UEFI Support in Windows 7?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by W, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. W

    W Guest

    Does Windows 7 support the need UEFI replacement for BIOS? If yes, does
    this require 64-bit Windows 7? Does it require the system partition and
    boot partition to both be on a GPT disk?

    I have a Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit boot partition working on an old Dell
    computer. That computer's BIOS says nothing about UEFI. When I try to
    copy over the image of the system partition and boot partition to a a Dell
    T7600 system - which DOES offer UEFI boot devices as an option - and try to
    boot in legacy mode, I get a message that I am trying to boot a UEFI device
    in legacy mode. Unfortunately, that device does NOT show up in the list of
    boot devices. When I select the device 0 on the boot controller, I get a
    message that the partition cannot be booted (without any details).

    If I go into the Dell T7600 setup and configure it to use UEFI, that is more
    confusion. If I try to add a UEFI device, it tells me "No file system".
    If I simply enable UEFI without adding a boot device, it finds nothing on
    startup.

    So at the end of the day, I have an exact image copy of a bootable WIndows 7
    64-bit OS, and I cannot get it to boot in either legacy mode or in UEFI
    mode. Since I have no experience with UEFI, I am just lost here.

    P.S., I was copying over the Windows disk image just to bootstrap install
    process, and I was going to relicense the OS once it booted.
     
    W, Feb 12, 2014
    #1
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  2. You should be able to find a fair amount of specifics on Win7 and UEFI
    in the following articles

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744301(WS.10).aspx

    https://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore...talling-windows-7-on-uefi-based-computer.aspx

    http://www.sevenforums.com/installation-setup/239905-installing-windows-7-new-uefi-motherboard.html

    Afaik....you need to boot the Win7 DVD in UEFI mode to install Win7 in
    UEFI mode in order for it to run. As long as your system supports UEFI
    the installation will handle the required partitioning as noted in the
    first article (technet.../library/..)above.
     
    ...winston‫, Feb 12, 2014
    #2
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  3. W

    W Guest

    I guess if we are going to bother with UEFI at all we should probably just
    use Windows 8 64-bit, since that has much better support for UEFI,
    particularly at run-time?

    Back to my original question, what is the correct procedure for copying over
    a Windows 7 mirror disk image to a new machine? You copy the 100 MB system
    partition and then the boot partition, on an MBR disk, and then mark the
    system partition as Active?

    The above is what I am doing and the new system refuses to see this as a
    bootable disk. It's not that it starts booting and fails to load some
    essential driver. It's that it never starts to boot at all, and refuses to
    see the disk as a bootable disk.

    I can't get that partition seen by the one-time boot menu as a UEFI boot
    disk. But when I boot in legacy mode the system complains that this is a
    UEFI disk.

    The UEFI features in my Dell T7600 UEFI / BIOS are horrific. It looks like
    some kind of engineering experiment, far far far from being mature or usable
    software. I don't understand at this point how to get the new system to
    see the old install.
     
    W, Feb 12, 2014
    #3
  4. W

    Dominique Guest

    Since those are Dell computers which usually have preinstalled Windows(OEM)
    tied to BIOS, I would be very surprised if the original system image worked
    on the new Dell unless they were identical which is isn't the case.
     
    Dominique, Feb 12, 2014
    #4
  5. W

    Ben Myers Guest

    FWIW, I have installed Windows 7, both X64 and X32, in systems without UEFI..

    I also got hands on with a Dell Inspiron with Windows 8.1, and set up with UEFI. If you push the F12 key, you also get an option to revert back to a legacy BIOS, which I needed to do to use my software to remove the login password. Once set back to the legacy BIOS, the system will not boot properly unless you push F12 and select the drive formatted per the UEFI standard.

    I hope this addresses your concerns... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Feb 13, 2014
    #5
  6. W

    W Guest

    I'm asking a much more general question: how does Windows 7 see a boot
    device, and how do you transfer a disk image from one computer to another so
    that the new computer will at least *TRY* to boot from the system.

    I agree the device drivers probably won't match up. You probably would need
    to insert some new device drivers during the startup process to just avoid a
    blue screen. That's not the problem I'm trying to solve now.

    And in my current situation I am trying to use a retail license - not OEM -
    on both source and target systems. People use disk images to install a
    base layer of OS and applications all the time. It can be done legally.
     
    W, Feb 13, 2014
    #6
  7. 64 bit o/s is required
    Install using a 64 bit Win7 DVD if UEFI mode is your end objective.

    If its an OEM image, its tied to the Bios of the original machine.
     
