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Windows 7 on N36 (an ongoing journey)

xaml

New Member
Figured I would start a new thread as I make my attempt to get Windows 7 running on my N36.

Windows 7 Installation

You will need the following to get Windows 7 initially set up on the device

1. Windows 7 ISO file, 64 bit
Many of the drivers only come in 64 bit flavors so a 64 bit Windows 7 install should be used.

2. A bootabe Windows 7 USB stick with USB 3.0 Drivers slipstreamed in
The Windows 7 installer will not recognize a USB Keyboard or Mouse installed and the device has no PS/2 ports, so you can't get past the "Pick a language" screen. You need to add the USB 3.0 drivers to a Windows 7 iso file. There are plenty of tutorials on this out there, I used the MSI SmartTool to do it, you just point to your Windows 7 ISO, run the tool, and you get a new ISO with the driver in it, and the Windows 7 installer will now see your keyboard and mouse.

After the tool is done and you have your new ISO, use Rufus to make a bootable USB stick. I did mine in MBR mode and set the BIOS of the N36 to Legacy mode, I'm assuming you could also make a bootable USB stick in UEFI mode and set the N36 boot mode to UEFI and it would work also.

3. A 2.5 inch SATA drive
The N36 has an eMMC drive, and despite trying about a dozen different drivers from all over with both 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 7, I was never able to get the installer to see the drive. There may be a driver out there that works, but so far I haven't found one. However, if you pop open the top of the device, there is a SATA connector cable just sitting right there. I plugged an old 2.5 inch SATA laptop HDD into it, and the Windows 7 installer sees it out of the box. The underside of the top of the lid even has a mounting area for the drive with standoffs and screw holes so it was clearly designed to hold a drive. I will be continuing the rest of this effort with an SATA drive, I may revisit trying to get the eMMC drive recognized by the installer in the future

To install the SATA drive, you need to pull out the black mesh screen that the cable is sitting on, it is attached to the motherboard with some adhesive and will pop right off. Once it is off you will see 5 foam standoffs glued to the screen. There is one right in the middle of the screen, you need to pull that off. You will also see the CMOS battery near the center of the board, you need to pry this off (it is attached with light adhesive) and move it over to where the VGA connector is. This will create enough clearance for the top of the device to sit flush with a SATA drive installed. Be careful with the little clips around the edge of the top of the case they are flimsy plastic, I broke one of mine by accident.

With a 2.5 inch SATA Drive installed and the USB stick plugged in, boot the device, and hit the Del key to get to the BIOS setup. Make sure your Boot mode is set to Legacy if you created a MBR USB Stick in step 2, or UEFI if you made a UEFI stick in step 2 (I used MBR and Legacy). Make sure the USB stick is set as first in the boot order. Reboot and you should get a Windows 7 installer, with keyboard and mouse control, and a recognized SATA drive. Continue to install Windows 7.

Picture of SATA drive installed
IMG_20210120_110745.jpg

Windows 7 installed and running
IMG_20210120_110917.jpg
 
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xaml

New Member
Step 2: Config and Setup

The current version of Simplix installs fine, and all updates are applied

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/87740/intel-nuc-kit-nuc5ppyh contains a list of drivers. I can confirm the following are working:

Wifi - https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27215/Intel-Wireless-Technology-Based-Driver-for-Windows-7-for-Intel-NUC
Video - https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26746/Intel-HD-Graphics-Driver-for-Windows-7-8-1-for-NUC5CPYH-NUC5PPYH
Ethernet - https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/24890/Realtek-Gigabit-Ethernet-Network-Driver-for-Windows-7-for-NUC5CPYH-NUC5PPYH

Which, when installed, result in a usable Windows 7 build. You will have Video Drivers, Wifi, and ethernet in a fully updated Windows 7 system.

Additional Drivers
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/24892/Intel-Trusted-Execution-Engine-Intel-TXE-Driver-for-NUC5CPYH-NUC5PPYH-NUC5PGYH is confirmed to work, it installs and correctly identifies a previous "Unknown" item from Device Manager

Chipset Drivers - This is a process. Here is what I did and it seems to be mostly working

Step 1: Download packages
You need the old versions of the Chipset Drivers: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26330/Intel-Chipset-Device-Software-for-Legacy-Intel-NUC
And the Processor IO drivers: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26660/Intel-Processor-I-O-Controller-Driver-for-Windows-7-for-Intel-NUC

Step 2: Installs
Run the Chipset Installer. This will add names to all your unknown items in Device Manager. It won't actually install the drivers
Run the Processor IO installer. It will create a folder under C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel Processor Win7 IO Drivers 64Bit with a bunch of folders in it.
Extract the Chipset Drivers: open a command prompt, navigate to the folder with the Chipset installer, and run the command SetupChipset -extract c:\ChipsetDrivers

Step 3: Device Manager
Open Device manager and you should see a bunch of items with yellow exclamation marks, but they have names. Right click and choose Update Driver, Browse my computer for driver software, Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer, Next, Have Disk, then Browse to C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel Processor Win7 IO Drivers 64Bit. You should be able to match up the driver needed with the folder name (GPIO drivers are in iaiogpio, I2C drivers are in iaioi2c, etc)

That will install a bunch of things and move them to System Devices. However some of the items in System Devices wil have yellow checkmarks on them saying they cannot start. Right click on those, choose update driver, and navigate to c:\ChipsetDrivers\braswell. Choose the inf file in there and click yes to install. You should have 4 or 5 of these to go through. That should get the chipset stuff all working (or at least identified)


At this point you should have 2 items listed as "Unknown Device". Right click the top one and choose Update Driver, Browse my computer for driver software, Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer, Next, Have Disk, then Browse to C:\Program Files\Intel\PowerSharingManager\Drivers. Pick the top INF file, and when the Driver selector comes up pick the Intel Power Sharing Manager. The driver should install.

That leaves us with one Unknown Device in Device Manager, I will update if I figure out what it is.
 
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