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Thread: need to clear CMOS each time before installing Windows 7 (Z77 X4)




  1. #11
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: need to clear CMOS each time before installing Windows 7 (Z77 X4)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary902 View Post
    I've tried it both ways. If I don't clear CMOS first, I get the drivers-not-loaded errors. When I do clear CMOS and re-establish the same values as before (whether I do this on the first or second installation attempt), the installation then proceeds without error.

    The values I'm setting up are unrelated to the installation: no overclocking, just disabling Rapid Start and Smart Connect, setting the fans to auto, setting the keyboard to be able to wake the computer. And like I said, I set up those same values after clearing the CMOS, before the next installation attempt, and the next installation works fine.


    That's what I thought, so I'm puzzled as to what explains the behavior I'm seeing. The OS drive doesn't change between the unsuccessful install attempt and the subsequent (after clearing CMOS) successful install attempt.
    That's what I thought, just wanted to verify that. My theory/guess is (pure speculation) there is a UEFI setting that is automatically set earlier, before you perform a CMOS clear that results in the error you see. We should remember that there are many settings in a UEFI/BIOS that we do not have access to that potentially could cause this too. The main cause IMO, is choosing the UEFI entry for the installation media. That is not a mistake, but is significantly different than choosing the other.

    Which leads me to, why did you choose the UEFI entry? No offense, but you have not mentioned anything about "UEFI booting" or UEFI starting/booting as I call it, although you are using an installation medium formatted to set up full UEFI booting, rather than standard BIOS booting, for lack of a better term. You are not required to choose the UEFI entry because your board has a UEFI type firmware. Are you familiar with what I'm talking about here?

    I'm asking because you did not mention anything about wanting to UEFI boot.

  2. #12
    therube is offline Member
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    Default Re: need to clear CMOS each time before installing Windows 7 (Z77 X4)

    YUMI is (one of many) methods you can use to create a bootable Win7 (non-UEFI) Flash drive, if you want to try that.
    (It's what I used for my Win7 installs.)
    Last edited by therube; 04-17-2013 at 02:37 AM.

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    Default Re: need to clear CMOS each time before installing Windows 7 (Z77 X4)

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Which leads me to, why did you choose the UEFI entry? No offense, but you have not mentioned anything about "UEFI booting" or UEFI starting/booting as I call it, although you are using an installation medium formatted to set up full UEFI booting, rather than standard BIOS booting, for lack of a better term. You are not required to choose the UEFI entry because your board has a UEFI type firmware. Are you familiar with what I'm talking about here?

    I'm asking because you did not mention anything about wanting to UEFI boot.
    Reasonable questions. I need to UEFI-boot the installation USB in order to install Windows for UEFI/GPT booting, right? And I want the latter mostly because (1) I don't want to drag along a legacy mode if I don't have to, and (2) UEFI/GPT might be needed in the future, so I want to make sure now that it works properly and that my Windows installation is already set up for it.

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    Default Re: need to clear CMOS each time before installing Windows 7 (Z77 X4)

    Quote Originally Posted by therube View Post
    YUMI is (one of many) methods you can use to create a bootable Win7 (non-UEFI) Flash drive, if you want to try that.
    Thanks, but the method I'm using works well enough (with the clear-CMOS workaround), and I don't expect to reinstall again for a while anyway. Mostly just curious about why the workaround was needed. But I appreciate your suggestion.

  5. #15
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: need to clear CMOS each time before installing Windows 7 (Z77 X4)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary902 View Post
    Reasonable questions. I need to UEFI-boot the installation USB in order to install Windows for UEFI/GPT booting, right? And I want the latter mostly because (1) I don't want to drag along a legacy mode if I don't have to, and (2) UEFI/GPT might be needed in the future, so I want to make sure now that it works properly and that my Windows installation is already set up for it.
    Great, I was hoping that was what you were doing (and would have been nice to know from the start... )

    My guess about what caused that error message is this: The EFI specification defines how information is stored in NVRAM (an area on the CMOS chip) so things like boot loaders and other files can be found. Variables (named data storage areas) are defined that contain things like the path to a folder or file (like \Users\parsec\downloads is the path to my download folder.) Since you were using a UEFI Windows installation media, the installation program read one of those variables and assumed it was a valid path to a folder or file on the USB drive, when it wasn't, or the folder did not contain any .efi files. That caused the error message.

    When you cleared the CMOS, the data for that variable was cleared. The protocol probably is, check the variable for data, if there, use it, if not use the standard EFI defined/default data. The standard path to the folder was correct, the files were found, no error.

    Does this make sense? I did my first UEFI boot Windows 8 installation this year, so I don't know all the details. The specifics of my description may be wrong, but in general some data that the Windows installation program found or used was not correct, and clearing the CMOS caused the correct data to be used

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    Default Re: need to clear CMOS each time before installing Windows 7 (Z77 X4)

    So then the idea is that during the Windows installation, something changes the value of a UEFI variable that determines where on the USB drive the system will look for drivers on a subsequent UEFI USB installation attempt? That would indeed be consistent with the observed behavior (though it's unclear why that variable change would occur).

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