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2.2TB Infinity vs UEFI with WinPE


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#1 Tripredacus

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:35 PM

Here is my first question (I think) post on here. I am looking at an MSI 760GM-E51 (FX) motherboard that supports a "feature" called "2.2TB Infinity" which is apparently just a fancy name for UEFI. However it is a little different. On this board, you need to boot into what could be called a separate BIOS than the normal one. The instructions are here:
http://service.msico...?esoformid=2909

Unlike Intel boards (the only ones I've gotten to deal with so far), you choose the "UEFI" option in the boot menu, which then has its own mini-BIOS. On an Intel board with UEFI enabled, boot devices that contain a valid UEFI enabled boot volume appear as duplicate items in the boot menu. For example, if I have a Server 2008 R2 DVD in the DVD drive on an Intel board, the boot menu would show the standard DVD drive, in addition to a duplicate that is prefixed with UEFI so that you could choose which type of boot option you wanted.

I have a WinPE 3.0 x64 CD that is capable of booting in UEFI mode. To be more specific, I had made it with only the EFI boot files, so that it isn't actually able to do a BIOS level boot, which was tested to be true on the Intel board. As far as this WinPE CD goes, it is able to install or deploy a Windows image to a GPT disk just fine.

The problem is that the 2.2TB Infinity "BIOS" does not detect the DVD drive as having a valid boot volume in it when I try to boot off my WinPE CD. It does detect a Server 2008 R2 SP1 DVD as a vaild boot device.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of information about this 2.2TB Infinity. In fact it isn't even mentioned in either the product specs or manual for this board. From some older board reviews, I see that there is some mention about how the BIOS on these boards are not a UEFI BIOS, which makes me think that this option is emulated in some way.

So that's the story, so now you can see how I'm not sure how to proceed in adapting (or creating a new) WinPE CD that is capable of making use of a GPT disk for imaging AND boot off this weird non-UEFI UEFI thing. Do you have any ideas on what I could possibly try out?

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:49 PM

I have a WinPE 3.0 x64 CD that is capable of booting in UEFI mode. To be more specific, I had made it with only the EFI boot files, so that it isn't actually able to do a BIOS level boot, which was tested to be true on the Intel board. As far as this WinPE CD goes, it is able to install or deploy a Windows image to a GPT disk just fine.

The problem is that the 2.2TB Infinity "BIOS" does not detect the DVD drive as having a valid boot volume in it when I try to boot off my WinPE CD. It does detect a Server 2008 R2 SP1 DVD as a vaild boot device.

I have NO real knowledge on the matter, but by reading what you posted, I understand it as follows:
  • for my reasons I made a non-standard WinPE 3.x boot CD/DVD, removing a number of files
  • now this non-standard WinPE 3.x CD/DVD doesn't boot on a specific motheroard
  • a standard WinPE 3.x CD/DVD (Server 2008 R2 SP1 DVD) does boot on the same specific motherboard

IF this is the case I would try first thing to create a standard WinPE 3.x CD/DVD WITHOUT removing any file and see what happens.

:cheers:
Wonko

#3 Tripredacus

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

Well I have some updates.

1. While this BIOS does detect the Server 2008 R2 SP1 DVD as a valid boot volume (aka it makes the DVD drive show up in the boot menu) choosing to boot off it fails. It fails with the "No bootable device" message.
2. I had sent an email into MSI. They confirm that this board does not use a UEFI BIOS and that this feature is "transitional" BUT does not support UEFI installation mode.

So what is the point of having a function built in that you can't actually use? :dubbio:

There are some other things that throws up red flags about this board (other than the fact it has a floppy port on it)
- There is a setting in the BIOS covered in the manual that says enabling it will cause your CPU to lock up. Its probably a translation issue, but the wording is pretty ominous.
- The page on their website for this board has a note that says not to run burn-in programs on it because it can damage the board.

So I'm going to do a "why not" step in this and see if this board is capable of booting a 3TB drive with Server 2008 installed on it, by way of deploying the image on the Intel board and then have it boot on the MSI board. :pressure:

Edit: I was able to install Server 2008 R2 in UEFI mode on the Intel DQ67SW board. Then shut it down, plug in the HDD to the MSI board, boot to 2.2TB Infinity and boot into Server 2008. So it does indeed support booting from a 2.2TB+ boot volume. However why anyone would go to these lengths is beyond me. I'll have to figure out why this is even an option. It makes no sense.

Edited by Tripredacus, 09 February 2012 - 06:45 PM.


#4 Tripredacus

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:44 PM

There is some new info on this... albeit something I had not considered trying... Using my test media of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I could not get it to boot into Setup using the 2.2TB Infinity option. Like previous UEFI supported DVDs tested, it does show the drive as having supported media in it, but would immediately go to the boot error message.

I found that it WILL work if I boot off of an ATAPI DVD drive!

So it just doesn't work if you boot off a SATA DVD drive... which seems really strange to me.




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