Windows 7 64 Bit Installation on a UEFI BIOS (Up to 6th Generation Intel Systems)



Tutorial Video

Written Guide

This will perform a clean installation of Windows 7 64 Bit removing all data on your system’s drives.

If you have not backed up your data and you have came to this guide because your system cannot boot. Please run the preboot diagnostics.

And attempt data recovery to an external hard drive using Fedora before proceeding:

Part 1: Determining whether your System Supports UEFI and Secure Boot

The UEFI BIOS and GPT partition scheme should be used where possible with Windows 7 64 Bit. You may or may not have these technologies depending on the age of your system. For reference:

  • OptiPlex 390/790 – 2011 (2nd generation Sandy Bridge) UEFI BIOS – No Secure Boot, there is no option for Legacy ROMs as these are always Enabled
  • OptiPlex 3010/7010 – 2012 (3rd generation Ivy Bridge) UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot (only with the latest UEFI BIOS Update)
  • OptiPlex 7020 – 2014 (4th generation Intel Haswell) UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot
  • OptiPlex 7040 – 2015 (6th generation Intel Skylake) UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot

This guide focuses on a UEFI BIOS, if you have an even older Dell System than 2011, ignore any mention of the words UEFI, Legacy ROMs and Secure Boot as the technologies are not available in your system. Such systems have a Legacy BIOS (non-UEFI) BIOS. Installation instructions are otherwise identical however the installation media for them needs to be made using the MBR partition scheme and NTFS file format opposed to the GPT partition scheme and FAT32 format.

On a Dell system press [F2] to enter the UEFI BIOS setup, I’ll demonstrate using the newest hardware supported to run Windows 7 64 Bit – the OptiPlex 7040:

Windows 7 64 Bit does not support Secure Boot, it must be Disabled in the UEFI BIOS setup for Windows 7 64 Bit Installation. Look for a tab called Secure Boot, expand it, select Secure Boot Enable and change the setting to Disabled. Select OK at any warning dialog box:

Legacy Option ROMs must be enabled for Windows 7 64 Bit. Go to the general tab and select Advanced Boot Options, ensure Enable Legacy Option ROMs are Enabled. You should leave Enable Attempt Legacy Boot unchecked:

Next go to Boot Sequence and ensure the Boot List Option is set to UEFI:

Select Apply:

Press OK:

It is also worth looking at your Drives here – in my case I have one 128 GB SSD drive that is M.2, others may have a HDD and a low capacity 32-64 GB SSD Cache Drive:

For a single Drive I can use RAID On or AHCI. If you have a small capacity SSD and a large HDD you would need to select RAID On (sometimes called Intel Smart Response Technology):

Now exit the UEFI BIOS setup to save the changes:

Part 2: Preparing Up to Date Installation Media

Using updated installation media will reduce the hassles of Windows 7 Installation Failure due to lack of native driver support for systems with a UEFI BIOS and greatly reduce the installation time due to the inefficiencies of Windows Update. Dell have created installation media updated until January 2016 with driver support up to 6th generation Intel Skylake Hardware. I call this the Dell Windows 7 Professional Skylake Reinstallation .iso. On a Dell it is recommended to use this opposed to any older installation media.

On a non-Dell you’ll need to use the Generic Microsoft Retail Installation Media and add USB 3.0 Driver support, the guide for downloading the media from Microsoft will instruct you in doing this:

Part 3: Booting from a Bootable USB

Power down your computer. Hold [F12] while powering up your computer:

You will now enter the UEFI BIOS Boot Menu:

Notice that it says to the top that the Boot Mode is set to UEFI and Secure Boot is OFF. Press [↓] until you get to your USB Flash Drive (in my case it is a Sandisc Cruzer Glide 16 GB), ignore any listings sunder Legacy Boot.

Some systems may tell you to press any key to continue Booting from USB, if they do press the space bar.

Part 4: Early Installation

You will get a black screen that says “Windows is Loading Files.”

Then one that says Starting Windows.

You will then be prompted for your language, time and currency format and keyboard settings, amend these as desired. If you use an English .iso it’ll be set by default to English (US), I’m going to change to English (UK):

Select Install Now.

You will get a Setup is Starting Screen:

You may get a file asking you what Edition of Windows you wish to install. This depends if the installation media has an EI.cfg file – the EIF.cfg file is a text file which automatically selects the option at this screen. In my case I am going to install Windows 7 Professional using Downgrade Rights from Windows 10 Pro OEM on a Dell OptiPlex 7040:

Read the license, check to select and then select Next.

