PCs with Skylake CPUs cannot be installed with Windows 7 via a Windows CD because of lacking driver support. Intel has removed support for EHCI (USB 2.0) from the chipset of these platforms and only supports the new xHCI standard (USB 3.0). Since the drivers for xHCI are nonexistent in the installation media of Windows 7, the USB ports cannot be addressed.
What’s xHCI and EHCI?
xHCI (eXtensible Host Controller Interface) is the specification of the new USB 3.0 port and thus the successor of EHCI (enhanced Host Controller Interface), that defines the USB 2.0 standard. The xHCI module is located on the mainboard and controls the USB ports (3.0 and 2.0). Now, if the drivers for xHCI are missing – as when installing Windows 7 – the USB ports do not work at all (including USB 2.0). Consequently, mouse and keyboard that are connected through USB cannot be operated.
Extended support period
Originally Microsoft has limited the support period (supply of updates and security patches) for Windows 7 on Skylake systems to 2017. According to a recent announcement, it has now been extended until the end of 2020.
Windows 7 for spo-comm Mini-PCs with Skylake platform
spo-comm has found a solution for these difficulties and provides its Skylake systems with pre-installed Windows 7 Professional 64-bit as well as Windows Embedded on request. With each delivery we enclose a USB recovery medium for any necessary reinstallation (Recovery process of a system takes 5-10 minutes).