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made exfat "boot" UFD for existing Win8 and Win7 dual-boot install


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#1 breaker

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:24 PM

So, I have a PC with multiple disks and OSes, 2 of them are Windows 7 and Windows 8 CP (also XP and Linux).

From Windows 8 CP, I decided to see if I could get a UFD to boot using exfat for the filesystem. Since I have only smaller UFDs, I decided to just copy the system files (bootmgr, bootnxt, c:\boot\bcd) to the UFD and see if my PC would boot my existing installs right from UFD.

First used diskpart in Win8CP;


DISKPART> select disk 9

Disk 9 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> clean

DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

DISKPART> create partition primary

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

DISKPART> select partition 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> active

DiskPart marked the current partition as active.

DISKPART> format fs=exfat quick

  100 percent completed

DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.

DISKPART> assign

DiskPart successfully assigned the drive letter or mount point.

DISKPART> exit

Leaving DiskPart...


Then I booted to my Windows XP install and stole the boot files and BCD from my Windows 7 (the system) partition. My Windows 7 partition is the one I use for bootmgr, bootnxt, and \boot\bcd

I also copied some stuff maybe I needed, maybe not, \boot\en-US directory, BCD.LOG files in \boot, BOOTSTAT.DAT, \boot\Resources

Anyway, went into BIOS, changed HDD boot order to said UFD, and it booted to the BCD menu fine. I was able to boot into Windows 7 or Windows 8.

When booting it showed the old Vista booting "progress" bar (the green bar thing that is animated).

In Windows 7 the UFD can be ejected and everything is fine (maybe because the real BCD is there), but in booting this way to Windows 8, once the UFD is ejected the system freezes until it is reinserted. I think this is by design allowing the "Windows to Go" feature.

that's all for now...

:cheers:

breaker

#2 ericgl

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:22 AM

Interesting...
Will look into it.

#3 Him

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:24 AM

If I use an exFAT formated UFD and boot into WinRE of Windows 7, it will not able to detect my Windows and ask me to run startup repair. However, if I use the same set of boot files and boot with a FAT32 formated UFD, then everything is fine, it will also show me the Windows 7 boot animation. So is it because Windows 7 does not support booting from exFAT formatted disks?

#4 Leolo

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:46 PM

The Bootmgr from Windows 7 does NOT support exFAT.

However, the bootmgr that comes with Windows 8 RTM does support booting from exFAT volumes.

WinPE 4.0 RTM also supports booting from exFAT formatted drives.

If you want to download WinPE 4.0 final RTM version is available here:

http://download.micr...dk/adksetup.exe

#5 Him

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:49 PM

The Bootmgr from Windows 7 does NOT support exFAT.

However, the bootmgr that comes with Windows 8 RTM does support booting from exFAT volumes.

WinPE 4.0 RTM also supports booting from exFAT formatted drives.

If you want to download WinPE 4.0 final RTM version is available here:

http://download.micr...dk/adksetup.exe


Yes, I think we are all talking about the Windows 8 bootmgr.
We want to use exFat to boot Windows 7 using the new bootmgr.

#6 Leolo

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:21 PM

I have only tested WinPE. I can confirm that the new windows 8 bootmgr can boot from exFAT drives and correctly launch the following operating systems:

- WinPE 3.0
- WinPE 4.0

What exactly are you trying to achieve?? Are you planning to install a full-blown Windows 7 on an exFAT partition??? That's not supported by Microsoft!!

Edited by Leolo, 04 August 2012 - 02:23 PM.


#7 Him

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:37 PM

I have only tested WinPE. I can confirm that the new windows 8 bootmgr can boot from exFAT drives and correctly launch the following operating systems:

- WinPE 3.0
- WinPE 4.0

What exactly are you trying to achieve?? Are you planning to install a full-blown Windows 7 on an exFAT partition??? That's not supported by Microsoft!!


When you booting WinPE 3.0 on a exFAT partition, it will show the Vista booting progress bar or Windows 7 Animated Logo?

#8 Leolo

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 03:18 PM

The very first thing you'll see is the cursor blinking in the upper left corner of the screen and the letters "exFAT" that appear progressively and then quickly disappear

Then you'll get the boot menu.

