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Old 03-12-2019, 12:23 PM   #1
terrie
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Default Fun with UEFI and USB...'-}}

I'm finally getting started on the process of imaging my system--now that I know that my new 3TB external drive works well as that's where I'm planning on storing the drive image(s). Macrium Reflect (free) has a good rep and I decided to test the process using my old desktop system which, with respect to O/S (Win7/Pro/64bit) and my drives, is configured the same way as my current desktop system--although the old system is AMD and the current system is Intel.


The other day, I finally cleaned off my work table which in addition to having the monitor for my old desktop system is also home to a laptop I use as a backup/testbed system--there's also another old Sony Vaio on another corner of the work table.

I held my breath after turning on the monitor (my old Nec 2090UXi) and then the desktop to see if it would boot--it's not been booted for at least 2 years but it is plugged into a UPS--and fortunately, it booted up just fine. I had to tidy up a few things and get the usb/ethernet dongle driver installed (the ethernet cable has been plugged in to the laptop and the desktop system pc case has the ethernet port on the back of the case and I didn't feel like crawling around on the floor and under the work table to plug it in so the usb/ethernet dongle was an easy workaround--particularly after the driver was installed).

I installed Macrium and basically spent the afternoon getting the Rescue Disk created. The first problem I ran into was that Macrium only listed the card-readers on the system--4 of them I never ever used but the reader also has extra USB ports--and none of the USB ports. I thought to myself, well, maybe I need to actually have a thumbdrive plugged in but that didn't work either; however, in plugging the thumbdrive in I realized I need to fiddle with the drive letter so spent a bit of time getting 3 thumbdrives set with new drive letters--I wasn't sure which thumbdrive I was going to use as I have a USB2 and two USB3s. In doing that I closed Macrium and I had one thumbdrive still plugged in when I opened Macrium again and bingo! Macrium saw the drive so I now had that as a viable option.

I went through the process to create the Rescue Disk on the thumbdrive but it didn't complete properly displaying an error message with an "Error 9" notation and a link to an page with error info. The info page wasn't all that useful, particularly since it didn't list "Error 9" (there was an "Error 98" and an "Error 99" but the info for those didn't match the error message that had displayed). I decided to give up on trying to create a USB Rescue Disk and created a Rescue Disk on DVD instead--very easy, very quick.

I then compared the DVD Rescue Disk with the USB Rescue Disk and they looked to have the same files. In reading through the other error numbers on that error info page, it seemed that the problem with the USB drive was that it wasn't FAT32 so I decided that even though Computer Management > Disk Management (via Control Panel > Administrative Tools) showed that the USB drive was FAT32, that I'd confirm it (so to speak) by (re)formatting the drive to FAT32. I then did the create Rescue Disk process again selecting USB and that was successful.


So, at this point, I'd learned 2 things:

1. (re)Format the USB drive to FAT32 before starting the create Rescue Disk process

2. Plug the newly reformatted USB drive into a port before opening Macrium


I now wanted to see if I could boot from the DVD and the USB. The DVD boot was no problem, put the DVD in the drive, restarted my system and was prompted as I should be about using the DVD. Unfortunately that did NOT work AT ALL for the USB drive.

One major issue was that I couldn't remember how to get into the BIOS/UEFI. I thought it was F2 and that didn't work. I tried F12 and that didn't work either so I rooted around and found the mobo book and couldn't believe that I'd forgotten that it was the DEL key--duh! The next problem was that my mouse didn't work while in UEFI and using the keyboard keys didn't get me very far. I finally remembered that I had to plug the mouse into one of the USB ports on the back of the case--it's really, really annoying having to crawl around on the floor and under the work table then feel around for the USB ports and then get the damned thing plugged in but the aggravation was worth it as that did the trick. The only problem was that the UEFI didn't show the USB drive that was plugged in.

