USB Debug – Disable USB 3.0 Functionality


Windows 7 Service Pack 1 was released in February 2011 and most Windows 7 installation media has not been updated since. It is recommended to Update your Windows 7 Installation Media (April 2016) by following Converting your Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD into a Windows 7 SP2 Reinstallation Bootable USB 3.0 Flash Drive. For non-Intel hardware follow the additional notes here.

USB 3.0 devices became mainstream in about 2012 and now in 2015 many systems ship with exclusively USB 3.0 ports. Since USB 3.0 is significantly newer than Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Microsoft does not include native USB 3.0 drivers in the Windows 7 installation media. If USB 3.0 ports are used for the Bootable USB of Windows 7 with SATA drivers USB, the keyboard or the mouse (no other USB devices should be attached for installation) the installation will crash/freeze as Windows 7 simply does not know how to handle this hardware.

The systems shipped from 2012-2015 had the ability to disable USB 3.0 in UEFI BIOS reverting all the ports to USB 2.0 ports which Windows 7 could understand. Systems released in 2016 do not have this functionality and the installation media must be updated for installation to proceed.

 

Legacy guide on disabling USB 3.0 functionality in the UEFI BIOS.

 

  1. Power down your computer. Wait 10 seconds and power it up. Press F2 at the Dell BIOS Screen.

1. Dell BIOS

2. This will take you to the BIOS setup

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3. Press the [→] key and then the [enter] key to select the Advanced tab.

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4. Press the [↓] key until you get Miscellaneous devices and press [Enter].

5. Press the [↓] key until you get USB Debug and press [Enter]. Change Disabled to Enabled. This will disable USB 3.0 functionality on your 4 ports allowing you to boot Windows 7 from a USB stick.

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6. Press F10 to save and exit. When prompted select yes by moving the [←] key and press enter.

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7. The system will reboot.

8. Install Windows 7 and re-enable USB 3.0 functionality after installation.

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