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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for the ‘UEFI’ Category

All about UEFI vs BIOS – who to follow

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/10/23

A link to an old post [WayBack] All about UEFI vs BIOS – David Berneda – Google+ reminded me to follow these people:

Source: [WayBackAll about UEFI vs BIOS

[WayBackUEFI boot: how does that actually work, then? a long read ending with a long form of these recommendations:

  • If you can possibly manage it, have one OS per computer.
  • If you absolutely must have more than one OS per computer, at least have one OS per disk.
  • If you absolutely insist on having more than one OS per disk, understand everything written on this page, understand that you are making your life much more painful than it needs to be, lay in good stocks of painkillers and gin, and don’t go yelling at your OS vendor, whatever breaks.
  • If you’re using UEFI native booting, and you don’t tend to build your own kernels or kernel modules or use the NVIDIA or ATI proprietary drivers on Linux, you might want to leave Secure Boot on.
  • If you do build your own kernels or kernel modules or use NVIDIA/ATI proprietary drivers, you’re going to want to turn Secure Boot off.
  • Don’t do UEFI-native installs to MBR-formatted disks, or BIOS compatibility installs to GPT-formatted disks (an exception to the latter is if your disk is, IIRC, 2.2+TB in size…
  • Trust mjg59 in all things and above all other authorities, including me.


Posted in BIOS, Boot, Power User, UEFI, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Make A Bootable Windows 10 USB Install Stick On Linux With WinUSB Fork ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/07/29

One day I’m going to need this: Make A Bootable Windows 10 USB Install Stick On Linux With WinUSB Fork ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog

So I’m glad WinUSB (which hadn’t been maintained for a long time) got forked on github by slaka.

Since my day-to-day unix-like system is OS X, I’d love a good working solution there too which means I probably need to investigate a bit along these lines:


via: Make A Bootable Windows 10 USB Install Stick On Linux With WinUSB Fork WebUpd8 – Google+  / DoorToDoorGeek “Stephen McLaughlin” – Google+



Posted in *nix, Apple, BIOS, Boot, BSD, Linux, Mac OS X / OS X / MacOS, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Power User, Ubuntu, UEFI, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 9, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP | Leave a Comment »

ThinkPad X201: fixing the “black screen” (without mouse pointer) after upgrading to Windows 10

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/06/10

After this Windows 10 boot screen the display goes blank without a mouse cursor.

After this Windows 10 boot screen the display goes blank without a mouse cursor.

So you upgraded your X201 from Windows 7 to Windows 10 even though it’s not in the listed on the Lenovo supported models page.

Now it gets through the boot screen, flashes the CapsLock/NumLock LEDS, blanks the screen (no mouse cursor) and continues booting without any visual feedback apart from the HDD LED flashing until it is finished booting

Since Windows 10 by default does not enable the F8 option any more, you need some more severe measures.

BIOS update

The first was to get the BIOS up to date. At the time of writing that was 1.40-1.15 from BIOS Update Bootable CD for Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), Vista (32-bit, 64-bit), XP – ThinkPad – Lenovo Support (US):

Then I had to burn the ISO. Which was a bit picky because most of my infrastructure is VM based and none of the physical machines had a DVD or CD-drive any more. Luckily I found a LiteOn SLW 831SX which Windows detects as Slimtype DVDRW SLW-831S USB Device. ImgBurn worked with that (elevated to Administrative mode that is: it requires that both for burning and grabbing an ISO image).

Upgrading the BIOS went fine, but the symptoms stayed.

Removing/re-inserting battery

Removing the battery for a while, then reinserting was suggested at one of the sites.  It didn’t help.

Force into Repair Mode

Then I read this:

If the system can’t load the necessary configuration more than two times, the system will  direct the display to Windows RE(Recovery environment).

Source: Windows 10 – How to enter Safe Mode if I can’t boot the system successfully?

They also have: Windows 10 – If I can’t enter the system, how can I restore the Windows 10 laptop or PC to default settings?

This very easy to do:

Prepairing Automatic Repair

Prepairing Automatic Repair

  1. Keep the power button down to power off the machine
  2. Power up the machine
  3. Wait for the boot screen to appear, then
    1. Keep the power button down to power off the machine
  4. Power up the machine
  5. Wait for the boot screen to appear, then
    1. Keep the power button down to power off the machine
  6. Wait for the “Prepairing Automatic Repair” to finish
  7. Wait for the “Diagnosing your PC” to finish
  8. Wait for the “Automatic Repair” to appear, then
    1. Wiggle with the mouse to get a mouse cursor
  9. Press the “Advanced Options” button
  10. Choose “Troubleshoot”
  11. Choose “Advanced Options”
  12. Choose “Startup Settings”
  13. Choose “Restart”
  14. Wait for the reboot and “Startup Settings” to appear (note: no mouse cursor)
  15. Hit F5 for “Enable Safe Mode with Networking”
  16. Wait for it to reboot twice.

This didn’t work as well as I hoped as now I was at the failure point as well.

