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New issue with Win 8 boot

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by raybro, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. raybro

    raybro Thread Starter

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    My new Dell Inspiron 5720 started doing a really weird thing. Upon startup, the Dell logo flashes for just a blink then the display goes to a black screen and stays there. I hit the power button and the computer goes off immediately. Hitting the power button again results in a normal boot into windows, This behavior repeats consistently. It started happening just out of the blue. I cannot attach it to any update or program install or scan.

    In an attempt to understand what was happening, I tried to get into BIOS (F2) with no joy. Also tried to get into UEFI boot options (F12). Again no joy. Messed around with it for a while and determined nothing works when hitting the power button the first time. Cycling the power manually lets me into either BIOS, Boot options or boot into Windows.

    During all this, I noticed the Boot options menu looked different from what I remembered. The UEFI menu now has duplicate entries for each option. 2 Setup, 2 Diagnostics and 2 Change boot mode setting.

    Another strange behavior is I cannot change the boot order in BIOS hen in Legacy mode and have it stay as I set it. Default has the Hard drive before USB and CD/DVD. I can change that, but when I attempt to boot to my Acronis flash drive (which I've used before so I know it works) I get "No operating system found". Going back into BIOS has the boot order back to default.

    I thought this might be related to my recent installation of an SSD, so I reinstalled the hard drive. No change in behavior except I have more time to hit F2 or F12.

    I went online with Dell tech support chat. Got all the "stuff" out of the way we got to the meat of the matter. When the rep finally understood the problem, he asked for remote access to which I agreed. He ran diagnostics (i already did that). All passed. So he flashed the BIOS (already did that) no change in behavior. He finally came back with I would have to reset the OS. I told him I could do that from the recovery partition and we signed off.

    Tried the reset process from windows. Upon reboot, the same anomaly occurred (cycle power manually) and popped up a screen that said an error had occurred. Couldn't find a file or something like that. Anyway, got back with Dell via Chat and the new guy reviewed the previous contact and is sending me a set of windows discs to run a clean install. He says this will also reset the recovery partition too. I have my doubts about that, but we'll see.

    I know this is long winded, but I'd like to get some thoughts from the folks here on TSG about what I've observed so far and what Dell is saying I should do. Appreciate any input.:)
     
  2. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    1. To boot to a flash drive on UEFI Unified Extensible Firmware Interface the drive must be formatted FAT32 as UEFI cannot boot to a drive formatted NTFS - so that may be the answer to the flash drive.

    2. If secure boot is enabled you cannot change to legacy mode as secure boot disables the ability to do so

    3. As to the problem in the first paragraph of your post - I will have a think about it - my immediate thought is as a driver that windows8 does not like, but I am struggling to relate that to the second operation of the power button

    For the flash pen which you say you have used before - do I presume that has the install on it.

    4. The boot device in UEFI USUALLY is not the hard drive it is Windows Boot Manager - the reason being that on UEFI and 8 the drive is partitioned GPT that is Global Unique Identifier Partition Table and UEFI seeks the file shown in red below
    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device partition=\Device\HarddiskVolume1
    path \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi
    NOTE please the path

    WHEREAS in the traditional BIOS system
    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.2.9200]
    (c) 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit
    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device partition=D:
    description Windows Boot Manager
    locale en-GB
    inherit {globalsettings}
    integrityservices Enable
    default {default}

    SO I suspect that in UEFI you should check the boot device
    See this as an example
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    In case you have already read the last to enter uefi from 8
    rather than when 8 will not boot
    1. on desktop press windows key
    although there is no where to type in - trust me - type "uefi" without "
    2. you probably will not get further than u when the tiles will open, click settings on the right and continue typing, more than likely ue will then result in "advanced start up options" showing on left of screen
    3. click that, another screen will open, on the general scroll down on right and restart now
    4. On the next screen select troubleshoot
    5. On the next screen select advanced
    YOU should now be at
    see screenshot please

    you then select that and click restart

    YOURS may be slightly different but the principle is the same.
     