Next select Custom (Advanced).

Part 5: Loading SATA Drivers and Deleting Partitions

If the Windows 7 installation media can see your SSD/HDD/HSSD on the next screen then you do not need to load a SATA preinstallation driver as it’s incorporated. The Dell Skylake Reisntallation .isos has support for up to 6th generation Intel Skylake systems.

Most UEFI systems have hardware substantially newer than Microsoft’s Windows 7 Installation Media from 2010 and as a consequence Windows 7 does not have the SATA drivers required for your Storage Controller. It cannot read your SSD/HDD/HSSD.

Loading SATA Drivers

If no drives are listed on the “Where do you want to install Windows?” screen then you must select Load Driver and select the SATA drivers from a USB stick. The SATA drivers essentially allow Windows to recognise the hard drive controller on the motherboard and thus allow Windows to view the drive letting you proceed with the install.

Note the error message here says:

“No Drives were Found. Click Load Driver to Provide a Mass Storage Driver for Installation”.

Quite often other error messages show such as

“A media driver your computer needs is missing”

“A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing”

These normally mean your installation media is corrupt and are not because you need to load a driver.

Go to

Press [Ctrl] and [ f ] to do a search. I’m going to type in 7040 as I am going to clean install Windows 7 64 Bit on this model.

You can scroll down until you get to Serial ATA:

Alternatively press [Ctrl] and [ f ] and do a search for F6 (these were called F6 drivers as they used to be loaded in Windows XP by pressing F6 and using a Floppy Drive!)

You must extract the driver as the Windows Setup cannot read .exes. Normally this can be done by launching the setup:

Accept the User Account Control:

Select Extract:

Specify the location:

Copy the extracted folder to your Windows 7 Bootable USB.

Look through the contents of the extracted folder, there is normally a drivers subfolder and a Windows7-x64 subfolder:

It’s contents should look like:

This is the format the Windows setup can read. Select Load Drivers:

Then Browse:

Then navigate to the subfolder containing the drivers:

Ensure that “Hide drivers that are not compatible with hardware on this computer is ticked” (it should be set like this by default). Select Next:

The Storage controller is now recognised so the internal HDDs/HSSDs etc all show up. If it is all unallocated space as shown select Next.

Otherwise … if you are ready to do a clean install (this will result in data loss) and there is only one drive. Select Drive Options and then Select Each Partition and the select Delete. After this the entire Disk will be unallocated space like above and you can click it and select next.

If multiple drives show you may have a SSD and a HDD.

If your SSD is >128 GB install Windows 7 on your SSD as it’ll result in optimal performance.

If it is 32-64 GB it should be a cache drive. Remove all partitions on it and on the HDD. Then install on the HDD. The SATA Operation needs to be in RAID. Notes on setting up Intel Rapid Storage Technology to use the SSD as a cache drive will be given later.

Part 6: Middle of Installation

You will then a screen telling you the progress of the install and Windows will restart once:

Type in your “username”, by default the PC name will be “username-PC” but you can change this as desired.

Next type in your password, retype it and leave yourself a hint.

Alternatively just select next (to have no password – not recommended but optional). Personally for convenience I tend to leave the password blank and add one after the installation of Windows 7, drivers and updates as you will be prompted to restart your computer several times.

Part 7: The Product Key

There are some complications with the “Upgrade Only” license and complications when trying to install an OEM license with Retail Media often done due to the OEM Media Reduction policies Microsoft enforced and no proper Digital Deployment for the OEM license.

If using (A) Dell Windows Reinstallation Media (and you haven’t changed the EI.cfg) then you will not be asked for a Product Key.

If using Microsoft Retail Installation Media, or have edited the EI.cfg from the Dell Reinstallation Media, you should be asked for a Product Key (B-F).

For OEM Downgrade Rights or an OEM Windows 7 License skip the Product Key. We will later activate using OEM SLP. For a Full Retail License, input the Key. For an Upgrade Only Retail License or Commercial skip the key and input it later via the command prompt – activate online using the command prompt.

Variant A: Major OEM License with Major OEM Reinstallation Media

If using a Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD or a Dell Reinstallation DVD converted into a Bootable USB or a Dell Windows 7 Professional Skylake .iso converted into a Reinstallation USB on a valid Dell system shipped with Windows 7 OEM or Windows 8.1 Pro (Downgrade Rights) or Windows 10 Pro OEM (Downgrade Rights) then Dell OEM System Locked Preinstallation will automatically be applied – that is offline BIOS based Product Activation equivalent to the activation mechanism used for a Factory Installation.

