Coffeehouse Thread

19 posts

Into the UEFI hell...

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    So MBR is terrible, everyone who has ever had the pleasure of dealing with it with its quirks and massive rule book will likely attest.    

    So I rebuilt my system today, Windows 7 64 in UEFI/GPT "mode," then I installed the Windows 8 Dev' Preview side by side also in EFI/GPT mode.    

    What I was expecting was to be able to select which boot loader to run up from my BIOS, what I actually got was one completely inaccessible OS and no functional tools in either Windows 7 or Windows 8 to fix the problem.    

    Essentially what should happen is Microsoft should be making a new entry in the uEFI for each Operating System, or updating a single boot loader to support several OSs.   

    What Microsoft actually does is delete the Windows 7 bootloader, replace it with the Windows 8 bootloader, and ultimately leave your older operating systems stranded.    

    This all wouldn't be so bad if it happened to a MBR system because on a MBR system you have a handful of tools to fix this issue like BootRec, BCDEdit, DiskPart, etc.    

    Unfortunately all of these tools target the "fake" MBR, as does as the automatic tat' the Windows DVD ships with. 

    Also, while we're on the subject of the Windows DVD repair mode, is it just me or has anyone else noticed it gets worse and worse with every Windows version?

    Depending on how how I boot into the Windows 7 DVD sometimes I am literally unable to start even the console because it brings up an error ("No compatible version of the OS is installed"). Luckily I know the secret key-combo (Shift-F10). 

    Also they replaced it with Metro-style tat on Windows 8, and the default option is "Continue to load Windows 8" which is all levels of stupid in the frigging repair menu. The automatic stuff is still there but now hidden under a dozen sub-menus, and the console is now Troubleshooting -> Advanced -> Repair -> Console or something. Nothing "useful" has been added. 

    I know what you will say - "It is a developer preview, please shut up!" and while that is a fair statement, everything I said could equally be aimed at Windows 7. Windows 7 lacks tools for UEFI, and Windows 7's bootloader is not REALLY designed for UEFI. 

    So my opinion: Stay the heck away from UEFI for a while. At least as far as your bootloaders/partition tables go. It might be a fine "BIOS" but that is as far as it goes.  

  • User profile image
    androidi

    Way ahead of you. I'm still using basic disk rather than dynamic disk as it makes things simpler when manually doing recovery. I only backup essential data, rest is mostly on disks that aren't connected or are sleeping mostly. If the drive prices hadn't jumped after the tsunami damages, I'd soon be able to backup non-essential data as well as the drive sizes are such that I simply don't fill them as fast as I used to. Some of the data is just downloads of the sort that I expect to remain downloadable as long as they're of some use so there's little point in backing up that stuff. I put small size downloads in different folder that gets backed up anyway - useful since there may be some old versions of apps and tools that I may need to go back to - takes a while to notice regressions in some very rarely used features and then it's useful to be able to trace what version did the regression occur in if one's going to get it fixed in newer version.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    It's always been the case that the Windows bootloader gets replaced by the newer version when installing a dual boot setup. That's why dual booting a beta (or in this case, pre-beta) OS has never been a good idea. I'm sure it should be possible to restore the Windows 7 bootloader entry from within Windows 8, but I'm not surprised if automatic recovery doesn't work - UEFI booting into Windows 7 is a pretty uncommon scenario.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

     AndyC wrote: It's always been the case that the Windows bootloader gets replaced by the newer version when installing a dual boot setup.

    In MBR. The whole point of UEFI is to replace this nonsense with something better, so you won't have to use bootloaders like GRUB. Microsoft's engineers just screwed up and tried to squeeze a round peg into a square hole. 

    That's why dual booting a beta (or in this case, pre-beta) OS has never been a good idea.

    Same is true with two Windows 7s. 

    I'm sure it should be possible to restore the Windows 7 bootloader entry from within Windows 8

    How? I'm sure it is possible, but I have no idea how and nobody seems to. 

    UEFI booting into Windows 7 is a pretty uncommon scenario.
      

    Yet something Windows 7 supports. And something which is literally required in Windows 8 from the OEMs. 

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , ManipUni wrote

    *snip*

    In MBR. The whole point of UEFI is to replace this nonsense with something better, so you won't have to use bootloaders like GRUB. Microsoft's engineers just screwed up and tried to squeeze a round peg into a square hole. 

    *snip*

    Same is true with two Windows 7s. 

    *snip*

    How? I'm sure it is possible, but I have no idea how and nobody seems to. 

    *snip*  

    Yet something Windows 7 supports. And something which is literally required in Windows 8 from the OEMs. 

     

    I think that multi boot / dual boot is an area that MS has never really tried to "Get right" to be honest.

    yes it has kind of been supported but never very well. 

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    , AndyC wrote

     UEFI booting into Windows 7 is a pretty uncommon scenario.

    All new motherboards from Asus have UEFI.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , ZippyV wrote

    *snip*

    All new motherboards from Asus have UEFI.

    But do they use it by default, or just go via a fake BIOS route?

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    @AndyC: Dunno

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    But do they use it by default, or just go via a fake BIOS route?

    All the brand new Dell laptops with Windows 7 I bought for the office come with UEFI disabled!

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , giovanni wrote

    *snip*

    All the brand new Dell laptops with Windows 7 I bought for the office come with UEFI disabled!

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I would expect. As I said, booting Windows 7 via UEFI is an edge case scenario as it is, dual booting with Win8 is even more quirky.

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @AndyC: Why should be booting in UEFI an edge scenario? Windows supports booting from UEFI for some times now...

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    @giovanni: Because next to no PC boots via UEFI by default, so you have to go pretty far out of your way to do so for very little advantage. UEFI capable PCs are shipping using BIOS compatibility because that offers the greatest compatibility with software people might want to use (be it Windows 7, XP, Linux or other OSes).

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    @AndyC: My motherboard does and so do Macs 

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , ManipUni wrote

    @AndyC: My motherboard does and so do Macs 

    Macs don't boot Windows via UEFI, Bootcamp does the fake BIOS thing. Did your motherboard default to using UEFI or did you have to go out of your way to opt in to it?

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    @AndyC: Default. You can turn on legacy mode however. 

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    @ManipUni: Congratulations, you are the (substantiallly less than) 1%.

    Although why you don't just turn on BIOS booting and avoid suffering sitting on the bleeding edge is beyond me.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    @AndyC: Because I wanted to multi-boot without having to worry about bootloader hell (in theory). It just didn't work out that way. 

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    , AndyC wrote

    @giovanni: Because next to no PC boots via UEFI by default, so you have to go pretty far out of your way to do so for very little advantage. UEFI capable PCs are shipping using BIOS compatibility because that offers the greatest compatibility with software people might want to use (be it Windows 7, XP, Linux or other OSes).

    Screw compatibility and long life to speed!   Big Smile

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.