After selecting WinPE 3.0, it will show a text progress bar that says "Loading files..." (using the new text fonts of the new bootmgr)

Afterwards it will show a yellow graphical progress bar with the text "Microsoft Corporation", but there is no logo at all.

And finally the cmd command prompt.

#9 Him

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 03:37 PM

Sorry, my typo. What I am testing is WinPE 3.1, not 3.0.
When I boot from a exFAT partition, it will shows the Vista style progress bar. However, if it copy the boot files to a FAT32 partition, the Windows 7 animated logo will be displayed. So, I just want to know the reason is Windows 7 not support booting from exFAT or the new bootmgr not support booting Windows 7 on exFAT partition.

If I replace the boot.wim with a Windows 7 Recovery Environment (WinRE) wim file, the Start-up Repair Wizard will say that there is a problem to my boot config only if I booting from exFAT.

#10 Leolo

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 03:56 PM

Are you using RAM disks to create your WinPE image as recommended by Microsoft?
http://technet.micro...ibrary/hh825109

Please note that it's also possible to make what is called a "Flat-boot WinPE"
http://technet.micro...ibrary/hh825045

A flat-boot WinPE places the files directly on the filesystem of the USB drive, instead of compacting them inside a big .WIM file like the traditional RAM disk method does.

Which of the two methods are you using??

#11 Him

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 03:59 PM

I am using RAM disk, will boot the WIM to X: RAM Disk Drive.

#12 Leolo

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:07 PM

I guess your problem is related to the BCD database.

You could try to format and create again the USB flash drive from scratch by following Microsoft's directions.

Then use these commands:


bcdedit /store u:bootbcd /copy {default} /d "WinRE Windows Recovery Environment"

bcdedit /store u:bootbcd /set {lookup_GUID_created_in_previous_step} device ramdisk=[boot]sourceswinre.wim,{7619dcc8-fafe-11d9-b411-000476eba25f}

bcdedit /store u:bootbcd /set {lookup_GUID_created_in_previous_step} osdevice ramdisk=[boot]sourceswinre.wim,{7619dcc8-fafe-11d9-b411-000476eba25f}


Where U: is the drive letter of your USB drive. And "lookup_GUID_created_in_previous_step" is the GUID that bcdedit tells you.

You have to copy also the file winre.wim to your USB drive in the folder "u:sources"

#13 Him

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:12 PM

I guess your problem is related to the BCD database.

You could try to format and create again the USB flash drive from scratch by following Microsoft's directions.

Then use these commands:


bcdedit /store u:bootbcd /copy {default} /d "WinRE Windows Recovery Environment"

bcdedit /store u:bootbcd /set {lookup_GUID_created_in_previous_step} device ramdisk=[boot]sourceswinre.wim,{7619dcc8-fafe-11d9-b411-000476eba25f}

bcdedit /store u:bootbcd /set {lookup_GUID_created_in_previous_step} osdevice ramdisk=[boot]sourceswinre.wim,{7619dcc8-fafe-11d9-b411-000476eba25f}


Where U: is the drive letter of your USB drive. And "lookup_GUID_created_in_previous_step" is the GUID that bcdedit tells you.

You have to copy also the file winre.wim to your USB drive in the folder "u:sources"


Thank you for your help, I will try it later.
My BCD file is just copied from my old FAT32 formated UFD. Is that you mean I can't do that because the format of my new UFD is different?

#14 Leolo

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:23 PM

I've got strange and unpredictable results when copying the BCD from one drive to another.

I prefer to recreate the BCD database from scratch to avoid those strange problems.

#15 ericgl

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 05:36 PM

breaker,

 

I'm the guy who wrote the WinPE4 and WinPE5.0 guides, so I know a thing or two about booting WinPE.

 

I'm still trying to figure out how to boot an exFAT-formatted USB drive.

So far I failed. Only FAT32 works for me.

I have tried it on several computers, both desktops and laptops, old and new. Tinkered with the BIOS settings. Still can't get exFAT to boot.

Today I tried using the newest boot files from Win10 b10586 ADK. I figured if anything can boot off exFAT, these brand new boot files should do the trick.

Failed miserably.

