Download Dell Windows 7 64 Bit Reinstallation SP2 OEM .iso for a Skylake UEFI BIOS


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Introduction

The last Official Windows 7 .iso released by Microsoft was the Windows 7 SP1 Media Refresh 2011 Commercial OEM and Retail .iso. Its heavily outdated and doesn’t have native driver support for newer hardware. While it can be updated the procedure is rather cumbersome… Slipsteam of the Convenience Rollup (Pseudo Service Pack 2), Internet Explorer 11, NVM express and USB 3.0 support.

To alleviate these issues Dell released a Windows 7 64 Bit Professional .iso for 6th Generation Intel Skylake systems with additional driver support in particular NVMe and USB 3.1. This includes Internet Explorer 11 and is updated to January 2016.

dell-windows-7-reinstalaltion-dvd31

This guide focuses on Intel 6th generation Skylake hardware only and OEM Downgrade Rights from Windows 8.x/10 Pro to Windows 7 Pro. This particular guide does not support Non-Pro Windows Editions. If someone purchased a Skylake system with Windows 10 Home they do not have Downgrade Rights and cannot buy a genuine Windows 7 License as its long reached End of Retail Sales.

  • This .iso listed also works with 1st-5th generation Dell systems shipped with Windows 7 Pro OEM, Windows 8.x Pro OEM and Windows 10 Pro OEM.
  • The remaining instructions assume a Skylake System and hence only focus on installation using a UEFI BIOS. 3rd-6th generation Intel System have a UEFI BIOS. 1st generation systems will not have a UEFI BIOS and 2nd generation systems may or may not have a UEFI BIOS (requires latest BIOS Update on some models).

Dell Intel-Based Hardware

Dell Intel-Based Hardware is always on the advance.

Dell use the name 3xxx (good), 5xxx (very good), 7xxx (excellent) and 9xxx (Xtreme Performance System) to determine the grade of systems within the following product ranges; OptiPlex Desktops, Vostro Desktops, Inspiron Desktops, XPS Laptops, Latitude Laptops, Vostro Laptops and Inspiron Laptops.

Likewise Intel utilise the names i3 (good), i5 (very good) and i7 (excellent) processors. One can gauge the age of their hardware by looking at their processor model number.

I’ll demonstrate this using a few example models and look at the BIOS type, USB type and storage controller type:

  • Westmere – 1st Generation e.g. i7-860 (XPS 8100 Early 2010) – SATA2 – USB 2.0 – Legacy BIOS
  • Sandy Bridge – 2nd Generation e.g. i7-2600 (XPS 8300 Early 2011) – SATA2 & SATA3 – USB 2.0 – Legacy BIOS
  • Ivy Bridge – 3rd Generation e.g. i7-3770 (XPS 8500 Mid 2012) – SATA3 & mSATA – USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 – UEFI BIOS
  • Haswell – 4th generation e.g. i7-4770 (XPS 8700 Mid 2013) – SATA3 & mSATA – USB 3.0 – UEFI BIOS
  • Broadwell – 5th generation e.g. i7-5500 (XPS 13 9343 Early 2015) – NVMe & USB 3.0 – UEFI BIOS
  • Skylake – 6th generation e.g. i7-6700 (XPS 8900 Mid 2015 & XPS 8910 Mid 2016) SATA3 & NVMe – USB 3.1 – UEFI BIOS
  • Kaby Lake – 7th generation e.g. i7-7700 (XPS 8920 Early 2017). These 7th generation i7 processors will ironically not support Windows 7. For more details see No Microsoft Windows Operating System support for Intel Kaby Lake Processors. The only way to install Windows 7 on 7th generation Intel Hardware and newer is via virtualisation for more details see Notes on Installing Windows 7 as a VM on 7th Generation Intel Hardware.

Needless to say Microsoft don’t follow Dell or Intel’s Logical Numbering Scheme with the exception to Windows 7 being one of their best Operating Systems of all time. They have instead; Windows Vista (Poor), Windows 7 (Excellent), Windows 8 (Abysmal), Windows 8.1 (Acceptable with Minor Annoyances) and Windows 10 (Excellent).

Common Issues using the 2011 Installation Media Windows 7 Installation Media on 2011-2016 Hardware

As hardware advances newer drivers are needed in order for Windows to recognise and utilise input devices and recognise the storage controller to copy Windows Installation Files to the HDD/SSD and Later Load Windows. Microsoft have been way behind the times and failed to update their Windows 7 Installation Media in accordance to Intel Hardware. If one tries to use outdated installation media on a modern system the mouse and keyboard may not be responsive on the first screen because no USB 3.0 drivers are present:

no-usb-3-0

If one manages to get by this screen by use of a USB 2.0 port or Laptop Touchpad/Keyboard (or have USB 3.0 drivers included in their installation media). They may reach an additional hurdle and get the following error message due to the lack of SATA preinstallation drivers meaning the Windows setup cannot access the Storage Controller for the HDD/SSD during installation:

no-usb-3-0-or-nvme-or-sata-drivers

“A required CD\DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disc, CD, DVD, or USB flash Drive, please insert it now. Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.”

