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GUIDE: How to install Windows 7 or 8 via USB on NP700Z*

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by hanime, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. hanime

    hanime Notebook Evangelist

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    This guide was first inspired by: How to do a clean install of Windows 7 or 8 on Samsung Chronos laptops | Arktronic.com

    This guide may work with other Samsung Series 3, 5, 7, and 9 laptops with iSSD/ExpressCache as well. Give it a try and report back. I will add to this list:

    - NP700Z5C-S01US
    - NP530U3C

    The Problem

    You installed Windows 7 or 8 on this nice laptop via a bootable USB drive, but Windows won't load up. What gives?

    My theory (after testing over and over) is that the iSSD gets in the way of the installation process. While Microsoft is to be blamed for not letting us choose where to install "system reserved" files to during the installation, Samsung is to be blamed for adding another layer to that with the iSSD. Normally, when you install Windows on a partition of a drive, the "system reserved" files are created automatically on a new partition on the same drive of the OS. With the iSSD in the game, the "system reserved" files are created on there instead. When booting up, the system cannot find Windows because it cannot boot up from the iSSD.

    So my solution is to do just that, but then copy the "system reserved" files to its proper location afterward. The process goes like this. Create two partitions on a drive (Drive A), one for the "system reserved" files and the other for the OS. Install Windows on the OS partition and the "system reserved" files will be written on the iSSD (Drive B). Use the command line to copy over the "system reserved" files from Drive B to Drive A's "system reserved" partition. Restart and the laptop should boot up from Drive A.

    If you are in any of these situations, then this guide may be for you:

    • I installed a HDD caddy in place of the ODD (DVD drive) and don't have a DVD drive to install Windows with. So my only option is to install via a bootable USB drive. But it won't work--Windows does not boot up on my HDD.
    • I tried installing a fresh Windows 7 or 8 with a USB bootable drive and got an infinite boot loop after Windows installed (restarts after Samsung logo)

    This guide assumes:

    • This will be a CLEAN install. Your recovery partitions, everything will be erased.
    • You have a main hard drive (HDD or SSD) and the iSSD on board.
    • You do not have a DVD drive available and booting from a USB bootable drive.

    WARNING: By following this guide, you take full responsibility for any action you perform to your laptop. I take no liability for your own actions or damage caused here within.

    Guide/How To

    WARNING: There appears to be issues with UEFI/GPT mode models, as these models are giving users errors when formatting their drives (e.g. trying to format UEFI/GPT drive while in BIOS/MBR mode). Since this guide assumes a clean install, it would be wise to use BIOS/MBR (legacy) booting mode. If you are trying to format or cannot see a UEFI/GPT drive in BIOS/MBR mode, you should first switch to UEFI/GPT mode, format the drive, then switch back to BIOS/MBR mode. More information in this post.

    1. With the laptop turned off, insert the bootable USB drive onto the USB 2.0 port (USB 3.0 port will work too, I tried it).

    2. Turn the laptop on and press F2 key to go into BIOS menu. Turn off Fast BIOS Mode under Advanced tab. Everything else can be set to their defaults. Make sure your boot order is set correctly (SATA HDD [your main HDD] first, USB HDD [bootable USB drive] second). Exit and save changes. Laptop will restart.

    3. On restart, press F10 (repeatedly) to go to the Boot Menu and boot the USB HDD drive and begin Windows installation process.

    4. On the partition window, you should have a list of all drives/partitions. Drive 0 should be your main hard drive for the OS. Drive 1 should be your ExpressCache's iSSD drive. All others are other drives you have connected. We will only focus on Drive 0 and 1 in this guide.

    5. Delete partition(s) on Drive 0 that you don't need (I delete all partitions for simplicity). Delete Drive 1 partition. So now yours should look something like this:

      [IMage=320]http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m171/japicon/NBR/image001-1.jpg[/IMage]

    6. Create a new 100MB (for Win7) or 350MB (for Win8) partition on Drive 0. Then format it.

      Now you should have the following (we are going to assume this setup for the rest of the tutorial):

      Drive 0 Partition 1........................350MB (for Win8)
      Drive 0 Partition 2........................Windows OS (sizes will vary depending on your HDD)
      Drive 1 Unallocated Space..................iSSD drive (7.5GB on my NP700Z5C)

    7. Install Windows onto Drive 0 Partition 2. In the process, Windows will install the "system reserved" files onto the Drive 1 (iSSD). After installation the system should restart.

