Windows 7 installation walkthrough
Myth 1 ?€˜you cannot install windows 7 on ryzen or an m.2 ssd.?€™myth 2 ?€˜you cannot run the windows usb installation tool from another win7 machine, use 8 or 10.?€™my win7 install was to be on the gigabyte ga-ab350 gaming 3, ryzen 5 1600, and samsung 960 evo 500gb. The windows usb installation tool would not run for what i now know was several reasons.As someone who struggled with this as well in several stages, but appear to have siphoned the best practices from the interwebs as a couple of additions, it's all i can do to help others save their time. I plan on posting this on the 3 related items since i was unable to post on the blog that helped me along the way.Before we begin, 2 important items for those pulling their hair out or unsure if they can succeed with what they have available.Ensure you have updated your bios to the latest version. In my case, it was f22. It shipped with as well, ensure your new ssd is the only storage device attached to the board.1. Obtain your .Iso of windows 7 from ms's download page if you have not already.2. Format your flash drive as fat32 and mount the iso image to the drive using the windows usb/dvd download tool, as well a ms download. The drive is now bootable but needs to be tweaked with the new usb drivers.3. Obtain the windows usb installation tool from gigabyte or potentially other mfrs. Do not unzip it yet.4.**important** while the .Zip file is still an un-extracted .Zip file, right-click it, properties, and unblock it. This will prevent you from spending a long time unblocking individual files later.5. **important** extract the .Zip file to a very short directory name such as the root of a drive as many have suggested (thank you).6. Run the windows usb installation tool and it will take 8-12 minutes if everything is going well. If any issues, run the tool as an administrator.7. After completion, add any other storage drivers to the flash drive you might need during installation, i.E. Nvme below. No particular path or steps, you can browse to them.8. Safely remove your flash drive and use it in one of the usb 2.0 ports at the top of your new board.9. Power on, f12 for boot menu, install windows 7, hopefully :) and be quite pleased you can use your os you own outright and is still "supported".A note from step 7: google 'howto install windows 7 on a samsung ssd 960 pro (m2)' for assistance extracting the newest driver from the samsung split (that requires the drive to already be installed to run). I did not attempt installation using the nvme driver that was included in the windows usb installation tool, as it was an earlier version and i was not definite of 960 evo compatibility. Once the files were extracted to c:/program files/samsung, i just added them to the flash drive and pointed to them during windows installation.