problem involving uefi, bios, win8/win7 dual boot!

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Installation' started by patcooke, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    In a nutshell - got a new Samsung ultra laptop, don't like the way the disk is structured and lack of facility for creating recovery disks so wiped the 500gb hard drive which is formatted to gpt, repartitioned to give me a 50gb partition for win8, 50gb partition for win7 and the rest reserved for data. Installed win8 from my own install disk, shoved stacks of apps on - all so far, so good. Booted from external optical drive to install win7 to its partition, all went well to first reboot - then:

    starts booting win8
    goes into endless loop saying "your pc ran into a problem, . . . . starting repair.

    Looks like the gpt disk has got corrupted with an mbr - no problem I thought, nip into bios, boot from optical drive and run repair or, if desperate complete reformat and reinstall from there. And there lies the problem - absolutely will not enter bios on boot - the only boot device it seems to be willing to look at is a gpt disk with an mbr and I can see no way of getting into the bios.

    All shops are closed now and tomorrow I may get an external case for the 500gb hard drive and repair/reformat by plugging into usb on another pc but any ideas in the meantime? I'm not often stuck when you just can't get access to the damn thing. . .!
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Hey Pat, it would always to be advisable to install Windows 7 first and then Windows 8. You can put them on whatever partition you want. Having said that, the install should still work.

    Your new system probably came with a UEFI configuration which included Windows 8 secure boot. If that is the case, a Windows 7 install media should not even be able to boot without an error of some type. So if you are going to Dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8, you need to make sure the CSM (Compatibility Support Module) is Enabled.

    Now, the situation with booting to UEFI. Two types of install media will not boot UEFI. A Windows 7 Flash Drive (unless modified) and a Windows 8 DVD made from the Downloaded version. During Boot, are you seeing the UEFI option for your install Media?

    You might let the system try to repair itself to see what happens. I have situations where Windows 8 says it needs to be restored, where I cancelled out and rebooted and it worked fine, it just did not know it had already done the needed repair.

    As far as getting into the Bios, it is hard in Windows 8. You might try using the Shift key in conjunction with the bios setup or boot menu key to see if it helps. If it doesn't, if you get to some place in the Recovery Environment, you might be able to find an option to boot into the bios from there.
     
    #2 Saltgrass, Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  3. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Thanks for all those points - have to admit I've always been a bit gung-ho about order of installs - happily poking boot sector, grub and bcd about to make it all work after the event! Seems like uefi requires us to be a bit more disciplined. I have let repair cycle for a few dozen times thinking it might be going down the boot list and find something but it looks like the last time I poked the bios about I left it in a state where it looks only at the hdd. I've all but worn the F2 key out with and without shift. I suspect I'm only going to sort this with an external usb adapter and plugging into another machine but it does rather leave me feeling that benefits from changes to uefi and gpt are seriously outweighed by the loss of basic recovery mechanisms.
     
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Don't judge UEFI by the Windows 8 implementation. The Windows 7 Legacy and UEFI recovery options work the same way. Windows 8 has made some changes for specific reasons that seem to be counter productive to system operation.

    Would you be willing to give the exact Samsung model you are using? There are some systems that have a button which can be used to boot directly into the bios. There may also be other keys to get into a boot menu or the Bios setup. But hitting the keys early and often, might make a difference.

    While the system is in the Repair Environment, you may be able to shake it out and get it offer you some options. But some of those repairs take a very long time.
     
  5. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    All extra info to me - gonna have to put some time into all of this. I've used every rhythm in the book pounding that damned F2 key! The Samsung laptop is NP540U3C-A02UK.
     
  6. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I notice there is an option to use the F4 key when you turn the system on to recover. You may no longer have that, depending on how it was implemented, but you could try.

    There might be a difference between a power off boot and a restart. One might allow you to get into the bios, but hitting the key as soon as you push the power button is necessary. That thing may only take 5-8 seconds to get all the way to the Desktop from a powered off state, so you might imagine how little time you have.

    If you do get into the bios, there should be an option for "Fast Bios Mode" you might want to disable until you get things sorted out.
     
  7. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Thanks, I'll have a play with those - I suspect the problem is compounded by the laptop having a 24gb ssd for speeding up boot.
     
  8. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Don't look it's gonna let me in - the usb caddy is all I can think of now - not impressed!
     