    8. Once again, press F10 and boot from the USB HDD drive to begin Windows installation process.

    9. This time, use the Repair your computer function and get to the command prompt.

      [IMage=320]http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m171/japicon/NBR/image004.jpg[/IMage]

    10. Once in command prompt, type diskpart to enter the disk partition mode.

      Code:
      X:\Sources> [B]diskpart[/B]
    11. Enter list disk to list all disks on the system. We are interested in the Disk 0 (HDD) and Disk 1 (iSSD) only.

      Code:
      DISKPART> [B]list disk[/B]
    12. Enter sel disk 0 to select disk 0 so you can make changes to it.

      Code:
      DISKPART> [B]sel disk 0[/B]
    13. Enter list part. You should see two partitions of interest: Partition 1 (350MB) and Partition 2 (Windows OS).

      Code:
      DISKPART> [B]list part[/B]
    14. Select Partition 1 by using sel part 1. Then make it active by entering the command active.

      Code:
      DISKPART> [B]sel part 1[/B]
      DISKPART> [B]active[/B]
    15. List all volumes by using list vol. Take note of the drive letter for your 350MB partition (mine was C), the temporary iSSD's 350MB partition (mine was D), and your Windows OS partition (mine was F).

      Code:
      DISKPART> [B]list vol[/B]
      It should look similar to this. Sorry for the blurry photo!
      [IMage=320]http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m171/japicon/NBR/image005.jpg[/IMage]

    16. If your 350MB partition file system is RAW, you need to convert it to NTFS first by entering the command format fs=ntfs quick.

      Code:
      X:\Sources> [B]format fs=ntfs quick[/B]
    17. Exit diskpart by typing in exit.

      Code:
      DISKPART> [B]exit[/B]
    18. Now you want to copy the system reserved files from the temporary iSSD's partition over to the 350MB partition. Note, that this process actually uses the Windows partition, not the iSSD's. Type in bcdboot f:\windows /s c:. You should get a "Boot files successfully created" prompt if successful.

      Code:
      X:\Sources> [B]bcdboot f:\windows /s c:[/B] (make sure [B]f[/B] and [B]c[/B] drives matches YOURS)
    19. Remove your bootable USB HDD and exit command prompt and restart.

    20. Your Windows should load normally. Enjoy.

    Extras

    Once in Windows, you should see two drives of interest:

    - Local Disk [C:]
    - System Reserved [D:] <--this is the iSSD system reserved partition. We want to remove this.

    [IMage=320]http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m171/japicon/NBR/Untitled-2.jpg[/IMage]

    Run diskmgmt.msc

    Right click on the System Reserved [D:] and delete volume. You may do whatever you like with it now (enable ExpressCache on it, use as storage, etc.).

    I hope this guide was easy to follow and helpful in some way. Please let me know if you have questions by posting below. Have a good day!
     
    hohum likes this.
  2. hanime

    hanime Notebook Evangelist

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    Alternative Method #1

    Alternative Method #2

    Alternative Method #3

     
  3. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Making this guide is a good initiative, lots of people seem to be having problems with USB install. I've been away for several weeks and only reading up on this forum tonight. Otherwise I would have responded to your other posts about it.

    I find the easiest way to install from USB is to just delete the partition on the iSSD and let Windows Setup make its 100MB SYSTEM partition there. Of course when Windows Setup tries to boot after copying files, it will fail, because the iSSD isn't bootable.

    What you do is boot back into Windows Setup (on the USB), use a command prompt to copy the boot files from the iSSD to your Windows partition on the HDD (or SSD), then make that partition Active (bootable). Simple as that.

    I described the steps in some detail in this post a few weeks ago. I notice you were posting about it in the same thread, but you may have missed it.

    Another way is to create your own 100MB dummy partition on the HDD during Windows setup, then (again) let Setup do its thing and create a 100MB SYSTEM partition on the iSSD. Once it's done copying files and fails to boot, use Acronis or some other imaging program to copy the SYSTEM partition from the iSSD to the HDD, overwriting the dummy partition. Flag it active (bootable) and you're good to go. That's how I did it the first time on a Series 5 this summer. Now I prefer the first method. Both work on Series 5 and Series 7.

    Either way, delete the partition on the iSSD before installing ExpressCache (using Disk Manager in Windows). That way EC will create a new HFS partition on the iSSD when you install the software.