With Major OEM Installation Media you will not be asked for any Product Key during Installation proceed to Step 8.

Note if you have deleted the EI.cfg fileto unlock different Editions on your Installation USB then OEM SLP activation won’t automatically be applied. In this case see Variant B.

Variant B: Major OEM License with Retail Full Installation Media or Commercial OEM Installation Media

If you are using Retail Full Installation Media or a Commercial OEM Installation Media with a system with a Windows 7 OEM, Windows 8.1 Pro OEM (Downgrade Rights) or Windows 10 Pro OEM (Downgrade Rights) from a Major OEM such as Dell, HP, Lenovo etc. you will be prompted to input your Product Key During Installation.

Instead of inputting a key Uncheck Automatically activate Windows when I’m online and select skip to initiate a 30 day trial.

Variant C: Retail “Full” License with Retail Full Installation Media

If using Retail media you’ll be prompted to input your Retail “Upgrade” Product Key and it’ll automatically activate when you are online.

Variant D: Retail “Upgrade” License with Retail Full Installation Media

If using Retail media you’ll be prompted to input your Retail “Upgrade” product key and in this screen the Product Key may not be accepted… Retail Upgrade keys were poorly designed; Microsoft only allowed them to be used to initiate an Upgrade Install from an older version of Windows e.g. Windows Vista or Windows XP or from a lesser Edition of Windows 7 e.g. Windows 7 Starter.

  • This was problematic for those that have an underlying Windows License e.g. a Windows Vista Business COA affixed to their system but lacked installation media. As Windows XP and Windows Vista are not downloadable officially they were left by Microsoft up the creek without a paddle.
  • Moreover a Upgrade (Double) Install always performs substantially worse than a Clean Install Install.

This Upgrade Only phenomenon was problematic if someone wanted to Clean Install or Replace a HDD/SSD.

To circumvent this issue instead of inputting a key Uncheck Automatically activate Windows when I’m online and select skip to initiate a 30 day trial.

Variant E: Commercial OEM with Commercial OEM Installation Media

If using Commercial OEM media you’ll be prompted to input your Commercial OEM product key and it’ll automatically activate when you are online.

Note: The Commercial OEM is for Minor system builders such as Local Computer Shops or manufacturers who make low volume specialised instruments such as Medical Devices or Scientific Instruments and sell on a Device with Windows preinstalled to their End customer. The OEM license is a middleman license where the OEM gets the license for cheaper and sells it to and supports the End User.

Variant F: Trial

Uncheck Automatically activate Windows when I’m online and select skip this will initiate a 30 day trial.

Part 8: End of Installation

You will then be asked about Windows Update settings its generally best to go with recommended.

Then select your time and date settings.

The next screen should be about connecting to the internet and/or connecting to a wireless network. In most cases Windows 7 won’t have the driver inbuilt for a UEFI system and this screen will not show. The setup will Finalise and restart taking you to the Windows Desktop.

Part 9: Install the Latest Security Updates

These updates should be copied onto your Windows 7 Bootable USB and installed in the order KB3020369, KB3125574 (restart), KB2639308, KB2670838, KB2729094, KB2834140 (restart) then IE11-Windows6.1 simply double click them and follow the on screen instructions to install them. Download links are below:

Windows 7 64 Bit

Service Stack and Convenience Rollup

A restart is required after installation of KB3125574.

Perquisite IE11 Updates

The Dell Skylake Reinstallation .iso includes IE11, the Microsoft Retail .iso doesn’t.

A restart is required after installation of KB2639308.


The Dell Skylake Reinstallation .iso includes IE11, the Microsoft Retail .iso doesn’t.

The Latest Security Rollup

A restart is required after this update.

When downloading sort by the latest date, use the latest (non-preview) Windows 7 for x64-based systems update only.

Microsoft .Net Framework

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials Latest Definition

Windows 7 32 Bit

Service Stack and Convenience Rollup

A restart is required after installation of KB3125574.

Perquisite IE11 Updates

The Dell Skylake Reinstallation .iso includes IE11, the Microsoft Retail .iso doesn’t.

A restart is required after installation of KB2639308.


The Dell Skylake Reinstallation .iso includes IE11, the Microsoft Retail .iso doesn’t.

The Latest Security Rollup

A restart is required after this update.

When downloading sort by the latest date, use the latest (non-preview) Windows 7 for x86-based systems update only.

