I just bought a Samsung 530u3c with Windows 8 installed,so it's a week old. From day one, I have wanted to revert back to Windows 7.

So I have created a USB bootable drive with Windows 7 on, and tried installing it both on the SSD 24GB drive and the 465GB SATA HDD. The laptop will not boot from either drive.

After trying to boot once, the laptop reboots and then presents me with a boot menu that only shows the SATA HDD. Selecting it does nothing.

So I'm losing my mind here. I have absolutely no clue on how to solve this. I'm starting to think i just threw away 700 Euros... :(

Any thoughts on what my next steps should be in troubleshooting the issue?

Installation goes through without problems. All files are copied. By the time the laptop needs to restart, it goes into a boot loop.

I've read somewhere that this behavior has something to do with the reserved Windows partition being created in the SSD. No matter what drive i choose to install on (SSD or HDD), this reserved partition is always created in disk 0 (SSD). Still, i tried installing Windows on both disks and the problem stands.

Exact same thing happens when i try to install Windows 8... :(


First, some background. This laptop comes with a 1TB HDD and an 8GB iSSD, which is used as a cache to speed up Windows and apps. Samsung uses Diskeeper's ExpressCache software for that purpose. This SSD causes a rather large problem to the Windows installer. For whatever reason, Windows refuses to install its "System Reserved" partition on the HDD, downright refusing to proceed with the installation if the SSD is already partitioned for ExpressCache. But, repartioning the SSD and just letting Windows install itself, doesn't make things easier. In fact, it causes major troubles. It appears that the BIOS really doesn't want to boot off the SSD, which is where Windows decided to install its boot partition. So, here's the thing- how to get the HDD into a state where both Windows and Samsung's BIOS were happy, and the SSD free for ExpressCache use.

Before installing Windows and things to keep in mind

  1. For your convenience, you might need to print this guide and read once before proceeding.

  2. Backup your drivers to an External Flash Drive or DVD, using Samsung Recovery Solution. (Bear in mind that you don't have any network connection after a clean install and neither a backup partition at your pc)

  3. Make sure your BIOS are set to boot from DVD or USB Drive, by changing priority. If you choose to use a USB, you have to disable "Fast BIOS Boot" as well.

  4. In case of using a bootable USB for the installation, a message might emerge, implying that drivers are not installed and cannot proceed further. Just click "Cancel". Then, you will be brought back to the welcome screen. At that moment, remove the USB drive and plug it back in, to a different USB port this time. Click "Install Now" again. The installation should proceed as usual.

Installing Windows

  1. Insert the istallation media on your laptop.

  2. At the Windows Setup Wizard, select "Custom Install" to view all disks.

  3. At the "Advanced" option, choose to format all disks and delete the SSD.

  4. Press "Shift+F10" to launch cmd. Otherwise, reboot into the Windows Setup wizard and choose the "Repair" option, in the bottom left corner, and in the tools menu choose cmd.

  5. Type in diskpart to get into the partition tool.

  6. Use the commands list disk and list part to determine which disk is what (check size parameters). For me, Disk 0 was the HDD and Disk 1 was the SSD. The following instructions assume this.

  7. Select the HDD: sel disk 0

  8. Delete all partitions on it: clean

  9. Create a 100MB partition for Windows 7 (or 350MB for Windows 8): create part primary size=100 (or size=350)

  10. Format it: format fs=ntfs quick

  11. Assign it a letter: assign letter=f (if F: is in use, pick another one. Use the list vol command to see all volumes and their letters)

  12. Create a partition that fills the rest of the disk: create part primary

  13. Format the large partition: format fs=ntfs quick

  14. Assign it the letter C: assign letter=c

  15. Exit both Diskpart and cmd.

  16. Reboot back to Windows Setup Wizard to install Windows into the large partition that was just created. !!CAUTION!! When Windows restarts your machine to complete the installation, do NOT change priority at the BIOS menu as usual, but instead boot from the installation media, once more, and choose the "Custom Install" option.

  17. There is a great chance that Windows installed its System Reserved partition on the SSD, so choose the "Advanced" option and delete the SSD. Launch cmd (Shift+F10) and type diskpart.

  18. Use the commands list vol and assign to ensure that both the system (F:) and the boot partition (C:) still have drive letters.

  19. Select the system partition (sel vol f) and mark it as active: active

  20. Exit diskpart and at cmd type the command: bcdboot c:\windows /s f:

  21. Reboot and you're good to go.

After the installation

  1. The easiest way to have Samsung's Easy Settings and ExpressCache installed to your machine is through the backup created by Samsung Recovery Solution, since you don't have an internet connection after the clean install. (Even when you get to have one, do not connect during this proccess (because of Windows Update interference) and wait till it finishes)

    1. Browse the DVD or External USB Drive to find the "SystemSoftware" file and launch the "SecSWMgrGuide.exe".

    2. Install "Easy Software Manager".

    3. Install everything from the "Drivers" tab.

    4. From the "Miscellaneous" tab, install "Windows 7 SP1 Critical Updates" and "Windows 7 SP1 common patches".

    5. From the "Utility" tab, install "Easy Settings" and ExpressCache".

    6. Finally, choose any other software you might need.

    7. You are ready to connect the internet and install Windows Updates.

  2. In case you didn't backup your drivers using Samsung Recovery Solution, you need to manually download and install these drivers from the Samsung's website.

  3. To find out if ExpressCache is working, run cmd as administrator and type ECCmd -INFO. If it's marked as mounted and gives you the application's information then you're fine.

Answer text copied from from notebookreview.com.