    My experience is only with Windows 7, haven't tried Windows 8 yet on the Sammy.

    Again, great initiative with this thread. Let me know if I can help in any way.

    Update: Of course these procedures assume you're installing Windows from a USB2 port. Installing from a USB3 port requires either adding USB3 drivers to the Windows setup image or (easier) copy them to an SD card and load them during Windows Setup.
     
  4. jlrosine

    jlrosine Notebook Consultant

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    You can boot from the usb3 ports, I always use these ports with paragon and usb drive/win8 usb install. (I have the latest NP700Z7C 17.3.

    One issue I've had with this laptop is that my windows 8 pro usb key isn't the same media as what the laptop has certificates for. You need to go in to the bios, disable the certs, install windows 7 in non UEFI mode, then use the usb key for win8 pro to install the OS.

    Insanity but it works.
     
  5. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    You can boot from USB3, yes, but you won't be able to complete installation of Win7 from USB3 unless it has access to USB3 drivers. Once it finishes loading and switches to WinPE for the actual installation, it won't be able to see the USB3 anymore.

    Again, the easiest solution is to unpack the USB3 drivers on an SD card before starting setup. Windows Setup will say "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." At this point, just click Browse, navigate to the SD card and select the driver.

    For my NP700Z3A Sandy Bridge, it's the ASMedia XHCI Contoller. For Ivy Bridge models, I assume it's Intel USB. On my model, loading this driver is not enough, I have to also load the Generic USB Hub driver, which is shown by unchecking "Hide drivers that are not compatible with hardware on this computer".

    Still, it only takes a minute, and USB3 speeds up installation tremendously. That said, installing from USB2 is easier (though slower). And installing from DVD is even easier yet, as it gets the boot drive right from the start ;)
     
  6. nolanta

    nolanta Newbie

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    I have an issue that brought me to this thread, maybe you guys know something. I got the Windows 8 version of this laptop, the np700z7c-s01ub. Great. So I make the recovery disks, no problem, then swap out the 1TB drive with 256GB SSD. Restore to the SSD, all is well. Then today, for some reason when I close the lid, it shuts down improperly rather than sleep. It does this a few times, annoying, but not a big deal. The last time, it won't boot back up. After tinkering for a bit, it seems maybe the boot record is invalid or something. I can boot from a plain jane windows 8 image I have handy from another purchase, but no recovery tool will fix the boot record. AND SINCE THE WINDOWS 8 LICENSE/PRODUCT KEY IS EMBEDDED IN THE BIOS, I CAN'T REINSTALL FROM THIS MEDIA I HAVE, in an attempt to fix the boot issue. I did grab a copy of the bios license, but the media Windows 8 just says "The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key."

    But there's no way to enter a new product key, it will continue to find the one in the bios. This laptop didn't come with any recovery media, so basically right now I think I'm screwed; at best I am downgrading to Windows 7, which seems to be my only option without sending the laptop back into Samsung.

    Anybody seen anything like this? This model doesn't have anything in the bios about certificates to disable.
     
  7. hanime

    hanime Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks for the guide Dannemand--I have added your guide to the alternative method. Updated guide. :]
     
  8. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Great job, hanime, very nice guide! And great idea to use bcdboot instead of copying the files from the iSSD. I think it's a better approach!

    I tried to rep your OP, but it won't let me because I already repped you for another post not long ago. I'll give it another try in a week or two.
     
  9. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Very useful.

    I've added this thread to the sticky list to make it easier to find.

    John
     
  10. bball3212

    bball3212 Notebook Consultant

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    If I want to simply install windows 7 from a cd, would I follow this? The problem I run into is it freezes at the windows logo once it loads the files of the installation cd,
     
  11. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    The various solutions described here only apply to installing Windows from USB, and only when installing on a new or newly partitioned HDD/SSD. It also only applies to models with iSSD (ExpressCache). That makes it particularly relevant for those Series 5 models that don't have DVD drives OR to those Series 7 owners who either replaced their DVD drive or who simply prefer to install from USB.

    So no, installing from DVD will not trigger the iSSD boot conflict addressed here (at least I haven't seen or heard of that). In fact, installing from DVD should be the preferred solution for anyone who HAS a DVD drive and who wants the most painless installation -- even if a bit slower.

    Prior to installation, check the following in BIOS (applies to DVD as well as USB installation):

    1) Disable UEFI. Should remain disabled even after completed installation. UEFI installation is hardcore, and far beyond this guide.