    ...winston‫, Feb 13, 2014
    #7
  8. W

    Dominique Guest

    I wasn't talking about legality. These machine usually have OS tied to
    BIOS. Since yours is retail it's not tied to BIOS so it might work.

    In the XP days if you wanted to go from IDE to AHCI, it needed severe
    hacks if you didn't want to reinstall; maybe it's a similar process to go
    UEFI, I don't know.
     
    Dominique, Feb 13, 2014
    #8
  9. W

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Yes, of course, there no real difference between the UEFI BIOS and the
    regular BIOS, except support for larger hard disks and a few other
    things. UEFI maintains a compatibility layer with BIOS. The UEFI BIOS is
    what loads the OS, not the other way around, so you should conceivably
    be able to load up an ancient DOS disk through UEFI.

    I have just recently done such a conversion. I went from a motheboard
    with a traditional BIOS (Asus M4A785-M) to one with a UEFI BIOS
    (Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5). Didn't have to reinstall the OS or anything.
    Didn't have to change the disks over to the GPT partition either,
    everything remained on MBR. Now I did also recently buy a 3TB drive
    which requires GPT partitions to work, but I'm not booting from it
    though, it's just a standard data disk.
    Yeah, if you want to boot from a disk formatted with GPT partitions,
    then the steps for making it bootable is more involved. Here's the
    solution here:

    How to establish and boot to GPT mirrors on 64-bit Windows
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/814070/en-us

    Yousuf Khan
     
    Yousuf Khan, Feb 14, 2014
    #9
  10. W

    W Guest

    Thanks for information here. The support article is about how to create a
    GPT boot mirror. That's not my issue.

    My problem is I have an MBR disk with a bootable Windows 7 64-bit OS on it.
    I take that disk and image copy the System Partition and the Boot Partition
    to a new device. I mark System Partition as Active. When I attempt to
    boot that from the new computer, it fails to see a bootable partition. I
    just don't get it. I would totally understand it starting to boot and
    then failing on some device driver mismatch. That's not this case. It
    never starts to boot. It refuses to see the device as a valid boot image,
    no matter whether I start in BIOS or UEFI modes.
     
    W, Feb 20, 2014
    #10
  11. W

    Todd Guest


    Try cloning the *whole thing* (disk to disk) with CloneZilla.
    Then see what you get and change things as desired. The
    new disk need to be the same size or larger than the original.
    (There are way around that if need be.)

    http://www.clonezilla.org/
     
    Todd, Feb 20, 2014
    #11
  12. W

    W Guest

    Cloning the whole disk works. Although I don't understand why the target
    needs to be larger. Using Acronis Disk Director to do the copy, if the
    target is smaller it insists on changing the sizes of the partitions.
    Since the Microsoft System Partition needs to be exactly 100 GB that isn't
    desirable. I ended up copying the disk, allowing the resizing, then:

    1) Resizing System Partition to 100 GB
    2) Moving the actual boot partition to end of the System Partition
    3) Shrinking down the boot partition

    I don't understand why a disk cloning tool couldn't just copy the real
    partitions to a smaller device, as long as the smaller device has room for
    those partitions (mine did).

    The resulting layout appears to boot. I did have to perform the trick of
    getting into the registry of that system and removing the MountedDevices
    entry for C:\ in order for the new boot drive to be assigned drive letter
    C:.
     
    W, Apr 26, 2014
    #12
  13. W

    Ben Myers Guest

    Some cloning software adjusts to the differing hard drive capacities and/orpartition sizes. In my experience, Clonezila does not do too well. One of its issues is that it does not optimize partition placement when the target drive is an SSD. The other is that it refuses to clone a partition ontoa drive lacking capacity for the partition, and it does not resize partitions on the fly. Still, it is useful for what it does.

    Last week, I gave a laptop with a 320GB drive to someone to use on a trial basis. The trial was somewhat successful, but they wanted an 128GB SSD instead. This became tricky. Windows 7 does, at least, offer the possibilityto resize partitions, but I could not get it to resize the main Windows partition down below 128GB. I ran some software (MyDefrag) to shove all the files to the beginning blocks of the partition. No joy. Why? Because theWindows restore file cannot be moved. Solution was a South Park moment, Ilearned something today. ****I shut off restore points, which deleted theunmovable file, and I was able to resize the partition smaller than the magic 128GB SSD capacity.**** Thereafter, no problem cloning. However, I did use Minitool's Partition Wizard 7 from the HiRen's 15.2 CD to do the cloning. Once I was done, I booted the system with the SSD, re-enabled restorepoints (like seat belts and an air bag for crapola Windows updates), and delivered the system to my customer... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Apr 28, 2014
    #13
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