This may be resolved by loading SATA preinstallation drivers or slipstreaming them into the Windows Installation Media.

Note: This error message also shows if the installation .iso downloaded is incomplete/corrupt or the Bootable USB made is likewise corrupted. For this reason .iso checksums are present later on to reduce these chances.

The 6th generation Skylake .isos should have the USB 3.1, SATA preinstallation drivers and NVMe updates required for Skylake systems to install using the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) SATA operation.

It is possible that new NVMe SSDs released in 2017 or later will not be recognised by Skylake Windows 7 Installation Media as they will lack SATA preinstallation drivers. Windows 7 has reached End of OEM sales so the necessary drivers for newer hardware may not be created by OEMs.

Dell OEM Licensing and Downgrade Rights

The Dell Windows 7 Skylake Reinstallation .isos in this guide will apply Dell OEM System Locked Preinstallation. This is an automatic Offline Dell BIOS based activation mechanism. The key on the COA is not needed for this type of activation:

Windows 7 COA

To prevent the COA from fading the COA is likely residing in the battery compartment of Laptops and inside the computer cover of Desktops.

Laptop COA

New UEFI Systems may utilise OEM Downgrade Rights and hence lack a Windows 7 Pro COA. The Dell Windows 7 Professional Reinstallation .iso will activate on Dell systems sold with Windows 10 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro:

win10Pro Win8Pro

Unofficial Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation .isos for 6th Generation Skylake Updated Until April 2017

The Dell Skylake .iso was released in Jan 12 2016. I have updated the multi-lingual one by slipstreaming the Convenience Rollup and April 2017 Security Rollup making it the most up to date Windows 7 installation media available:

win7alllang

It may be found on Google Drive:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7uwifuW-47rR012Mkg3ZjQ1NUU

If you don’t want to use the unofficial .iso or the download link is too slow. See notes on the official .iso below.

Because the .iso is only available as a direct download and no checks are made to ensure the .iso integrity is intact the .iso checksums should be verified. They can be checked with Rufus (which we will also use to make the Bootable USB):

https://rufus.akeo.ie/

Rufus doesn’t need to be installed. Launch Rufus:

Select yes at the user account control prompt.

3

Select the load .iso icon:

Select your .iso and select open:

Select #:

This will give you the .iso checksums:

This will give you the .iso checksum which should match below.

If it is different you will have an incomplete/corrupt download.

DellWin7Professionalx64Skylake.iso (8,588,608 KB):

  • MD5: 0d9ff4130dc810c6a5a77ba1e267b300
  • SHA1: d6b311417219041d90dcc5cf4ee3695dc9aeb3d6
  • SHA256: 27136a83bf84da4171ff4a1aa241156283ca075358ee7de81665622cc95a4e3a

Official Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation .isos for 6th Generation Skylake Systems Only

A list of Dell Skylake Systems are here. This list should also include the XPS systems such as the XPS 8900, XPS 8910 and XPS 13 9350.

As Windows 7 has reached End of OEM Sales typically only Windows 7 Professional Licenses are sold with these systems and this utilises downgrade rights from Windows 10 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro. 64 Bit Windows is standard.

  • There are hence no Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Ultimate .isos available for Download.
  • Modern systems will not have any 32 Bit drivers hence there is no 32 Bit Skylake .iso available for Download. There appears to be a 32 Bit Skylake .iso but I don’t have it to hand and so have limited details on it.

The Skylake .iso image is available to Download Officially if and only if you ordered your new Dell system with Windows 7 Professional Preinstalled.

Go to dell.co.uk (or .com) and select Support → For Work:

1

Scroll down:

2

Input your service tag:

3

Decline or accept any surveys (optional):

4

Select Drivers and Downloads to the Left and “Find it Myself” to the right:

5

If a Dell Operating System Download is available for your system it will display here (older non-Skylake systems don’t have an Official Download option see below for unofficial download links):

6

Expand Download Operating System Recovery Image and select Download Operating System Recovery Image:

7

The following link should take you to the same place:

https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/OSISO

Enter your verification and check the Service Tag is correct:

8

Select Download:

9

The .iso should be a direct download:

10

There appear to be multiple different Skylake .isos depending on your region.

