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Thread: massive boot delays caused by Asrock UEFI being confused by duplicate drives




  1. #11
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    Default Re: massive boot delays caused by Asrock UEFI being confused by duplicate drives

    Hello, Parsec -
    Actually Windows 7 is not UEFI-compliant as some of its drivers, notably VGA, rely upon interrupts that have to be emulated via CSM. So I am really in "progressive UEFI". I just brought CSM because I was not sure whether DXE (or more precisely the EFI driver dispatcher) was intermittently unable to sense, thus relegating an int 13h to CSM for the eSATA drive before the BDS phase.
    As it turns out, I connected the SATA drive directly to SATA3_1 and I was able to boot from either drive. You are right that some attributes are missing in the BCD store, but I'll rebuild them by hand at a later point to see whether UEFI relies upon this when the drive is connected via eSATA.
    So now I have to figure the topology difference between eSATA and SATA3_5, to see whether UEFI makes a difference, based on the physical eSATA to SATA3_5 on the motherboard, as there might be some switch that deactivates the SATA3_5 when an eSATA drive is connected (or vice-versa), as mapped to the same SATA port. Then I would have to figure whether it's treated as removable or some of the hot-plug capability might be an impedement to UEFI DXE.
    The main reason I am doing this is so that I don't have to open the machine whenever I have a booting issue with the primary drive. It's a small case (NUC form-factor), so I am not so anxious to drill in the back or front to pass a SATA cable through.

    Indeed Easeus does not manipulate GPT partitions, but the disk cloning function replicates the physical sectors, and I verified that on my own, comparing physical sectors after cloning.

    It would be great to have an ITX case with an opening where you can put 2 SATA (or PCIe) SSD, so you could clone when making major changes.

    Cheers,

    10bpc

  2. #12
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: massive boot delays caused by Asrock UEFI being confused by duplicate drives

    OMG, I forgot that a Windows 7 installation media needs a fix to work correctly for EFI booting. You are right that Win 7 is not as compatible with EFI booting as Windows 8 is (I've only done one Win 7 EFI booting installation and have used Win 8 only after that) but MSoft does say Win 7 is EFI compatible.

    See this page for info on fixing Windows 7 media for EFI booting, I've done this and it works:

    UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

    See section 11, "If Using 64bit Windows 7" for info on the fix. That site has good information on EFI booting, with one small exception, but not their fault. To enable UEFI booting, they tell you to enable Secure Boot. This works, but only because of the side affect this has of disabling the CSM option. I found that simply disabling CSM will enable UEFI booting, since CSM is really the switch between Legacy and UEFI booting. Some UEFI firmware (BIOS is firmware too) does not have the CSM option available to configure. Enabling Secure Boot will disable CSM in that type of UEFI. Since that guide cannot know if a particular UEFI firmware has the CSM option available, they use the Secure Boot method of enabling UEFI booting.

    Your ASR board should have the CSM option in the UEFI, my Z87 board does, as well as my Z77 ASR board. IMO, ASR got the CSM settings right, in contrast to other mobo manufactures that make that a confusing mess.

    Your eSATA issues should not be as bad as some other ASR boards, since your board is using an Intel SATA port for the eSATA connection, rather than the add on ASMedia SATA chipset. IMO, you must enable hot plugging in the UEFI for the eSATA port. Other users seem to have issues with the eSATA ports on ASR boards, I have never used them.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: massive boot delays caused by Asrock UEFI being confused by duplicate drives

    Hello, parsec -
    Actually I had a USB key with just data inside my E350 enclosure, and I decided to use it fro Win PE 5.0, yet I came across your message and used RUFUS, loading the Windows 7 Pro OEM iso. Interestingly, I could now boot from anywhere, meaning that the eSATA docked SSD, the internal SATA3_0 SSD or the 4GB USB key could be used as boot device anytime.
    One thing I noticed is that when booting the USB2 flash drive, diskpart only showed the internal SATA SSD (as C:) and then the USB key as D: , yet no eSATA SSD was found at that (preinstallation) stage. Also RUFUS only creates one GPT primary partition on the USB key, yet no MSR or ESP, confirming the unique partition on removables.
    So the core issue about arbitration and eligibility of boot devices is not resolved, yet I achieved the functionality I needed.

    As far as CSM, I was unable to boot when disabling it, getting that dark gray screen from the internal SATA SSD, externally docked eSATA SSD (hot-plug by design) or the USB key. Note that upon such screen I can reboot with ctrl-alt-delete.
    Then I decided to use another SSD and try to install Windows 7 Pro OEM from an external USB DVD drive with CSM disabled, and it only went to the point before the 4 color dots merge to form a Window logo. I tried it about 10 times, freezing at the same point. Then I started this is safe mode, and it steadily froze after disk.sys was loaded.
    I'll try some other versions of Windows DVD later this week.
    I wonder whether a SATA DVD drive would do better, and also whether anyone has been able to boot any Windows 7 DVD on a Z87E-ITX with CSM disabled.
    When I received the machine, the BIOS at the time did not even let me boot the DVD-ROM, so I prepared a USB key and installed from there.
    I also suspect that commonalities of GUID resulting from cloning does not do too well when all the boot devices presented at once, yet why would UEFI care if there is a duplicate beyond the primary boot device. The instabilities I encountered just made me anxious to clone, and hoping to keep the clone available at all times, rather than having to open the case and remove it every time I clone.

    So maybe this progress will hint at what might be peculiar.

    Later,
    10bpc

  4. #14
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: massive boot delays caused by Asrock UEFI being confused by duplicate drives

    GUIDs must be unique, that is one of their main requirements, and is one of the things that Secure Boot examines to provide security. Note that the uniqueness of GUIDs is not simply a requirement of Secure Boot, it is part of the definition of GUIDs.

    My UEFI booting installations of Windows 8 (on two ASR Z77 boards, and one ASR Z87 board) were sourced from Windows 8 ISO files. My previous (and first) UEFI booting installation was also sourced from a Windows (7) ISO file. My Window 7 and 8 installation media are USB flash drives created using the guides available in the link I included above.

    When installing Windows 7 or 8 for UEFI booting, you must use (AFAIK) the installation media as described above, with CSM Disabled in the UEFI/BIOS. The formatting of the Windows target drive is done by Windows in the step that provides that option. Windows will recognize the intent for a UEFI booting installation, and format the drive appropriately (GPT, with four partitions, Recovery, System, MSR, and Primary.) This configuration will also boot in Legacy/MBR mode if CSM is Enabled.

    I don't know if your installation media and Windows drive were configured correctly, so I can't comment on the failure of your installation to boot with CSM disabled. I would be surprised if your board cannot boot a UEFI installation, since ASRock has had their UEFI/BIOS settings correct on their previous generation Z77 boards, or at least the ones I use.

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