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I want to install Windows 7 onto an SSD from a USB 3 drive, however it won't let me boot using USB 3, however it does work using USB 2. I guess that's because Windows PE doesn't have the needed USB 3 drivers so my question is how can I fix that?

Edit: Sorry for being slightly unclear. The installer boots but after choosing disk drive it tells me that it need drivers for the installation disk (USB3).

Edit2: I can get it to work by adding the drivers to another USB memory but I can't get it to work by adding them to the install drive, does anyone know how I should add them to the main media?

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You mean you can't get to the installer when using USB 3.0 because the disk is not recognized? – slhck May 4 '11 at 7:24
The computer finds the USB memory in USB3 but once I boot from it the computer complains that it's not bootable (probably because there's no drivers). However it works using the same memory in USB 2. – Hultner May 4 '11 at 8:28
This is to be expected. USB 3 is not considered part of the basic driver set so Windows 7 needs to fetch it. Why don't you just install it from USB 2? – Blomkvist May 4 '11 at 11:27
Well the whole point was that I wanted to see how long time it took (2 minutes by the way). And I know USB 3 isn't I just though that I could maybe in someway put the driver somewhere on the intall medium so that it would recognise it without loading the driver from another USB Memory. – Hultner May 5 '11 at 6:14
Sounds to me like you might need to slipstream the drivers into the install, like you would for a RAID controller or such on earlier systems. – Iszi May 6 '11 at 14:20

As the comments said, USB 3 drivers are not something that Windows supports natively.

Your main question came about the speed - there will be no difference unless your USB memory stick is USB 3 compatible.

This gets quite advanced, I am assuming you have a working knowledge of the command prompt. I would recommend you add the various Microsoft directories to your path, or run the Windows PE Tools Command Prompt instead of the standard one. If I loose you at any point, please write in comments and I will be happy to help.

What I recommend you do is download the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, and download your USB drivers.

Once downloaded, load the Deployment Workbench and load the WAIK / Windows Automated Installation Kit.

Once this is downloaded, you can use the "copype" command to copy the required Windows PE files to a staging folder. Assuming you wanted c:\win_pe_32 you would use:

copype.cmd x86 c:\win_pe_32

For 64 bit use:

copype.cmd x64 c:\win_pe_64

(I won't give two versions from now on, simply use common sense and replace 64 with 32!)

This will basically copy the required Windows PE files to the folder above.

Next, we need to mount the boot.wim file (The part that actually loads Windows PE). Do this with the ImageX command:

imagex /mountrw c:\win_pe_32\winpe.wim 1 c:\win_pe_32\mount

This will mount the Wim file to the \mount directory.

To load the driver, have the path to the .inf file and run:

peimg /inf=<path> c:\win_pe_32\mount\Windows

If you explore this folder, you can add additional files if you wish. Personally, I include ImageX so it is available from Windows PE.

Now commit the changes by typing:

imagex /unmount c:\win_pe_32\mount /commit

Now you simply overwrite the default boot.wim file with the winpe.wim you just changed.

copy c:\win_pe_32 c:\win_pe_32\iso\sources\boot.wim

Lastly, we use the Microsoft Mastering tool with the following command:

oscdimg -n -bc:\win_pe_32\ c:\win_pe_32\iso c:\win_pe_32\winpe_32.iso

and congratulations! You now have a new bootable Windows PE iso file with the drivers included.

You can burn this to disk, and hopefully, everything should work - as long as the driver is compatible with Windows PE!

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That is so awesome and exactly what I wanted. To bad I don't have my USB 3 memory as I lost it, however I remember that it took about 2 minutes to install Windows 7 from the USB 3 memory to an SSD but then I had to load the drivers from within Windows PE. – Hultner Jun 29 '11 at 11:48
Please note that this will ONLY create the Windows PE disk, you will still need to manually launch setup and/or do other tasks to install Windows! – William Hilsum Jun 29 '11 at 12:15
So it won't work as the normal Windows 7 installer? – Hultner Jun 29 '11 at 22:19
Sorry... My bad... If you simply replace the boot.wim with the .wim from here, it will... just skip out the burning disk stage.... If it does just launch a command prompt (e.g. basic windows PE build) then in addition you need an unattend file (let me know and I will create one), or just launch setup.exe and it will work. – William Hilsum Jun 29 '11 at 22:40 makes making custom iso/usb installs almost braindead simple. It uses a gui and waik - it is good for novices or dyslexic people who can be all thumbs when chaining imagex with many swm files or etc - this tool has been a favourite for me as I am a but dyslexic.

