After I replaced the hard drive of my laptop with a faster Solid State Drive two days ago, I had to install an operating system on the device as the disk was empty.
I picked Windows 7 at first, downloaded the ISO image from Technet, used Microsoft's Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to copy it to an 8 Gigabyte USB Flash Drive and started the installation afterwards by simply plugging the drive into one of the computer's USB ports.
Everything went fine for a while, but eventually I would run into a driver issue. Windows was telling me that a driver was missing, and that it could not find the driver on its own.
What made this particularly interesting was that there was no indication of what kind of driver the operating system was expecting.
Well, that is not entirely correct, as it told me that a CD/DVD device driver was missing. Since the laptop did not ship with an optical drive, it did not made a whole lot of sense though.
The issue was quite puzzling at first, and I went to Lenovo's website to download drivers and updates for the device as I hoped that they would contain the necessary drivers to fix the issue.
The page listed lots of drivers, and before I started to copy them all to the Flash drive, I decided to investigate another possible solution.
Then I remembered that the Thinkpad E145 had two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port. The Flash drive was plugged in one of the USB 3.0 ports, and maybe Windows was having issues because of it.
I connected the Flash drive to the USB 2.0 port on the device instead and ran the installation again. The drive was formatted again, data was copied, and the "Select the driver to be installed" message did not appear at all.
Could it really have been that simple?
Grabbing USB 3.0 drivers for the PC from the Lenovo website should fix the issue as well, as Windows 7 apparently ships without USB 3.0 driver support.
So, if you want to install Windows 7 on a device without USB 2.0 port, you need to pick up the drivers from the manufacturer of the device to continue with the installation.
There are other solutions that users have posted over the years, for instance to add USB 3.0 drivers to the installation files, which can be useful if you use the copy to install Windows 7 regularly on other devices.
What about Windows 8?
I decided to test Windows 8 to see if it would throw the error as well. Did download Windows 8.1 Pro from Technet, used the same Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to copy it to the Flash drive to install it on the laptop.
Turns out that Windows 8 has the exact same issue that Windows 7 has. The operating system displayed the select the driver to be installed notification during installation from an USB 3.0 port, while the setup ran through without issues when the drive was connected to an USB 2.0 port.
You can alternatively load the USB driver by downloading it from the manufacturer's website so that Windows can load it.