So the problem is the motherboard, and it only freezes out 32-bit Windows 7? I’m not sure why that might be, but I have two guesses:
- The motherboard maps memory address space for certain devices embedded on the board above the 4GB range, which 32-bit OSes typically can’t use. There’s a technique to get around this to a degree called PAE (Physical Address Extension), but I know it has some limitations, so that might not solve this problem. I haven’t looked into that mechanism extensively.
- The motherboard will only boot in UEFI mode, which 32-bit Windows 7 can’t do (and even 64-bit Windows 7 can’t do without allowing Legacy Option ROMs). This seems a highly unlikely limitation at this point though.
Unfortunately there’s no in-place upgrade path from 32-bit to 64-bit for any Windows OS. On the bright side, you’ll now be able to use more than 4GB of memory! And actually, even if this HAD worked, unless your Windows 7 license came from a retail purchase, you might have faced problems getting Windows to activate again on your new hardware. Retail licenses are transferable to new PCs, but OEM licenses are explicitly not transferable, and since you can’t buy new Windows 7 licenses anymore, you could have been stuck in that case.
OK, so not being one to back off from a challenge ...
I was in fact able to install windows 7 32-bit on the new hardware.
The only driver which I cannot find is for the USB3.1 controllers - not surprising.
I prepared a PE 3.1 disc in that new environment and went through the usual steps
What I now know from booting in safe mode and watching the drivers load,
is that Redeploy has in fact doing a fine job - all along windows has been "starting", but ...
actual startup is being prevented by some unknown driver - I'd put money on ATI video drivers.
Sadly this board/cpu combo does not support on-board graphics so I can only test with a discrete graphics card
(I guess I could try another card ...)
I even went as far as copying the entire system32/drivers directory from the new, good win 7 install to the old, bad one
- still the same blue screen
Windows booting in safe mode shows the drivers that have already been installed, but not the one that is just about to be installed
and is preventing the system from starting.
So I have no idea which one it is - and the minidump option is apparently switched off
Anyway this is all just for entertainment now as I have windows 10 all set up and tweaked as I like it
It is a great OS (once all the privacy holes are blocked)!