 

Here's what I get when I try boot the exFAT-formatted USB drive:

Remove Disks or other media.
Press any key to restart

The procedure is pretty much like you described:

1. Format the drive using DiskPart commands.

2. Copy all necessary boot files and folders to the USB drive (from the latest ADK, as I mentioned).

3. Copy a ready-made WinPE10 WIM file to the USB drive.  I named it WinPE10_x64.WIM instead of boot.wim, and put it in a Sources folder on the USB drive.

4. Using BCDedit.exe from the ADK, adjust the BCD store to point to the WIM file (both BCD files, the legacy and the EFI).

5. Try to boot from the USB drive.

 

In theory, it should just work. I can't figure-out what I'm missing here.

Does your exFAT-formatted USB drive work on all computers you've tried it on, or just a certain computer?

Is another file(s) required?

Is there a certain setting in the BIOS that I may have missed?

Can you please attach a screenshot of the root of your exFAT-formatted USB drive?

 

Thanks in advance.



#16 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 06:47 PM

That error is often associated to the bootsector code not finding the bootloader (BOOTMGR in your case).

Try re-formatting the volume and copying to it just the BOOTMGR and *a* \boot\BCD\, you shoudl be able to boot and get a different, bootmgr/BCD related error.

 

JFYI there is another thread with reports of success (bootmgr and later actually working on exFAT, though the other one uses grub4dos as MBR):

http://reboot.pro/to...ated-usb-drive/

 

You could also use that other approach, bypassing the bootsector and chainloading the BOOTMGR from grub4dos' grldr.mbr, just to verify if the issue is in the bootsector code.

 

:duff:

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#17 ericgl

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 09:59 AM

That error is often associated to the bootsector code not finding the bootloader (BOOTMGR in your case).
Try re-formatting the volume and copying to it just the BOOTMGR and *a* \boot\BCD\, you shoudl be able to boot and get a different, bootmgr/BCD related error.


OK. So I moved a few files and left bootmgr, Boot\BCD, and Sources\WinPE10_x64.wim.
Now I'm getting the following screen:

DSC0003.png

Status: 0xc000000f
Info: A required device isn't connected or can't be accessed.

I guess that's considered progress.
I looked up the error online for a possible solution, but haven't found one yet.
Any ideas how to proceed?

 

EDIT: Check out the next post :idea:.



#18 ericgl

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 11:47 AM

Good news, folks:

I've found the missing component!!!
 
In the Win10 ADK at:
Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\Media\Boot\
There should be a very important file - bootmgr.exe, but it is missing!!
Only the mui file is present (bootmgr.exe.mui) inside the "en-us" folder, but the executable isn't.
 
Luckily, I have the Win10PESE project from ChrisR, which has this "bootmgr.exe" file (latest version based on Win10 b10586).
EDIT: Found the location of the bootmgr.exe file on the Win10 ISO: 
Win10 TH2 b10586 x64.ISO\sources\boot.wim\1\Windows\Boot\PXE\
 
I copied it to my USB drive in the "boot" folder, and now it booted properly.
Yay!!
 
So all this trouble was Microsoft's fault  :angry: .
 
Here's a screenshot of the boot folder on my exFAT USB drive:
exfat_boot.png

  • TheHive and wimb like this

#19 TheHive

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 07:07 AM

Cool beans!

pc749%20cool%20beans.jpg



#20 ericgl

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:02 AM

I've managed to find where ChrisR took the bootmgr.exe file from :thumbup:.

On the Windows 10 ISO, it is located at:

\sources\boot.wim\1\Windows\Boot\PXE\



#21 wimb

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:06 AM

 

There should be a very important file - bootmgr.exe, but it is missing!!
Only the mui file is present (bootmgr.exe.mui) inside the "en-us" folder, but the executable isn't.
 
Luckily, I have the Win10PESE project from ChrisR, which has this "bootmgr.exe" file (latest version based on Win10 b10586).
EDIT: Found the location of the bootmgr.exe file on the Win10 ISO: 
Win10 TH2 b10586 x64.ISO\sources\boot.wim\1\Windows\Boot\PXE\
 
I copied it to my USB drive in the "boot" folder, and now it booted properly.
Yay!!
 
So all this trouble was Microsoft's fault  :angry: .