But now at least I had a starting point to trip Windows into booting any way I wanted. I now only had to find which function key would get me into a state where I could see what was going on.

And the good things: The “Diagnosing your PC” only required one ‘manual power down” to appear.

  • F9 – Disable automatic restart after failure
  • F8 – Disable early launch anti-malware protection
  • F7 – Disable driver signature enforcement
  • F6 – Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt
  • F5 – Enable Safe Mode with Networking
  • F4 – Enable Safe Mode
  • F3 – Enable low-resolution video
  • F2 – Enable boot logging
  • F1 – Enable debugging

F3 finally got me to the VIDEO_DRIVER_INIT_FAILURE (BSOD STOP 0x000000B4) which indicated the machine was so hosed that I had to to a clean install.


Automatic Repair - wiggle with the mouse and you have a cursor too!

Automatic Repair – wiggle with the mouse and you have a cursor too!


Images via:

Posted in BIOS, Boot, Power User, ThinkPad, UEFI, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, X201 | Leave a Comment »

Screenshots: Creating vSphere 5 ESXi embedded USB Stick with MBR partition table

Posted by jpluimers on 2013/05/03

A long time ago, I promised steps how to install VMware 5 ESXi using the MBR boot format.

The steps with screenshots are below, but first some background information.

As of VMware ESXi 5, GPT (short for GUID partition table) is the default partition table used by VMware ESXi.

Disks smaller than 2 TB can boot with MBR, but GPT It is a requirement for disks bigger than 2 TB. GPT also needs a UEFI compatible  BIOS.

Some older BIOSes (like those of my HP XW6600 machines: still running strong after many years of fine service) do not support GPT.

Luckily, weasel (the open source Operating System Installer that VMware ESXi uses) can be forced to use MBR using runweasel formatwithmbr.

Forcing MBR is a 2-step process.

  1. Get to the boot prompt: press Shift+O when the progress bar appears
  2. Running weasel with the MBR option: after the “runweasel”, type a space, then formatwithmbr

Below are the screenshots of a VMware ESXi 5.0.0 installation I did this way.

But it works equally well in ESXi 5.1.x

After writing this post, I found out about ESXi 5 Won’t Boot From USB which solves this exact problem for an HP XW8600 configuration (those are slightly larger machines than the XW6600 I have, but the architecture is the same).


Click on the image or link for larger screenshots, or view the series here at Flickr. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BIOS, Boot, ESXi5, ESXi5.1, Hardware, HP XW6600, Power User, UEFI, Virtualization, VMware, VMware ESXi | 1 Comment »

Creating vSphere 5 ESXi embedded USB Stick (failed at first in HP XW6600, but with MBR partition table it works)

Posted by jpluimers on 2012/07/30

Installing and booting ESXi 5 from USB allows you to keep your storage exclusively for VMs and separately make backup of your boot configuration and data configuration (note you cannot put the DataStore on your USB stick).

A small stick (minimum 1 gigabyte) will suffice, and works on many systems, but at first not on my HP XW6600, despite the latest BIOS version 1.36a. You get a nice “Non-System disk or disk error” message.

Both methods I tried failed at first. I thought they failed because the BIOS on the HP has limited USB boot support. It did boot from single partition USB sticks, but seemed not to boot from multi-partition ones, no matter if they are removable or HDD (with the removable bit flipped).

The ESXi5 installer is a single partition one. The final ESXi5 installed image is a multi-partition one. That’s what got me thinking into the multi-partiton direction.

Since the problem is similar to the impossibility of booting VMware workstation VMs from USB stick, (this fails even from the BIOS), I tried Plop since Plop works for VMware Workstation. The Plop USB boot manager failed too. My final thought was to install Plop on a FAT formatted USB stick(which does boot) and continue from there to the ESXi5 one: that failed too.

Boy I was wrong: the failure was not caused by the multi-partition setup, but because of my “Google blindness”: I searched in the wrong direction with the wrong keywords, therefore not getting the right links as search results.

A VMware Communities forum threads on “No bootable device” after successful ESXI5 installation on Intel DG35EC desktop motherboard” and No boot after clean install  finally got me in the right direction:

As of ESXi5, the default partition table type is GPT (GUID Partition Table), not MBR (Master Boot Record) any more (thats why an ESXi4 install will work fine).

Booting from GPT is in the EFI standards (now in its second generation UEFI or United Extensible Firmware), allowing – among others – to boot from disks bigger than 2 terrabyte. You need a BIOS that is compatible with GPT to do so, and the HP XW6600 BIOS clearly isn’t compatible with GPT.

Not all is lost, as while installing ESXi5, you have an option – though well hidden – to force it to use MBR boot. That worked, and I will blog on the steps later.

The good news: it now works on my HP XW6600 workstations (that support both VT-x and VT-d, which means I can do PCI pass through).

How to create an ESXi5 install on a USB stick

First things first though: creating the USB stick in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BIOS, Boot, ESXi4, ESXi5, Hardware, HP XW6600, Power User, UEFI, Virtualization, VMware, VMware ESXi | 4 Comments »

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