Any UEFI BCD knowledge out here in WHS land? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Config is a WHS2011 on Intel UEFI-capable desktop board. I had a working configuration for a long time but for reasons beyond the discussion here, ended up re-installing it. Since WHS doesn't allow selecting where the OS installs, first I removed the two RAID disks, expecting to be able to add them in later. (Somehow I made this work on the original install but for the life of me I can't remember how.)

    I installed it as a one disk system and it booted fine. When I added back in the two disks as Intel RAID, they are apparently now recognized as the first two disks and one of them is where the EFI stuff wants to boot from and that fails and falls through to the network boot agent. If I F10 and select the EFI hard disk option, it boots fine. If I F10 and select Windows Boot Manager it also fails. My thinking is that somehow the NVRAM and EFI data are not consistent with the "new" collection of disks, but don't really know the EFI boot process and tools well enough to prove it and find the specific problem.

    I've read up on bcdedit and it looks like all of that mucks about in the relevant area, but I'm hesitant to go in and just hack since I don't want to brick the machine for the second time in a week.

    Any suggestions where to begin on this would be greatly appreciated!

    Thursday, January 3, 2013 2:25 AM

All replies

  • In your BIOS, you should be able to choose between UEFI and classic boot sequences... I would choose classic for WHS at this point.  Is your new boot disk an MBR disk? 

    Most boards have a boot device priority setting; sometimes the HDD priority is managed separately. In either case, you should be able to permanently set your board to try to boot first from your new boot disk.  Are you saying you have done this and it's still not working?

    Off topic: everyone feels differently about RAID, but I have had very poor experiences with motherboard RAID and now never use it.  For example, I once lost an entire mirrored drive array after a simple motherboard BIOS update.  Motherboard RAID conveys no real performance benefit over Windows dynamic disks and ties your array to your specific motherboard and hardware manufacturer.  Dynamic disks in Windows is a proven solution that allows your array to be portable to any Windows system (after importing via Disk Manager). In case this helps...

    • Edited by Gary Voth Thursday, January 3, 2013 2:02 PM
    Thursday, January 3, 2013 2:01 PM
  • "if I'd known then what I know now" I might not have gone down the UEFI route. But I'm not sure I wouldn't have wound up in the same state. (But was just reading an article elsewhere about installing drivers in mid-install. I need to go visit that again. IF that copes with the Intel RAID drivers--and I couldn't get the Recover path to work with the Intel RAID drivers the other day--that might be a path to solution. But I was just a little stressed out and adrenaline OD'd. A bricked machine with potential data loss always does that to me.)

    The issue isn't motherboard RAID which has worked well for me. My new boot disk is GPT--UEFI and GPT apparently come as a set. I'd change boot order in the BIOS but since it's running UEFI, there really isn't an exposure to do so as it's controlled by the UEFI data in NVRAM and the EFI partition. And this is where I'm in trouble, near as I reckon. There is the ability in the UEFI boot to F10 and pick the boot device and this is how I'm forcing the issue. Just it's painful to have to do this every time and WinUpdate/reboot leaves it hung.

    • Edited by Dick Watson Friday, January 4, 2013 12:27 AM
    Friday, January 4, 2013 12:22 AM