Microsoft .Net Framework

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials Latest Definition

Part 10: Activation

If Activating with an OEM License you need the OEM Cert and Script collection which I put together:

Extract this folder, select your OEM, in my case Dell, select your Edition in my case Pro as I am using Windows 10 Pro Downgrade Rights and copy the OEM folder to the C:\Drive

Open the OEM folder on the C:\ Drive. Right click the slp.bat file

Select Run as Administrator:

Select Yes to Allow the Command Prompt to open:

The OEM Certificate will be installed. Select OK:

The generic OEM SLP key will be installed (dell use this key for every Dell shipped with Windows 7 Pro from factory). Press OK:

Press any key to continue. The Command Prompt will be closed:

Right click the start button and select Properties:

Windows will now be activated using OEM SLP, the product ID will contain OEM-899

If activating with a Retail Upgrade License or Commercial OEM License, you may get this if you try to input your key manually. We can also get around this by using the command prompt:


Press the Start Button and in the search box type in CMD.

Right click CMD.exe and select run as an administrator. This will open up the elevated command prompt accept any user account control prompt.


To input your product key type:

slmgr /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

Where xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx is your product key and then press Enter.


Select ok and then to activate type

slmgr /ato

This will activate your product.


Part 11: System Drivers

You should now look at installing your system drivers starting with the Dell System Software (if applicable for your system) and the Chipset drivers. See Driver Installation Order for more details.

If using a SSD Cache Drive be sure to set it up after driver installation following the instructions here.

Part 12: Security

You may have installed Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 above to give your system base system security. However Windows 7 isn’t as Secure as Windows 10 and you may want to install another security product then I recommend Malwarebytes’ AntiMalware. There is a free version which only does an on demand scan or a paid version which does Realtime Protection. Below is an affiliate link:

Malwarebytes for Home | Anti-Malware Premium | Free Trial Download


23 thoughts on “Windows 7 64 Bit Installation on a UEFI BIOS (Up to 6th Generation Intel Systems)

  1. I am a dell using costomer if any one help my problem my laptop inspiron 1545 i go to my restall my windows7 system he is not done my laptop is telling me boot manager is missing and i go in repair ways but not resolve and will chek my system setup utility cd or dvd disc is break and damage in bad condisition how i do my setup file in copy cd or dvd and iam a first time in dellsupport site we are confuse how i go my servicetags no is cdqm4bs so plz help me 10 days i am not use my laptop give me my download links

  2. I have a Latitude E6410 with Win 7 Home and I’m trying to upgrade to Win 7 Professional 64. The E6410 is running BIOS A16 and appears to have UEFI but no settings for secure boot. I’ve placed the iso on a USB stick and that appears in the boot list when UEFI is enabled. It loads the installation files from USB no problem but then hangs at the Starting Windows screen. This is exactly what it does with a DVD install. I was hoping that the USB install would work but no luck. Any ideas …?

  3. Helo?
    Sir my system Dell GX520 is not install for sound driver in windows7 64bit.plece help me.

  4. ‘Often the network drivers are needed to be installed’ – thats indeed a problem after my clean install…apparently cant update windows without the internet connection. the network drivers are on the Dell installation drivers&utilities cd, however, when i’ve nstalled them my laptop still fails to locate any wifi connections. is it the problem be with the wifi driver (dell wireless 1702 802.11 b/g/n..?) – i even downloaded the latest version of it from the dell website yet it still says ‘no connections are available’. any advice, Philip?

    1. oh yes finally success – there were no Wireless fact, one of the oldest network drivers worked (not the most recent one!). the dell site drives me crazy – too many drivers available for my service tag and not all of them work, so one only finds out ‘by trial and error’.

      1. Thank, you very much, super—- but: WIN7-32 doen’t handle USB 3.0

        I’d like to have a clean install on a E7470 Latitude, but after WIN7 boot process started USB 3.0 makes it impossible to go on.

        Thank you for help

  5. Many thanks for the great work you do here. It is extremely helpful. I really appreciate what you do here Philip. I can see how bad the Dell support is according to the things I have learned here. I bought a Dell Inspiron 15 5559 i5-6200u laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed couple of days ago. I installed windows 7 following your guide here, adjusting the BIOS as you instructed here, from a bootable DVD I already had. It is not downloaded from links of this site (the .iso). I cannot remember where I downloaded that ISO exactly. I had it for some time with me. That ISO contains this file name “en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_677332”. I can remember that the site where I downloaded it say it is an untouched iso.