The first is Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit English only:

  • WGC5Y_2FR1DA00_W7SP1PRO64_ENG.iso

english-only

This .iso has 192 updates included with the latest update being KB3124001. Since this update was released on Jan 12 2016 we can call this the Dell Windows 7 Professional English Only January 2016 Skylake .iso.

The second is Windows 7 Profession 64 Bit Multi-Language:

  • G13K9_PW4KGA00_W7SP1PRO64_ROW(DL).iso

win7alllang

This .iso has 192 updates included with the latest update being KB3124001. Since this update was released on Jan 12 2016 we can call this the Dell Windows 7 Professional Multi-Language January 2016 Skylake .iso.

Because the .iso is only available as a direct download and no checks are made to ensure the .iso integrity is intact the .iso checksums should be verified. They can be checked with Rufus (which we will also use to make the Bootable USB):

https://rufus.akeo.ie/

Rufus doesn’t need to be installed. Launch Rufus:

rufus

Select yes at the user account control prompt.

3

Select the load .iso icon:

1

Select your .iso and select open:

rufus2

Select #:

3

This will give you the .iso checksums:

skylake-english-only-checksum

This will give you the .iso checksum which should match below.

If it is different you will have an incomplete/corrupt download.

WGC5Y_2FR1DA00_W7SP1PRO64_ENG.iso (4,662,522 KB) otherwise known as the Dell Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit English Only January 2016 Skylake .iso.

  • MD5: c3bf0b9562a9bd9db7b8600163ff9e33
  • SHA1: 2785cf6a322ecc5979b1a6a179e4e797d5d64d25
  • SHA256: a91d80ba6d937069c113961abe1b08771a0961b2daf23d69d0c795bea3d22291

G13K9_PW4KGA00_W7SP1PRO64_ROW(DL).iso (7,404,138 KB) otherwise known as the Dell Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit Multi-Language January 2016 Skylake .iso.

  • MD5: d363f535afae79139fe8632702613ffb
  • SHA1: f52615d64ebe9b7c7aeb754746356bc3a052c415
  • SHA256: 2bfa2ebbee84804c8e643bf829644e6c5ef373e63bdeae3a6ac927d371f4c0d0

Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive

Insert a 16 GB USB Flash Drive and launch Rufus:

rufus

Select yes at the user account control prompt.

3

Select the load .iso icon:

Select your .iso and select open:

For a Skylake system ensure the partition scheme is GPT for UEFI is selected and the file system is NTFS:

Select Start:

You will get a warning informing you that data on your USB will be wiped. Select OK:

Wait for Rufus to make your Bootable USB you will see the green progress bar:

When its finished it will say Ready.

Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) Settings

Before using this Bootable USB you should enter your UEFI BIOS setup:

  • Windows 7 requires Secure Boot to be Disabled as it does not have an Updated Microsoft Signature to pass Secure Boot.
  • Legacy ROMs have to be Enabled to install Windows 7 64 Bit.
  • 64 Bit Operating Systems including Windows 7 can have a UEFI Boot which should be used in preference to a Legacy Boot.
    • 32 Bit Operating Systems cannot have a UEFI Boot and hence require a Legacy Boot. A Legacy Boot requires Legacy Roms.

For more details see Unified Extensive Firmware Interface.

Installation Instructions

To install Windows 7 see Windows 7 Installation in a UEFI BIOS or Legacy BIOS.

Notes on Windows Update

The unofficial Skylake .iso has updates incorporated until April 2017 and should update normally.

With the official Skylake .iso 192 Updates are preinstalled taking this Windows Installation Media up to date until January 2016:

preinstalled-skylake-updates

Microsoft have been releasing Monthly Quality Rollups for Windows 7. The Latest one at this time of writing will give you all the Security Updates until the 23rd of November 2016 and can be obtained from the Microsoft Update Catalog:

http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=monthly%20rollup%20for%20Windows%207%20for%20×64

Simply download the .msu file and install it then restart your computer when prompted.

security-monthly-rollup

Downgrade Rights on 7th Generation Intel Hardware and Newer

You will be unable to install Windows 7 Pro OEM natively on 7th Generation Hardware due to the lack of drivers for newer hardware. However system’s with 7th generation processors are extremely capable of virtualisation.

The Windows 7 Pro System Licensed Internal Code (SLIC) 2.1 can however be ported to a VM using VMware player so you can activate using Dell OEM System Locked Preinstallation.

For more details see Porting SLIC 2.1 from your Host PC to the VM to allow Downgrade Rights from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 7 Pro.

Use the Dell Windows 7 Pro Reinstallation April 2017 .iso from above for installation media.

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