There is a means of msi unpack already here .

How to extract files from MSI package?

IE Asus notebooks the USB 3 driver is is often a MSI and not a zip, so cannot simply unzip it and pick out the drivers you need.

you still need Windows Automated Installation Kit as above however their tools are free, and work on windows 7 or server 2008 etc does much the same except you can also mount a wim file to a directory ie boot.wim shove in drives sync it save it. etc. also makes WAIK Less painful to use. It also lets you image a complete system

You can get the rt7 to load drivers on boot or one can copy the wim files to a usb then if backed up open the boot folder and add the drivers for USB 3 into the inf and system folders of windows. rt7 dose a good job of doing most of the dirty work , and you can get it to slipstream service packs and updates, and do unattended installs of software like chrome, antivirus and MS Office

There is also the windows 7 dvd to usb tool
boot.wim >>> boot.wim.backup >>> copy to boot .wim , use the gimagex to make it easy to mount to a folder nav to windows folders and manually add in the inf files and drivers to the folders required ,

rt7 makes much automation less of a chore however some of the boot wimfiles it wont force some drivers into them , but you can with gimagex or image x just the mini gui util does it far easier for some.

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ntlite more readily available , as well windows 8 and some windows 10 support also allows really easy slip-streaming wsusoffline pulls updates down , one can use to update etc , as well ntlite can be used to add updates/service pack/s to iso or usb. I've used it to add drivers for the systems at home to usb to save ALOT of time. – Michael_R_Lawrence_IT-Security Aug 3 '15 at 7:58

Windows 7 doesn't include generic USB 3.0 drivers, so you'll need to provide those if you use a USB 3.0 port, even if you're using just a USB 2.0 stick. I followed this solution which I gathered from various sources. I assume an understanding of Windows and the command line.



  1. Run and complete the Windows Automated Install Kit installation.

    Since it's an ISO, you can either burn it to DVD, or mount it in a virtual DVD drive emulator such as DAEMON Tools Lite.

  2. Create the following directories:

  3. Extract your USB 3.0 drivers from the archive (if any) and copy just the driver files (.cat, .inf, .man, .sys, etc..) to the C:\Temp\usb folder.

  4. Copy the sources\boot.wim file from your Windows setup USB to C:\Temp.


  1. Start an instance of cmd in Administrator mode.

    Click Start, type cmd, right-mouse click the cmd or Command-line prompt program, choose Run as administrator.

  2. Navigate to the C:\Temp directory.

    cd C:\Temp
  3. Mount the boot.wim file.

    dism /mount-wim /wimfile:boot.wim /index:2 /mountdir:mount
  4. Add the USB driver files.

    In my case, I had an iusb3hub.inf (the USB 3.0 Hub driver) and iusb3xhc.inf (the USB 3.0 Extensible Host Controller driver) in the C:\Temp\usb folder. I've seen others with similarly named USB 3.0 drivers.

    Change these instructions to match your situation:

    dism /image:mount /add-driver /driver:usb\iusb3hub.inf
    dism /image:mount /add-driver /driver:usb\iusb3xhc.inf
  5. Unmount the boot.wim file.

    dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:mount /commit
  6. Copy the boot.wim file from C:\Temp to the sources directory on your Windows setup USB, overwriting the existing sources\boot.wim.

All done!

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Instead of downloading the WAIK which is a massive 1.7 GB download, you can download and install the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit at… which is a mere 24 MB and includes the command line tools needed to follow the steps in this answer. And those steps worked great for installing Windows 7 on a new laptop that has only USB3 ports. – Jan Goyvaerts Jun 12 '15 at 10:29

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