Do not install Windows 7 via USB 3
I had the new SSD in and my handy dandy USB thumb drive with the Windows 7 install. As soon as I started up the Windows 7 install, it complained about needing drivers to to continue — problematic. I presumed the issue was with my new SSD so I started looking high and low for drivers and information. A number of posts suggest changing the BIOS from “AHCI” to “Legacy”, which didn’t help. I downloaded about a half dozen different drivers from Intel without any luck.
What was the real issue? I was plugging my handy dandy USB drive… into the USB 3.0 port (The Lenovo X220 has 3 USB ports: Blue = USB 3.0, Black = Normal. Yellow = Always on power) and Windows 7 doesn’t have drivers built-in for that. So even though the X220 can boot off the USB 3 port, and the Windows setup can launch… Windows setup cannot actually read from the drive. Swapped the USB drive to a new port and away I went.
Easy… just took me 4 hours of tinkering to figure out… sigh.