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Solved!

Installing Windows 7 Embedded on new Z4 G4 Xeon Workstation

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HP Z4 G4
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hi everyone,

 

I have a brand new Z4 G4 workstation and have been trying to install Windows 7 for embedded systems on the workstation so it can run some important legacy software that won't work properly on later versions of Windows.

 

The problem I have run into is obviously with the USB 3.0 drivers and Windows 7 and the fact this workstation does not have any USB 2.0 ports or USB 2.0 compatibility options in the BIOS(that I can see). When I boot into the Windows 7 installation screen and using a PS/2 keyboard and mouse, I get the "A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver’s floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now." message. 

 

I have tied injecting both USB drivers and chipset drivers into the USB ISO installation media using DISM and other tools which do the same thing with no luck. I have tried using CDs, DVDs, and different configurations of USBs containing the installation media and drivers alike. No luck at all. There are also no USB 3.0 drivers provided for this workstations that I can see on the HP drivers and support page.

 

Is it possible to install Windows 7 on this workstation because I have exhausted all of the options that I can think of?

 

Any advice you could offer on this will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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I came up against this during clean installs of W7Pro64 in some of our Z620 workstations.  Some of their new optical drives did not have compatibility with the available optical drive drivers present on the W7 installer optical disc.  Remember that most if not all of the optical drives in these G4 workstations did not exist back in W7 days. The solution was in my hoard of older parts.  I found a number of old SATA optical drives (5.25" form factor) that were compatible with the drivers present on our W7 installer media.  You can get an external power supply to supply an old bare SATA optical drive, and connect its SATA output to the SATA bus with a spare SATA cable, and test different ones out.  I have kept a stash of several "known-good" optical drives that I've used this way when I hit a roadblock.  This has been handy to know, and once you get the initial W7 install done it is nice to make an image of it for cloning from later.  Updating W7 these days.... that is another post.

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May I add... a discovery I made for our legacy software that saved us several $100k USD expense might also work for you.  It was that the legacy software ran fine if a default-on W10 "feature" was simply turned off.  Turning off Hibernate and Fast Startup in W10 was the key, and simple.  I can fill you in more if needed.  it is worth a try...

 

We use expensive monitors that are calibrated and controlled by software that runs well under W7Pro64 which we really can't use now for security reasons.  And... that software was crashing under W10Pro64.  By turning off "Fast Startup" in W10 it now works normally and kept us from having to replace all of those monitors.

 

Set Hibernate to off and Turn on fast startup to off.jpg

 

 

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the z4 G4 was designed well after the end of windows support by both microsoft and intel, as such you cannot run legacy OS's directly on this workstation

 

please look at VMware Workstation  or oracle's  Virtualbox for alternative solutions using a virtual solution

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A few months back I installed Windows 7 on my friends Z4 G4 workstation and I do remember it being a bit of a real pain. One step forward, two steps backwards rings to mind. You will need a proper PS/2 keyboard - no USB adapters. I followed this post to add the necessary Z4 W7 drivers to a W7 installation DVD. 

HP Z620 - Liquid Cooled E5-1680v2 @4.7GHz / 64GB Hynix PC3-14900R 1866MHz / GTX1080Ti FE 11GB / Quadro P2000 5GB / Samsung 256GB PCIe M.2 256GB AHCI / Passmark 9.0 Rating = 7147 / CPU 17461 / 2D 1019 / 3D 14464 / Mem 3153 / Disk 15451 / Single Threaded 2551
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Thanks everyone for your help, it is very much appreciated. We have decided to try and get the software to work with Windows 10 instead of trying to get Windows 7 on the machine. No point trying to fight off the inevitable any longer!

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