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  4. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Raybro

    1. Good to work with you again
    2. Sorry really to see you back with a problem
    3. Hope you do not mind but for your info and for the sake of anyone reading the topic
    This may explain the difference between the traditional BIOS boot and the UEFI boot a little clearer than my explanation in post 2

    See screenshot

    The really important point is the last entry boot options and that is why the USUAL boot option in 8 is the Windows boot manager and NOT the drive

    Additionally that is why on boot from a Optical drive DVD/CD there are normally in UEFI TWO entries even if the computer only has one such drive SEE IMAGE my post 2
    UEFI DVD drive
    and the same drive above MBR DVD - it does not say MBR it simply lists the drive WITHOUT the UEFI

    Again for anyone reading the topic if of course you have installed Windows 8 on the pro upgrade download from Microsoft to a computer with the traditional BIOS system all of this above does not apply.
     

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  5. raybro

    raybro Thread Starter

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    Subscribing to the concept of a picture is worth a thousand words, I've attached some pics I captured of the BIOS Screens (F2) and the UEFI Boot Options screen (F12). Note the redundant entries in the UEFI screen.

    Anyone familiar with the Boot Options screen will see this is not a normal configuration. Same with the BIOS boot screen. I can't recall what specifically is different, but I know it's different than when the system booted normally.

    EDIT: The titles I assigned to the pics are displayed in the tabs for each pic. Just hover the mouse over the tab or over the thumbnail and it will be displayed.
     

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  6. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    1. I am a little unclear, as to if your last is actually in response to mine, or if you are simply adding more information to your topic

    2.
    Is that how it works :):):):)

    3.
    I agree

    4.On one screenshot UEFI Secure boot is on - boot priority - Network boot that is incorrect, the computer, or at least yours will I am sure not be booting to a network device

    5. I presume you have changed for the different images the setting as another image shows secure boot is off and legacy boot enabled.
    As I said in my previous - secure boot ON disables legacy boot.

    6. Was 8 pre-installed or have you upgraded from Microsoft on the (£24.99 UK) offer
    If the latter do you have the installation media or did you upgrade directly from the download
    There is of course an option to install by creating installation media
    I presume from what I have read that it is pre-installed

    7. I hope you do not think I am being insulting in any way - but it has IMHO the signs of this POSSIBLY being caused by you entering setup options in UEFI and unfortunately configuring the setings incorrectly, then flashing the "BIOS" and then POSSIBLY the situation made worse by this being done for a second time - when the Dell rep was helping.
    8. If it is pre installed I would contact Dell again and plead for advice

    9. If it your downloaded upgrade I would start again.
     
  7. raybro

    raybro Thread Starter

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    Just a manner of speech. Intended to mean browsing about randomly looking at various aspects of the problem searching for additional symptoms.
    You presume correctly and I am quite aware of the relationship of UEFI to BIOS. In order to boot from an external device (Flash drive), it is necessary to change to Legacy mode. I have done this on previous occasions to boot into Acronis True Image to retrieve some files from a backup image. The process no longer works as the boot priority settings will not stay as I set them. They revert to default when I exit and save BIOS (F10).
    The computer is a new Dell 17R Inspiron 5720 with Win 8 installed by Dell.

    As stated in my original post, I did contact Dell and went through an extensive online chat troubleshooting process with their representative. The conclusion of that session was to reinstall the OS to factory condition (Reset). I was unable to perform a reset using the recovery process built into the Dell hard drive, so they are sending a set of system discs to perform that process.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Terry
    I know far less than you two about this whole issue but the above sounds like a motherboard or firmware problem to me.
     