I had the same problem. I bought a new Samsung NP530U3C-A08TR last weekend, I didn't like Win8 and try to install Win7. Removed all partitions from SSD and Sata HDD. After first restart system wouldn't boot. I used lot of BIOS options, tried Win8 USB Disk to.

I talked with Samsung Offical US Support about this problem. Maybe this guide can help you. I fixed this problem, so follow my guide:

BIOS Options:

  • Fast BIOS Disabled
  • Secure BOOT Disabled
  • CMS BIOS Seleceted

You need Hirens Boot CD (It must have Norton Ghost and Mini WinXP. Check versions 11.X or 15.1 Rebuild edition) on a USB Disk.

  1. Start Windows 7 install from USB Windows 7 Disk.
  2. Remove all partitions from iSSD and Sata HDD.
  3. Install Windows 7 to 24GB iSSD.
  4. On first restart Windows 7 setup (system is stuck normaly on this section), remove Windows 7 USB and use Hirens Boot USB. Start Mini Windows XP.
  5. If you can successfully boot Mini Windows XP, Start Norton Ghost 32 from Hirens Tool
  6. On Norton Ghost, select Copy Disk to Disk and copy iSSD to Sata HDD. After copying, don't restart the system. Only quit Norton from the menu.
  7. Use Partition Wizard from Hirens Tools. Check your new copy SATA HDD status. You must have 100MB System Partiton Active and Primary position, and a second partition for Windows Setup with Primary status.
  8. If all is OK, restart your PC and remove Hirens Boot disk, Windows 7 setup should resume.

Have you tried to unplug the usb stick when it reboots to see if it will just boot straight from the hdd? You could also go into the bios and switch it so that the hdd has boot priority instead of the usb stick. Also make sure you're selecting the right hdd to boot from. It could be stuck in the loop because it's trying to boot off your second drive which has no bootable files on it. Also I'm not sure any of this is what your real problem is. If you did a complete reinstall windows and no just some downgrade or upgrade package then what I mentioned makes sense, but if this is some sort of failed upgrade or downgrade then it sounds like you may need different install files.

If it's actually showing you a boot menu and letting you pick which drive you want it to boot off of, then none of what I said about the usb stick/boot priorities is going to matter.

Can I ask what made you want to revert back to windows 7? Was the system slow/freezing? Was it simply the UI? I'm only asking to make sure this couldn't maybe be hardware related.

  • The reason that made me want to revert back to Windows 7 was purely affectional. I deleted partitions and formated both HDD and SSD. Indeed the idea about priorities is no good and yes, i removed the usb stick in order to force the laptop to boot from HDD. If i leave it in, it will boot from usb disk and start a new installation wizard. – Osvaldo Nov 26 '12 at 12:11
  • Honestly sounds like it's your copy of windows install media. Could have issues on the usb stick too (physical problems with the drive) but I doubt that. Can you try and copy it again or is this the only comp you have? Also, where did the install files come from? Is this what you did -> microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/… – Codezilla Nov 26 '12 at 12:29
  • Yes, i used Windows 7 CD/DVD tool. I had a Windows 7 DVD so i made an iso to use with this tool. Plan was all along to use the DVD but no DVD drive on the Samsung 5 series... – Osvaldo Nov 26 '12 at 12:49
  • Do you still have the win7 dvd? I'd try that. – Codezilla Nov 26 '12 at 12:55
  • What? Doing the procedure from scratch? – Osvaldo Nov 26 '12 at 13:20

I had the same problem with my 530U3C-A0BDE. I changed the 500GB HDD to a 128GB SSD. Windows 8 was installed on HDD and I wanted to install Windows 7 on the new SSD.

Windows 7 was not able to install on my new SSD. I got a Windows Installation Error. My new SSD had no active 100MB System partition and the installation routine was not able to create it. Only it was possible to install on the internal SSD (iSSD), which is 24GB only.

Thanks to Hüseyin Önder's answer, I got the clue.

  1. So I installed Windows on iSSD
  2. On restart it looped in and I got stuck
  3. I started Hiren's Boot USB
  4. Made a mirror of the iSSD (Volume 1) to the SSD (Volume 0) using "Clone Disk"
  5. Resized the Windows Partition on SSD to 45GB using "Partition Wizard"
  6. System restart > stuck again
  7. New installation of Windows 7 on SSD (this time I can select SSD)
  8. Windows 7 is installing well

I had the same problem. I just wanted to reinstall my windows 7. Eventually I was able to figure out that the bootloader for Windows 7 is written to SSD but due to sandisk configuration the SSD is not listed in BIOS. The bootloader is intalled on SSD regardless of the installation disk of windows. Windows installation for some reason assumes that the SSD is the primary disk that BIOS will boot from.

If the installation USB drive is still connected to the computer. Windows doesn't need bootloader and is able to load to windows after not-pressing any key during countdown to boot from USB. However having the USB stick connected is only a temporary solution as you can't always have the installation disk with you when starting the computer.

I was able to bypass the problem by installing a tool called easybcd. It enables to write boot loaders to any drive.

I wrote bootloader to HDD and configured bootloader to boot to SSD automatically. It is quite easy to set-up, although you have to be careful to do it correctly, otherwise you may have to reinstall the entire windows again.


I had a similar problem, when changed the HD from a mSata 128Go to a mStat 480, I could not boot after, windows boot manager was not reading my new drive. I had to keep my Windows8 USB key plugged in to boot to my new SSD drive. I eventually went to samsung site and install software manager from there, installed the bios update and it worked after the update. Something to do with reloading defaut data from the bios update.

Hope it helps some else in the future.

protected by Community Apr 13 '15 at 19:25

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