At that point, I decided that I'd done enough for one day and would try again tomorrow but as I was watching tv, I suddenly realized what the problem was--I couldn't believe it had taken me that long to figure out it. I needed to plug the USB drive into one of the ports on the back of the case--just like the mouse and the keyboard...duh! Did that and there was my USB drive listed in the UEFI for boot priority...'-}}


So...I learned 2 more things:

3. NONE of the front USB ports are recognized by UEFI

4. For UEFI, any USB device must be plugged in to the ports on the back of the case


I suspect that items 3 and 4 may not be true for my current desktop system--had it custom built (by MicroCenter) a couple of years ago--but now at least I'll know what to do if I do have similar problems and the back of the case for my current system is much more accessible...'-}}



One interesting additional test I did was to plug in a USB2 hub into the USB 3 extension cable which is pluged into a USB3 port on the back of the case and I then plugged the USB 3 thumbdrive into the hub. With that convoluted setup, the USB 3 drive was listed as a possible boot source. Interestingly enough, while the USB3 drive was plugged into a USB2 hub (which is plugged into a USB3 port), the USB3 drive was listed in the boot list as "USB3"--given that the hub is USB2, my guess is that any data transfer would be at USB2 speeds.



Terrie
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:13 PM   #2
terrie
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I discovered something interesting today...

If when I turn on my old monitor and system and I then press (and hold) the F8 key, a new screen displays showing a list of boot options (optical drive(s), hard drives, etc.). If I have a USB drive plugged in (back-of-the-case port and/or a USB 3 extension cable I have plugged into a USB3 port on the back of the case), the list of boot devices will include the USB drive as one of the choices.

This is pretty nifty has far as I'm concerned because it means that if I decide that using the Macrium Rescue Disk on USB is "better" (than using the DVD Rescue Disk), I don't have to muck about with changing the boot order in BIOS/UEFI.


Here's what I don't know:

1. I'm pressing and holding the F8 key as soon as the boot info display appears and well before the Windows logo because I think it's a boot option, not a Windows option?

2. If F8 is a indeed a boot option, is F8 only available for Asus boards or is it a commonly used option across all mobos?



I tested the F8 option on my current desktop system which also uses an Asus mobo and I get the listing the boot options so F8 is not something restricted to the mobo on my old system.


Has anyone used this F8 approach?




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Old 03-14-2019, 03:36 AM   #3
Barrie Greed
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Terrie


I think you will find it varies from motherboard to motherboard.


My Dell uses F2 for the system menu and F12 for the boot menu.


My Linux box which has a Gigabyte motherboard uses Del for the system menu and F12 for the boot menu.




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Old 03-14-2019, 12:18 PM   #4
terrie
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Quote:
barrie: I think you will find it varies from motherboard to motherboard.
Yes, thanks...I did a little bit more research after posting and discovered that...



>>My Dell uses F2 for the system menu and F12 for the boot menu.

Oh! Thanks for this! I have a Dell laptop I use as a backup/testbed system and I plan to play with Macrium on it also so this is helpful info...'-}}




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Old 03-14-2019, 08:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
If when I turn on my old monitor and system and I then press (and hold) the F8 key, a new screen displays showing a list of boot options (optical drive(s), hard drives, etc.).
Very cool!

   
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
andrew: Very cool!
I thought so too! '-}}



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Old 03-19-2019, 11:59 AM   #7
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I posted the following in a reply to another thread and then thought I'd copy it here also so this thread will be complete...


I just finished creating my first ever drive image using Macrium Reflect imaging my old desktop system's O/S drive (along with a teeny-tiny supposedly some sort of recovery partition in front of the O/S drive). I've created 3 Rescue Disks, one on DVD and one thumbdrive both using WinPE3.1 and one thumbdrive with WinPE5.0. I'm going to test to see what the difference (if any) between them along with testing the restore process.

If all goes well, then I'm going to work on the old Dell laptop that I've been using as a backup/testbed system and if the Dell goes properly, then I'll work on my current desktop system.