  9. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    The only other thing I could even imagine is to give it something else to boot to. Since the Windows 8 DVD may not be UEFI bootable, you might try the Windows 7 one. Perhaps if it has a UEFI option, it might give you a chance to choose it.

    The alternative is to make a Windows 8 Bootable flash. It will be UEFI bootable, as long as you do not use the Microsoft tool to make it.

    What the heck, if the system will not boot, take the drive out and see what happens.
     
  10. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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  11. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    I had exactly the same problem. Endless repair loop. Good thing I was able to create my Windows 8 System Repair Disc and the USB Flash Recovery Media (created from the recovery partition) before having that problem. To be able to get into the "Troubleshoot>>>Advance Options" window to initiate repair, you need to boot from the system repair disc. From there you will get into "Troubleshoot" to start repair/recovery. If it's an OEM PC that came with a pre-installed Win 8, it has a recovery partition which you may have wiped out and your system is trying to look for it.

    troubleshoot.
     
  12. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Got a usb caddy this morning, took my drive back to scratch formatted as gpt. Finally got into BIOS setup, reset it,made changes necessary to boot from dvd, went thru about a dozen Windows installs with varying degrees of success (but every one falling well short of 100%). Took the drive back out, reinstalled it to the usb caddy, reset it to mbr - reinstalled it and all running a treat, Win 7 and Win 8.1 installed to dual boot - be some time before give UEFI house room again - my experience says the one I got at least is still in Beta! :mad:
     
  13. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Sorry it didn't work out for you. It would have been so cool if you had gathered some information concerning the configuration of the original system prior to breaking it down. Oh well, maybe next time...

    But since you now have an install, any chance you could post a screen shot of your Disk Management window. I would like to see how the mSATA is being shown.

    Edit: I also might have found this link. Turning off the Express Cash may have kept some of your problems from occurring. It seems to be like the Intel Smart Response Technology, which also needs to be turned off before reconfiguring a system.

    I also found a site that shows how to downgrade to Windows 7 and what bios settings need to be changed, but I cannot seem to include that link.

    http://skp.samsungcsportal.com/integrated/popup/FaqDetailPopup3.jsp?seq=446792&cdsite=in

     
    #13 Saltgrass, Oct 3, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  14. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    This is the hdd and ssd in the management window:

    Capture.PNG
     
  15. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    OK, thanks. Your Recovery Partition is gone and the SSD is showing as a separate drive. The way it is formatted, it looks like it was being used for a Prefetch and Hibernation setup. This is assuming the 17.74 GB partition does not have a .wim file in it.
     
  16. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Agree with all that - the recovery partition is gone because it's little better than useless. Samsung makes no provision for burning optical recovery media - the only way you can apply the recovery partition is by booting to it from the hard drive on which it resides which, in the event of total hdd failure will be a waste of space and create an unbootable device. The uefi (beta) implementation was a similar waste of space to me and the only way I could dump it was to reformat to mbr which requires all partitions to be empty. All of this required a full reformat to mbr and installing retail copies of Windows which in addition to dumping a "pain the hows yer father" uefi also made better use of the space occupied by an all but useless recovery partition and to cap it all wiped all the dunnage embedded in the oem op sys such as my ("who's a lucky boy" free trial of Norton!) All wrapped up by installing Acronis True Image to give me the maintainable and manageable system to replace the poorly thought out firmware and software implementation which Samsung delivered.
     
  17. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I agree the Recovery Partition on OEM installs probably contains a lot of junk most people will not want. But I don't usually like to burn all my bridges and would prefer to leave at least one way to get back to the original configuration.

    I have only had one OEM install on a system, and I made an image of that install, took out the hard drive and put it somewhere safe, then did whatever I wanted with the replacement drive.... But I play quite a bit, so it makes it easier in case something goes wrong.

    I also do not have access to multiple keys from Microsoft, so I would not be able to replace the original OS without paying extra, somehow.

    Whatever makes the user happy is the way their system should be set up. You seem to be where you are happy..
     
  18. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Quite right - as long as we have some system in place for system recovery it matters not so much what it is or how we get there. The hassle I've had (and the consequent grumping I've indulged in!) has all been rooted in the fact that Samsung seem to have made it nigh on impossible for the ordinary end user to take basic precautions of securing their system against complete system and data loss in the event of catastrophic hard drive failure. If this practice becomes the norm we should start to prepare for increasing numbers of calls for help with dead systems.
     

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