  9. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    1.
    2.Actually it is not, the answer is as explained in my reply
    UEFI cannot BOOT from NTFS file system
    It can read from NTFS but NOT boot from them
    It must be FAT 32 - see below at 7 please

    3. However - I am convinced - that the UEFI settings are now up the wall so to speak

    In vierw of this
    and this
    [QUOTE]So he flashed the BIOS (already did that) no change in behavior. He finally came back with I would have to reset the OS. I told him I could do that from the recovery partition and we signed off.
    [/QUOTE]


    The problem is this - I have no idea of the settings we would expect to see on that Dell - all I can do is offer what generally one might expect to see on UEFI



    4. THIS is beyond my understanding

    You flash the firmware
    Dell on remote assistance flash the firmware
    and either when you DID or when Dell did - the only boot device as I mentioned on UEFI is Network device

    5. I just think you may have a real problem - even indeed when you get the recovery discs WHICH I think should according to Dell have been created when you received the laptop using the installed Dell Data Safe - although I will stand corrected of course

    This is what I read
    That all said I wish you the best of luck with it

    6. I have spent countless hours studying this UEFI - secure boot and Windows 8 etc, expecially downgrading to Windows 7 the relationship between secure boot - CSM Compatibility Support Mode - MBR paritioning and GPT

    Unfotunately my slight knowledge does not provide me with an answer to WHAT has occurred on your computer.
    Neither would I EVER consider flashing the firmware UEFI on a NEW Dell or any other computer UNLESS I knew for certain it was required AND I had the means to reinstall without relying on the recovery partition on the hard drive.


    7. Finally an extract from my research into UEFI GPT etc and the fact that it cannot boot from NTFS see this please
    If you do not have a DVD drive and you have to install from a flash pen:

    EITHER:

    A) Use Legacy Boot and follow the usual procedure. The flash pen can then be prepared using this:

    http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/...usbdvd_dwnTool

    OR:

    B) As that cannot be used to install Windows 7 on UEFI, which does not boot from drives formatted NTFS, they must be formatted FAT32, if you are installing with ONLY Secure Boot disabled and to UEFI, you must follow this procedure:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/matt-harring...i-systems.aspx

    and although that is from an article I wrote on downgrading to 7 the principle is the same of course for booting from any usb flash pen.
    It must be FAT32 and indeed as previously mentioned
    and on my image in post 4 the boot is actually seeking the file
    NOT the drive
    and the file is USUALLY - depending on what is on the bootable USB
    “EFI\boot\bootx64.efi”


    AS I SAID
    GOOD LUCK
     
  10. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I have no real idea as to if this will work in your situation
    ADD NEW BOOT OPTION with UEFI

    Add Boot Option
    Provides a menu from which to select a boot option.
    For mass storage devices with a FAT32 file system, a menu
    displays to navigate to a file to select as the boot option.


    For PXE (network device) capabable devices, the device itself can be selected.



    When adding a new boot option, the
    Description and Optional Data can be entered.

    The Description identifies the device in the UEFI Boot Manager;
    the Optional Data is passed to the boot image, per the UEFI specification
    So I would select add new boot option and see what is offered - on the menu
     
  11. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I have just been looking at this again for you to see if I could offer another suggestion.

    From what I have been looking at - I think my colleague TerryNet has it right.
    AS this
    does indeed I think support my colleagues opinion 100% -

    Were it to be ME I would wait for those reinstall discs to arrive from Dell - however I am, I regret to say very doubtful they will even run and if indeed they do - I am doubtful if they will successfuly reinstall 8.
     
  12. raybro

    raybro Thread Starter

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    After spending about 10 hour with Dell's online chat spread over 2 days and another few hours on the telephone with a guy from India, I've just about used up whatever amount of patience I had with getting this machine fixed. I'm convinced the most likely cause of the behavior is related to the "Critical" BIOS update Dell notified me about and I installed (Flashed). I cannot tie it to a definitive time frame, but it's close enough for me. Dells insistence the fix was a reset of the OS just didn't gel with me. In addition to that, the system discs they sent me said the OS could not be installed on the selected partition (C:/) because the selected disc was a GPT type :confused: All the partitions are GPT when UEFI is used. They go together. That was the final factor in my decision to terminate contact with Dell customer support. I've attached a photo of the install screen for your viewing pleasure.

    In any event, what I've decided to do is return the computer to Costco, get a refund and purchase another of the same model. I've already verified the price is still the same and they have it in stock. You can be sure I'll not flash the BIOS on this one.