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Old 03-19-2019, 12:13 PM   #8
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When I created the drive image the other day, the process didn't take all that long--about 30minutes--even with the "Verify" option checkmarked. I need to see if I can find more detailed information on what the verify process entails and whether I should trust it.


Yesterday, I decided to test the Rescue disk/drives I had created--in addition to the rescue DVD and USB thumbdrive which were created with the WinPE3.1 option, I also created a WinPE5.0 USB thumbdrive.

I did a restart after plugging in the WinPE3.1 thumbdrive into the back-case USB3 extension cable and plugging in the external drive into the port on the front of the case. As the boot info display appeared, I pressed (and held) the F8 key. The boot menu appeared and I chose the USB3 thumbdrive that was listed and promptly hung the system having to press the reset button to get started again.


When the Macrium Reflect User Guide states that you need to run Diskpart on the USB drive you want to use as a rescue disk, believe it...'-}}


I really thought that the Create Rescue Disk process did that for you although in thinking about it, I had to manually (re)format the USB drive to FAT32 so why I thought the software would do the Diskpart work is a question for the ages...'-}}


So, I Diskpart'd both USB thumbdrives and then created new USB rescue disks in MR--one using WinPE3.1 and one using WinPE5.0--and checkmarked the option to enable both multiboot MBR/UEFI support.

Plugged in the USB WinPE3.1 rescue disk, restarted my system, pressing (and holding) F8 when the boot info displayed, The boot menu list was interesting as it had 2 entries for the USB drive--one "USB Disk" and the other "UEFI: USB Disk". I chose the "UEFI" option and my guess is that the other option was for MBR and I have a question about that (see below).

This was much more successful than the last attempt as Macrium via WinPE3.1 loaded and I was able to browse around to my external drive and then I did a File > Exit from MR which restarted my system.


I then plugged in the USB WinPE5.0 rescue disk (after dismounting the USB WinPE3.1 drive), restarted the system, pressing (and holding) F8 when the boot info displayed and again, there were 2 USB choices offered and I chose the "UEFI" option. Macrium again loaded but via WinPE5 this time.

The WinPE5.0 display is more informative than the WinPE3.1 display as it automatically found the image file on my external drive and listed it on the 1st display screen. Additionally the external drive displayed the same drive letter I had assigned to it on my system ("V" vs. the "O" listed in the WINPE3.1 display). After browsing around a bit, I did a File > Exit from MR and my system restarted.

I suspect that there are other behind the scene differences between WinPE3.1 and WinPE5.0 but based on what I've seen so far, I think I will choose the WinPE5.0 when I created the rescue disks for the Dell laptop system and my current desktop system--unless anyone suggests that is a bad idea.


Questions:
1. Can anyone tell me what might happen if, rather than choosing the "UEFI" boot menu option, I had chosen the "USB Disk" which I suspect is the MBR option?

2. Would choosing the MBR option have "damaged" anything--maybe ended the world or something...'-}} ?




Thanks!



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Old 03-19-2019, 04:00 PM   #9
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I don't have answers to either of your questions. I wish I did.

   
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
andrew: I don't have answers to either of your questions.
No prob...I probably should find Macrium's forums but I've not gotten around to it...


I was able to get a bit of answer to using MBR because it occurred to me that the DVD rescue disk I created probably defaulted to MBR if I had the DVD in the optical drive while booting--vs. using F8 to override the boot order and then choosing the "UEFI" option from the boot menu list. Sure enough...you could tell immediately that it was not UEFI action and it was both slow and sort of clunky. My external drive was recognized but as drive "D" (vs. the "V" I had changed it to).

I don't know if it was just a coincidence but I had problems dismounting the external drive after using the DVD/MBR approach and had to fiddle with things a bit. I decided to create a WinPE5.0 version on DVD and I'm going to test using that via having the DVD in the optical drive on boot and see if PE5.0 works a little "better" than DVD WinPE3.1.


I'm getting closer to actually trying the restore process...





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