re-install since I’m not patient enough to wait for Windows handling it, and thus caused corrupted driver stack. So, the best strategy to avoid all these mess is, one peripheral at a time.

Technical, Troubleshooting, Windows | Comments Jump to the top of this page

2 comments on “Troubleshooting Windows 7 Installation”

  1. 01

    I have the same situation with a GM5485E, and I have release version of Windows 7. This method does not work for me, using the 32 bit version of Ultimate. It will boot, but it will not install and I get the same error messages as from the DVD install.

    It gets through the ‘copying files’ section, then a dos screen comes up saying ‘windows failed to start’, and that the ‘winboot.exe’ can’t be found.

    I have disconnected the DVD entirely, but it makes no difference. I have updated to the most recent bios, and every driver has been updated.

    At this point, it appears that only an updated Bios will fix this problem for these computers.

    When I run the windows 7 compatability test from MS, it says the Intel Engine Management function is not compatible with Windows 7. Everything else is ok.

    I have not tried using the RC version of Windows 7, which I do have.

    Any suggestions?

    John at October 18th, 2009 around 1:17 pm
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  2. 02

    I was able to install Win 7 ultimate on a GM5485E without any special tricks. However, I burned a total of 5 DVD’s before I got one that would work. It was burned on a computer that was already running Win 7, which may have had something to do with it.

    I also:
    UPdated everything from Gateway – the bios, the drivers, etc.
    Updated Vista, including IE8 and SP2. All updates were completed.
    Disabled the Intel Interface Engine Management feature in Vista’s Device Manager. (Listed as not compatible in the compatability wizard.)
    Removed the modem, wifi and tv cards.
    Install went ok, but required one manual restart at the beginning.

    John Shotsky at October 31st, 2009 around 6:08 am
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