    This evening, I created backups of the complete hard drive and another of My Documents folder. Then I uninstalled all the programs I installed and erased My Documents. Additionally, I still have the entire drive content on my SSD. At the moment, I'm using CCleaner to wipe the free space on the C:/ drive. 1TB takes while.

    In the meantime, I still have my trusty old Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop running XP. So for all practical purposes, this thread is resolved, but I'll leave it open for a while to see what else may come along. Always interested in what others have to say. :)

    Thanks to all who participated in this fascinating process. :) :)
     

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  13. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I wish you the best of luck
    It will be of little interest to you NOW, but it may benefit other people reading the topic.

    I think you will find that the disc/s Dell sent you are NOT recovery discs, enabling you to recover from the partition on the hard drive, when for some reason it can only be accessed from the disc, BUT a reinstallation disc.

    I say this because you may have been under the impression that they were sending you the recovery disc

    The way to use that disc - if it is the reinstall disc is this
    please see my screenshot - as of course you could I think still get into windows

    So you go - settings - change - and then select as shown on the screenshot - remove everything and reinstall windows - having of course first saved to backup any data that you wish to save

    Additionally as it is a reinstall disc and despite the message about the GPT partition scheme, it could not be installed to that partition you selected - even without that message, as the MSR partition and the others related to the install of 8 are created when the OS is installed in the first place.

    I will stand corrected on my next point, but as I understand the situation with an OEM reinstall disc, before it will work the disc/drive to which it is to be installed must be formatted and that is the MAIN reason you are getting that message from the boot to the DVD

    Finally for those that wish the information when Windows is installed on a UEFI firmware computer the Windows setup application, at the time of installation, creates a partition called “EFI System Partition” and formats it with legacy FAT32 file system. The EFI System partition is filled with the Windows Boot manager (bootmgfw.efi) and it is from there that the UEFI firmware commences the process of handing over control to the OS having loaded the necessary drivers for the computer to boot and progress to that stage.

    As I said good luck with the new computer.

    Personally if they are still available in the USA, as they are in the UK I would have bought a Windows 7 computer of the necessary OS and then grabbed the windows 8 download at just $14.99 price before it expires
    http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com/en-US


    When will my promotion code expire?

    The last day to redeem promotion codes for the Windows Upgrade Offer promotional pricing is February 28, 2013.
     

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  14. raybro

    raybro Thread Starter

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    Definitely NOT related to my specific problem. To clarify... The disc sent to me by Dell was, in fact, labeled "Windows 8 Recovery Media for Windows 8 Products". This was sent because the I was unable to access the recovery partitions on the internal hard drive (which your screenshot depicts the beginning of that process). But since attempts at recovery resulted in apparent incompatibility with GPT type partitions (that's a real mystery), I decided to terminate the entire effort.

    It is all quite academic at this point, as I've packed up the laptop and on my way out the door to return this one and obtain a replacement. Now I get to go through all that customization process again. One advantage... having done it once, I will hopefully make less errors this time around
     
  15. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I did realise that as I said
    but hoping that you would not mind me using your topic for the purpose, so many people are having problems with this UEFI and GPT - and 8 that I thought it of benefit.

    For when you get the NEW one this, if you have not seen it will be of interest
    http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/19/SupportVideos/Product/inspiron-17r-5720

    especially I think the Windows 8 recovery media
    Create recovery or re-installations discs.

    According to Dell the recovery media discs - they send for Windows 8 are NOT model specific but are generic for all Dell computers with 8 pre-installed.
    This is an update as previously it was reported that Dell were sending not recovery discs but reinstallation discs.
    Now knowing it is the recovery disc I cannot understand how it does not provide you with the option to recover using the partition.
    I suspect the change of the drive from the original to the SDD and the flash of the firmware (TWICE) has totally confused any ability of the disc and the UEFI settings to initiate this operation.

    I am very sorry you have had ALL these problems and regret we were not able to solve them for you
     
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