    So I installed windows from the dvd and skipped the activation part & the windows got installed without any problem. But when I tried to activate windows with Windows Loader by Daz v2.2.1 & v2.2.2 both gave me messages that keys have been successfully installed and to restart. When I restart windows comes to the loading point and crashes giving a blue screen. I re-installed windows from the same dvd & also tried to activate with the ABR Program. Even though the command prompt looked like it did the trick, after restart windows is still not activated. Tried to activate 2-3 times. No fruition. Activate period only 3 days remaining. Thank god the ABR program did not crash windows.

    Question 1 – Will I be able to activate this installation? The installed windows gives the product ID “00426-OEM-8992662-00400”.

    Since the above installation failed to activate I have downloaded “Dell Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit SP1 USB3.0 OEM Reinstallation.iso” you have provided in another guide on this site. Now I have a windows 7 usb 3.0 ISO & a usb 3.0 pendrive.

    Question 2 – Will i be able to create the windows 7 bootable usb 3.0 drive, using a desktop computer which only has usb 2.0 ports?

    Question 3 – Provided that I am able to create the bootable usb 3.0 drive from Dell ISO, using a usb 2.0 computer, will i be able to activate windows from the ABR Program?

    You have mentioned in another guide that some people download the ISO’s with less capacity. Example: if the ISO should be 4.3GB, the downloaded ISO is only 4.1GB. Yo have mentioned that this is not the full ISO’s and some parts missing in those ISO’s with less capacity.

    Question 4 – “Dell Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit SP1 USB3.0 OEM Reinstallation.iso” you have given in another guide on this site, according to you, have 5.4GB. But what I downloaded is only 5.23GB. Is there an issue in the capacity of the ISO here?

    Thank you for your help.

    1. The Dell Windows 7 OEM System Locked Preinstallation from a Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD or ABR program will not work on your Dell as the system is not shipped with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1/10 Pro. The UEFI BIOS therefore doesn’t contain the markers and won’t activate.

      The USB can be made on a computer with USB 2.0 ports.

      The Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium and Professional .iso are 5.23 GB.

      1. The .isos don’t have USB 3.0 added despite the names. The WinImage program did something different than expected (essentially copying the DVD to a .iso again opposed to the USB). They are however all the correct Editions.

  6. Philip – thanks for all you do. I have a Dell Latitude E6410 – the hard drive died and has been replaced, but I am having trouble loading Windows 7 or 10 64 bit on the new hard drive. I obviously do not have recovery from the dead drive. BIOS is A16 (Legacy), SLIC 2.1, SMBIOS 2.6, and there is a product key for Windows 7 on the back and I understand from your site that Dell employed a general Windows 7 license beginning with 32KD2. When I try to load Windows 7 or 10 (USB or DVD), I see the Windows logo but then nothing happens – no circle of dots below, nothing. Any ideas? Do I need to slipstream drivers or something?

      1. Hi, Philip. I’m performing a clean installation of Windows 7 64-bit on a laptop running SMBIOS 2.6. I believe it has UEFI functionality since I entered the BIOS and found a place where I could enable or disable UEFI support. I’m also installing a brand new SSD. I’ve been following your instructions dutifully. I created a USB installer with Rufus and selected GPT for the partition scheme. I’m at the “Where do you want to install Windows?” screen, and it lists two partition types: “MSR (Reserved)” and “Primary.” When I highlight the MSR partition and click delete, a warning tells me that it “might contain recovery files, system files, or important software from your computer manufacture.” I don’t understand how a brand new SSD could have any of this. I did some research on the MSR partition, but still feel unsure of what to do. What would you advise? Should I leave the partition alone or should I delete it?

      2. It sounds like its a used SSD (check that you don’t have multiple drives). You should delete all partitions on it.

      3. Hi, Philip. Thanks for your help and the prompt reply. I deleted the partitions as you suggested and continued with the installation. Everything went smoothly. After installation, I booted from the USB again and proceeded to the partition screen to see how things would appear. I had three partitions: System, MSR (Reserved), and Primary. So everything seems normal. All I can think is that I must have begun a clean installation a year ago but never finished for some reason. (I have kept the SSD in its original packaging but it’s clear that I had opened it at some point.)

        I have a question about Part 9: “Install the Latest Security Rollup.” I skipped this step because, I assume, the WSUS updates contain these essential updates. Am I correct?

  7. i am dell 3470 8th generation windows 7 installing but key board mouse not working pl z help proceed in windows 7 installing guide

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