    2) Disable Fast Boot in BIOS (if you have it). Can be re-enabled after completed installation.

    3) Enable USB Legacy Boot (if you have it). Can be diabled after completed installation if so desired.

    4) Make sure the HDD is in the Boot Priority list (so that Windows Setup can boot after copying files to the HDD). I keep HDD at the top of the list and use Esc (F10 on some models) to temporarily select boot device when I want to boot from USB or DVD.

    If all of those are set correctly, I suppose a bad DVD or HDD could cause the hangup you're seeing. There are other things we could check, but it really is outside the thread subject.
     
  12. bball3212

    bball3212 Notebook Consultant

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    okay so I disabeled everything you said but when I load the windows installation DVD it says windows cannot be installed to the partition because the selected disk is of the GPT partition style. It is a formatted empty NTFS partition. IDeas?
     
  13. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    I see. Your disk has been initialized with a GPT partition table (as opposed to the tratitional MBR partition table). That's actually what you would use with the more advanced UEFI installation. This affects the entire disk, not just one partition.

    Did you initialize this disk and/or convert it to GPT (and if so how)? Or is it a new SSD that came setup this way?

    If you want to give it a try, you can go ahead with an UEFI installation by enabling UEFI in BIOS and installing again. It's supposed to run faster, but just know that these Sammies have proven troublesome with UEFI (I never tried it myself).

    Otherwise you can convert the disk to MBR using DISKPART by opening a Command Prompt from Windows Setup (as described in the second post of this thread). Again, I am hesitant to hijack this thread with lengthy explanations of that. I'll search this afternoon and try to find a relevant thread to direct you to. It's probably already covered somewhere, otherwise I am happy to help you there.
     
  14. bball3212

    bball3212 Notebook Consultant

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    I tried to send you a PM, but it doesn't seem to be working for some reason. I just bought this Samsung chromos 7 with windows 8 and basically want to install windows 7 from a disk onto a blank partition. It was factory set as GPT. Are you saying that if I keep UEFI enabeled it wont prevent me from installing on GPT anymore? Ill probably just end up returning the computer, its a pain to rplace the HD anyways.
     
  15. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Thank you very much for that update. I understand better now: So Samsung (and probably other vendors) ship Win8 PCs with GPT partitioned drives now. I've only tried Win8 previews and never bought a Win8 device, so I didn't realize that.

    Probably Win8 is then UEFI installed, which would fit perfectly with the security improvements in that OS. AND I bet this explains why some Easy Settings features are not showing in Win8 Settings -- because they won't have access to the BIOS calls that control them. (Well behaved software shouldn't make BIOS calls anyway).

    (I apologize, this line of thought strays from the thread topic as well as your question. But it may explain and help solve some other problems that users have had when they upgraded to Win8. Or maybe it's old news, I am not fully read up on all the Win8 posts.)

    If I were you, I would enable UEFI in BIOS and try again with the Win7 installation. I admit that's probably where you started when you first posted because of the hangup. But do give it a try.

    If that fails, you can use DISKPART to convert the drive to MBR, disable UEFI, and try again. Only concern is you will lose everything on the drive (I think) including the Recovery Partition. I would take some serious backup steps before doing this.

    Let me know if you want to pursue this, and I will help you with DISKPART instructions. Basically you use the same steps as in the 2nd post of this thread (which is a copy of the post linked here) to select the HDD in DISKPART, then use the CONVERT MBR command.

    Update: Oh, and no new PMs in my Inbox, dunno why. Actually, the last PM is a month old, maybe there's something wrong with my mailbox...

    Update2: John sent me a test PM yesterday which I received, so my mailbox should be OK. Better to discuss issues in the thread though, where it can help others.
     
  16. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Notebook Deity

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    A few quick answers:

    (1) Yep, the NP700Z5C-S02UB came with Win8, GPT partitioned.

    (2) Yep, UEFI + SecureBoot enabled in BIOS.

    (3) I did keep it GPT/UEFI when doing a clean install of Win 7 (a long story in itself).

    (4) n/a

    A bit of the backstory: I first made a USB recovery disk, which I tested twice and it worked perfectly: booted into recovery, then ran it and went straight back to factory install in about 20 minutes.

    I then researched how to do a USB Win 7 install with UEFI. At first I couldn't get the USB drive to get recognized during boot (SecureBoot error), even though I had properly set up the drive, including inserting a copy of bootx64.efi -- so I went into BIOS and changed a few options. I don't have my machine in front of me, so I'll come back later and clean this up, but approximately: I found a kind of hybrid SecureBoot option in BIOS that allows UEFI and something else (functionally, Legacy boot, I assume, though it had a different name) and enabled it. THEN the USB drive was recognized and booted.

    At that point, I began the Win 7 installation. First step was to delete all the Win8 partitions on the C drive (I think there were 4), leaving untouched: (1) the iSSD drive and (2) the two C partitions with "SamsungRecovery" in their name. For Win7, I simply chose the giant empty partition on the C drive (don't recall if I formatted it) -- the installation COMPLAINED that the "partitions were in the wrong order!" -- but I clicked through and it installed no problem. Because I had done a UEFI-enabled boot, the install automatically created a 100MB EFI partition, and created a GPT on the boot drive. At no point was I asked, "UEFI/GPT or MBR?" I assume how the USB drive was formatted/loaded made that choice for me.

    Long story short, everything works fine and as far as I can tell I have a UEFI system (though we might want to talk a bit about the partitions). The only collateral damage from doing things this way is that when I tried to run the recovery (back to factory install) that I described above, it failed, citing something like "cant' find recovery". Of course those partitions are untouched, but apparently I deleted a "hook" when I wiped out the original Win 8 installation. A pity -- but I have a copy of Win 8 and can do a clean install if I want. I don't have all the "crap" that originally came with the machine (or I do, technically speaking -- it's on the recovery partition) but I rarely use such things.

    Let me know if can help or answer any questions! I'll take a closer look at the BIOS options tonight and fix that vague part above.

    -Matt
     
  17. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    @Matt: Fantastic, thanks a lot for responding so quickly and so fully. Very useful info!

    In your Easy Settings, are you able to set USB Charging and Battery Life Extender? I ask because those are BIOS settings, and I am curious if Easy Settings can access them in a UEFI setup.

    Regarding your recovery: If you can still F4 boot into Recovery Mode, you can create a USB Admin Tool as described in this old post. It's based on Samsung Recovery Solution 5, I hope it's the same on yours (probably SRS6 now). Booting that USB Admin Tool may allow you to repair the links that prevent your Recovery backup from working. Or just forget about it and move on :D

    @bball: Clearly the new Sammies DO accept UEFI installation of Win7 with everything working. I recommend you make a Recovery backup and test it out, then proceed to install Win7 as described by Matt. Look for those UEFI/Legacy BIOS settings that he described -- and with which I am not familiar.

    Thanks again, Matt, much appreciated.

    Update: Matt, here is another post on recovering your recovery. It may contain useful snippets for you if you want to pursue that restore problem.
     
  18. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Notebook Deity

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    @Dannemand, yep (yesterday was a bit hectic but) I remember seeing both the USB Charging and Battery Extender options in Easy Settings. :) Also, as I recall when I try to boot into recovery (either F4 or the USB backup I created) it doesn't start. :( I can explore some more tonight and see how far it gets with F4. Thanks for the links to other methods -- I'll try those too (unfortunately SRS won't install, presumably due to the same issue).

    -Matt
     
  19. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    @Matt: OK, thank you for the update. So UEFI doesn't limit the features available in Easy Settings. Good to know.

    More on the recovery:

    When you install SRS in Windows (or run the Recovery backup) it connects to the contents on the Recovery partition (at least in SRS5). Unless you specifically backup the Initial Image from the Recovery Partition, there is no way to restore the Factory Installation without an intact Recovery partition -- since that's where the actual image is located.

    If that connection doesn't work (and F4 doesn't work either), your first priority should be to find a way to boot the Recovery partition so you can make that USB Admin Tool, which is key in repairing the link. Here is another post in the same discussion as the previous one I linked which may help you get back into that Recovery.

    Just know that this can be a lot of work. Only you know if it's worth it...
     
  20. kukingkong

    kukingkong Newbie

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    Hi there,

    Thank for your guide. So far the only topic I found about this issue.

    I plan to install Win8 on my 530U3C (pre-installed with Win7). I downloaded Win8 by Windows8-Upgrade-Assistant from MS & it is ready to install. It gives me choice to install directly in Win7 (not required bootable DVD or USB). Shall I simply do that?

    I used to do 1 time with a Dell laptop (no iSSD or SSD), nothing went wrong. With your statements, it seems that the iSSD in Samsung may cause a problem.
     

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