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How to reinstall windows on this specific laptop

Here's an interesting one

hp pavilion 11-n010dx (F9J18UAU#ABA)

had windows 8 installed... total hard drive crash.  this eliminates the hp recovery partition, windows system restore, and things like that.

new hard drive installed - don't want windows 8 or 10, so using a retail windows 7 install dvd thru a usb cd drive.

have disabled UEFI bios settings, enabled legacy.  

i'm able to boot to the windows 7 dvd no problem.

however, no hard drive is detected.  obviously i need the "F6" setup driver for this chipset or sata port.
however, connecting an external hard drive at startup, with what i assume are the proper drivers, i can't see the hard drive in a list to browse to.  so i guess i need the USB chipset drivers in order to see the drive that has the sata drivers??

note:  the external hard drive, and the external dvd drive are both seen by bios at the F9 boot options... it is windows 7 setup that doesn't see the external hard drive (or internal hard drive for that matter)

So - my question is, what course of action to take to install windows 7 on this device?
(official support for this os on this device aside)
HardwareLaptops NotebooksWindows 7

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8/22/2022 - Mon
Ashok Dewan

go to BIOS and search for internal HARD DRIVE option which might be set to AHCI.

If it is set to AHCI then change it to IDE, check it works or not

Thanks, and i follow what you're saying, but sadly there is no option in this bios

main:  time/date/log
security:  passwords (disabled)
system config:
    virtualization technology (nx bit)
    fan always on (en/dis)
    action keys mode:  enabled
    intel smart connect tech (disabled - "auto download updates when certain apps active")
    boot options:
             post delay:  5 secs
             cd-rom boot: enabled
             internal network boot: disabled
             legacy support: enabled
             secure boot: disabled
             uefi boot order: irrelevant
             legacy boot order:  usb disk, usb cd, hdd
exit:  saving, discarding, defaults

No, don't change to IDE mode. AHCI is better. Visit the laptop's support section on the HP site and download the Disk controller's driver (or if there is none, it should be part of the chipset drivers). Then you may have to extract the drivers to a USB stick (it may be within a zip file or exe file, in which case you'd have to run the exe on another PC, which extracts the files within it to a folder on your HD).

Once you've done that and you have started the Install DVD and you get to the section where you tell the system where the OS should get installed, just click on load driver, then navigate to your USB stick to the driver and load it. After that select refresh and the disk should show up. If it doesn't you selected the wrong driver, so try another.

Windows 7 64 bit should be installable in UEFI mode, so you shouldn't need to select "Legacy".
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Ashok Dewan

Once in Windows setup, hit shift+F10 to bring up the command line. Do following command
>diskpart [enter]
>list disk [enter]

Let me know if it shows disks

rindi:  "then navigate to your USB stick"
as stated in the original post, "browse" doesn't list any usb sticks or usb hard drives (only browses the install dvd)

ashok:  great idea, will post back shortly
David Johnson, CD

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david:  i haven't seen a laptop with a floppy in 10 years but, hooking up a usb floppy drive was also not detected by setup (was detected by bios)

your idea of making a custom installer dvd with the drivers slipstreamed in is technically sound, but which drivers exactly?  this is the long way around but i am confident it will work, so for future readers i'll probably mark that as the answer unless something better comes along shortly
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AHCI is vital.  Go to the HP site and see if there are Win8 drivers (AND A NECESSARY BIOS UPDATE) for that laptop.  Put them on a USB stick and load them when the installer asks you if you have any new drivers.

P.S. My answer assumes that you know for a fact that the HDD isn't now bad.  If you don't know, then run some HDD diagnostics.

Also if the HDD is > 2TB and/or it is advanced format (4KB byte blocks vs 512 byte blocks), then it may never work as it is probably not supported by your motherboard, or drivers for the HP.

dleth:  500gb hard drive out of shrinkwrap, i guess anything's possible but a windows 8 installer dvd sees it just fine.   as i said originally, i can't browse to any other storage media during the windows installer (it only sees the X:\ dvd itself)
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

I've just checked online at HP and they don't seem to offer any drivers below W8.1 for that laptop. So you may be stuck with Windows 8.1 or 10

You could maybe also go to the intel site and look there for Windows 7 drivers, but I don't know which intel chipset or SATA drivers it is using. That you should be able to find out by booting it to a Linux LiveDVD like PCRepix and then start the "Profiler" utility which is included on it's desktop. It should show you the hardware it uses. With that info you can then check the intel site for the drivers.:


If the installer can't see your USB stick, make sure it is connected to a USB2 port and not USB3, or check your BIOS whether you can change the USB port's settings.

You could also add the drivers to the DVD. A good tool to integrate drivers to Windows 7 DVD's is nliteos:


It looks like their main site is currently down, so you may have to download the tool from the softonic site.

The installer dvd just does an inquiry and reads capacity, you could have all sorts of problems with the disk and won't know until after you try to boot it.

Personally, i would never go to the effort of installing a HDD w/o running diagnostics (and all-night burn-in).  Vast majority of disks that will fail, will do so in first 24-48 hours of use.

There are absolutely differences in the drivers between Win7 and Win8.   Trying to fool it by using the old drivers puts your data at risk.

Don't do it.  Run a supported O/S or kiss your data goodbye.
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hook the drive to a working pc  and initialise it
then connect it to the system for install -  should work

IF THE DRIVE IS SEEN IN THE BIOS - (you test if the drive is ok during initialise)

Ultimately this was the correct way forward... custom installer for windows 7 with the correct drivers slipstreamed in there