[Solved] Windows 7 Install Disc Freezes on “Starting Windows”

I’m working with a Gateway DX4860-UR308 that has Windows 8 installed. The customer wants Windows 7 installed, so I inserted the Windows 7 disc as usual and waited for it to load. I got an error that it couldn’t boot to the disc because of secure boot. With the Windows 8 PCs, you have to go into BIOS and make sure that “Secure Boot” is turned off.

I try it again, but now the system freezes while the “Starting Windows” splash screen is up, right after the “Loading files” screen. The Windows logo animation even stops midway and I’m forced to shut down the computer.

A lot of times this is caused by a driver issue, so unplugging unnecessary USB devices and other peripherals can sometimes remedy the issue. I ended up disabling USB ports, LAN, and audio within the BIOS settings, still to no avail. I also tried changing the SATA controller from AHCI to IDE.

The problem ended up being a little setting in BIOS called CSM. (located under the boot tab). I was busy disabling everything I could so the computer would be compatible with Windows 7, but actually CSM needs to be ENABLED. After enabling CSM, I was able to boot from the Windows 7 disc and install the operating system as normal.