 

In case of booting Win8.1 PE boot.wim from Network, then also bootmgr.exe is used instead of bootmgr

On my request then ChrisR has added bootmgr.exe to the project

http://www.msfn.org/...-5#entry1070405

http://reboot.pro/to...ve/#entry168079



#22 wimb

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:12 AM

 

There should be a very important file - bootmgr.exe, but it is missing!!
Only the mui file is present (bootmgr.exe.mui) inside the "en-us" folder, but the executable isn't.
 
Luckily, I have the Win10PESE project from ChrisR, which has this "bootmgr.exe" file (latest version based on Win10 b10586).
EDIT: Found the location of the bootmgr.exe file on the Win10 ISO: 
Win10 TH2 b10586 x64.ISO\sources\boot.wim\1\Windows\Boot\PXE\
 
I copied it to my USB drive in the "boot" folder, and now it booted properly.
Yay!!
 
So all this trouble was Microsoft's fault  :angry: .

 

In case of booting Win8.1 PE boot.wim from Network, then also bootmgr.exe is used instead of bootmgr

On my request then ChrisR has added bootmgr.exe to the project

http://www.msfn.org/...-5#entry1070405

 

See also:

PXE wimboot is very handy and fast for booting of Win8.1SE boot.wim from Network

http://reboot.pro/to...ve/#entry168079

 

http://blog.devicenu...ver-2012r2.html



#23 wimb

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:12 AM

 

There should be a very important file - bootmgr.exe, but it is missing!!
Only the mui file is present (bootmgr.exe.mui) inside the "en-us" folder, but the executable isn't.
 
Luckily, I have the Win10PESE project from ChrisR, which has this "bootmgr.exe" file (latest version based on Win10 b10586).
EDIT: Found the location of the bootmgr.exe file on the Win10 ISO: 
Win10 TH2 b10586 x64.ISO\sources\boot.wim\1\Windows\Boot\PXE\
 
I copied it to my USB drive in the "boot" folder, and now it booted properly.
Yay!!
 
So all this trouble was Microsoft's fault  :angry: .

 

In case of booting Win8.1 PE boot.wim from Network, then also bootmgr.exe is used instead of bootmgr

On my request then ChrisR has added bootmgr.exe to the project

http://www.msfn.org/...-5#entry1070405

 

See also:

PXE wimboot is very handy and fast for booting of Win8.1SE boot.wim from Network

http://reboot.pro/to...ve/#entry168079

 

http://blog.devicenu...ver-2012r2.html

 

Please remove my 2 previous posts :) (browser/posting failed to work properly)



#24 breaker

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 03:30 AM

For the record, the only thing I was trying to achieve was to boot a exFAT formatted flash drive, using Windows 8 boot files.

 

Basically I installed Windows 7, then Windows 8 CP, formatted the UFD, then offline (not booted into the Win7 or Win8 install), I copied the boot files to the UFD.

 

Set options in BIOS to boot from UFD. Yes, I think it only worked on the particular install / PC that had the files.

 

Since then I took the UFD and made it into a Windows 7 PE boot drive, and it is still exFAT.

 

The root and Boot directories:

Y:\>attrib
A  SHR       Y:\bootmgr
A  SH        Y:\BOOTNXT
A            Y:\CdUsb.Y
A            Y:\Win7PE.cd
A            Y:\autorun.inf

Y:\>attrib Boot\*.*
A            Y:\Boot\bcd
A  SH        Y:\Boot\bcd.LOG1
A  SH        Y:\Boot\bcd.LOG2
A    R       Y:\Boot\boot.sdi
A    R       Y:\Boot\bootsect.exe
A    R       Y:\Boot\etfsboot.com
A    R       Y:\Boot\memtest.exe
A  SH        Y:\Boot\BCD.LOG

It didn't work with Windows 8 and 7 dual boot until I copied the BOOTNXT file. I don't have that bootmgr.exe, just bootmgr. The Boot\BCD was copied, but I suppose it could be recreated later.



#25 breaker

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 03:37 AM

Also, this Windows 7 PE UFD does boot on many computers. Since I made the PE disk instead of the other experiment, it now has a different BCD store. So, I guess it is different for PE.

 

Again, I did not need bootmgr.exe






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