To use the Intel USB 3.0 Creator Utility for Windows 7 you typically need the following:
- A Windows 7 Service Pack 1 .iso e.g. the commercial OEM or Retail .isos 2011 Media Refresh .isos Downloadable from Microsoft.
- A Bootable USB created with Rufus (typically utilising the GPT partition scheme).
- A 3rd-5th Generation Intel System (2012-2016 hardware). 1st-2nd generation systems don’t have native USB 3.0 ports.
- A Windows 8.1 .iso (no product key required).
- A computer with Windows 7/8.1/10 64 Bit with VMware Player Installed.
Downloading Intel USB 3.0 Creator Utility
The Intel USB 3.0 Creator Utility for Windows 7 is available for Download here:
Unfortunately version 3 of this utility stupidly doesn’t work in Windows 7…
It only works on a system running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 only.
In practice this utility is very fussy and only works on A Clean Install of Windows 8.1 or 10 only.
The utility must be used on a Windows 7 Bootable USB Flash Drive. If one attempts using a folder (e.g. from an extracted .iso) they will instead get error 0x80070057:
Without a complete Clean Install you will experience common errors like 0xC1420114. Such an error message may occur if the utility has been used and exited without completion. Essentially its attempted to extract a .wim file to a temporary location and can’t delete it. It uses this temporary location to remount the new .wim and can’t because the temporary location is occupied…
Creating a Windows 8.1 VM
In my experience it is best to use this utility on a Clean Install of Windows 8.1 64 Bit. This is best accomplished using an Offline Virtual Machine with VMware Player. Almost all modern systems with a UEFI BIOS should be able to handle a VM.
I advise using the Windows 8.1 Pro .iso and installing using the Windows 8.1 Pro generic Product Key XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB. The generic Product Key can be used for installation but doesn’t allow for Product Activation.
The Intel USB 3.0 Creator Utility can be used in the unactivated Windows 8.1 Pro VM to add USB 3.0 Support to your Windows 7 USB 3.0 Flash Drive.
Install VMware Player and launch it:
Select the Windows 8.1 Pro .iso:
The Operating System should be autodetected meaning the automated install (Easy Install will be used). Select Next:
Input the generic product key. This key can be used for installation only and not product activation. Since we are only going to use Windows 8.1 to make a Windows 7 Bootable USB 3.0 stick we don’t need to bother with this:
Name the VM and select the VMs location (optional) and then select Next:
You may change the size of the VM (optional) but 60 GB suits our purposes. Select next:
Select customise hardware:
Change the memory from 2 GB (2048 MB) to 4 GB (4096 MB):
Change the Processors to 4 if using a 2nd generation i7 or later:
To save the hassle of Windows Updates disturbing our Bootable USB 3.0 creation selecft the Network Adapter and ensure Connect at Power On is unchecked:
Select Close. You now may select Finish and your VMs virtual disc will be created:
The automated setup will begin restarting the VM 3 times:
Then you will have to wait for the inbuilt Metro Apps to be installed:
After that you should be logged into the VM and the virtual machine’s system drivers VMware Tools will be auto-installed. The VM will restart again after installation of VMware Tools and is finally usable:
Put a note about ignoring Product Activation Prompts…
Using the Intel USB 3.0 Creator Utility
Note if you experience any errors with this utility… you should delete your Windows 7 Bootable USB and recreate it and delete your Windows 8.1 VM and recreate it…
To use the USB Flash Drive in the VM. Select Player → Removable Devices then highlight your USB Flash Drive and select “Connect (Disconnect from Host)”:
You should be informed that your USB Flash Drive is found. I have copied the Intel USB 3.0 Creator Utility and the Windows 7 Pro Commericial .iso to the Desktop of the Windows 8.1 VM (simply using drag and drop).
I am now going to explore the folder:
The Installer Creator must be run as an administrator for this utility to work:
Right click the Installer_Creator and select “Run as Administrator”:
Select Yes at the User Account Control:
The Intel USB 3.0 Creator Utility will now open. Ensure all instances of Windows Explorer are closed in the VM:
Select the Browse button:
Select your Bootable USB:
Select Create Image:
It should mount all Editions in the install.wim and then slipstream the USB 3.0 drivers and then do the same with the boot.wim:
Once its done it will say success:
Note if you get an error message or it takes longer than an hour its likely stalled. Quit and recreate the Bootable USB with Rufus, Delete the Windows 8.1 VM and recreate it. Then retry.
Once its done open up Windows Explorer in the VM:
Navigate to the sources folder:
Search for “.wim”:
You will see the boot.wim and install.wim:
The original .iso may be mounted. Right click it and select mount:
One can look at the original install.wim and boot.wim and see that they have both increased:
Finally one can Disconnect the Bootable USB from the VM:
The Bootable USB is now viewable within Windows Explorer in the Host. You may copy the install.wim and boot.wim to an external hard drive (beside the .iso) for future use.
Once done you can safely remove the Bootable USB. Go to the navigation tray and select Safely Remove Hardware:
Select Eject Ultra:
You will be informed the USB can now safely be removed from the Computer:
You can remove it from the PC and take it to your UEFI computer you wish to install Windows 7 on.
The Windows 8.1 VM can now be closed down (by right clicking the start button in the VM and selecting Shut Down). The VM can be deleted in the VMware player menu by right clicking the VM and selecting Delete from Disk: