Preparing for major upgrade - advice requested


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AHansen
AHansen
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Hello – I am preparing for an upgrade per the pic:

Components for the upgraded PC have been acquired but not assembled.

The intent is to “transplant” storage into an otherwise complete build. The primary potential impediment is the need to enter the world of UEFI. I have two mobos (long story, short answer = one was a gift): a MSI 270-A Pro (preferred) and a Gigabyte GA-Z270-HD3. The BIOS in both – of course – are UEFI, but by default the BIOS mode is set to Legacy + UEFI (MSI) and UEFI CSM (Compatibility Support Module – Gigabyte) which enable the BIOS to automatically detect whether it will be booting into MBR or UEFI.

Plan A: Load drivers for the new hardware into the existing OS prior to transplant. I believe (hope) that default BIOS mode should then –theoretically – enable booting using my current OS drive. (If someone knows differently please tell me now.)

Plan B: Use Macrium Re-Deploy capability. I’ve created (& tested) the Macrium WinPE bootable USB flash drive. If I’m understanding the Reflect manual correctly, in a disaster which totally destroyed a PC the recovery migration would be a 2 step process:
  1. Load backup image onto a virgin drive
  2. Use Re-Deploy to let Macrium lead the way down the path to successful boot with the all new hardware
In an upgrade migration in which storage is transplanted only the 2nd step is needed; is my understanding correct?

My bootable recovery USB (16G) is based my current hardware. Can I create a new folder on the bootable USB for the new hardware drivers without putting the WinPE functionality at risk?

In the knowledge base article “Preparing a USB stick for Windows PE” the guidance provided for choosing between legacy NTFS and UEFI FAT32 formatting is “If your system has GPT disks and uses the newer UEFI booting standard then please type the line below instead:”. Three questions arise from that:
  1. Can legacy BIOS boot into a FAT32 environment (if my old memory serves, FAT32 preceded NTFS)?
  2. Does this mean has a GPT disk or does it actually mean boots from a GPT disk?
  3. Given the BIOS mode described above, should the recovery USB be formatted NTFS or FAT32?

Thank-you in advance for help, time and expertise ...
Art H.

jphughan
jphughan
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You might not be able to load certain drivers for your new hardware beforehand, since some installers won't install if they don't actually detect the hardware present, but you also shouldn't need to do that.  ReDeploy should take care of getting your restored image to the point that Windows will boot, then you can install whatever drivers are needed for the rest of your new hardware.  However, if you want to continue booting in Legacy BIOS mode, you'll support for that specifically enabled on your new system in its BIOS interface, which it sounds like it already is.  Alternatively, you can restore your Legacy BIOS-based Windows installation in a specific way that will allow it to boot in UEFI mode, which is documented here -- you'll need to run ReDeploy after all of that as well since you're migrating to new hardware.  UEFI has a few distinct advantages over Legacy BIOS anyway especially if you're running Windows 8 or newer, so it's sometimes worth doing.  However, since you're on Windows 7, the case is much less compelling, and in fact setting up Windows 7 for UEFI has some drawbacks, such as making your environment impossible to viBoot.  I would say that you should NOT bother with UEFI conversion in your case unless a) you need your OS partition to reside on a disk that's larger than 2TB, or b) you intend to set up a dual boot system involving another OS that functions better in UEFI mode.  And actually when booting Windows 7 in UEFI mode, you still need to keep Legacy BIOS support enabled in your motherboard since even in UEFI mode it has some legacy dependencies.

As for Rescue Media, Legacy BIOS can boot either FAT32 or NTFS.  UEFI is only guaranteed to be able to boot FAT32.  NTFS support on UEFI systems is optional, but is not widely implemented, which is why FAT32 is the file system of choice for UEFI systems despite it predating NTFS.  Just enable the multi-boot checkbox at the last step of the Create Rescue Media wizard and it will set your flash drive up properly.

Your Rescue Media should be set up as MBR for simplicity, which is how the Rescue Media wizard will set it up automatically.  Internal disks that actually contain an OS typically get set up as GPT when being set up for a UEFI system, but UEFI systems will boot from USB devices that use MBR just fine.  They'll also work with USB devices set up as GPT, and you can manually build a Rescue Media device that way if you wanted to, but using GPT would remove the multi-boot support that allows a single Rescue Media device to be used with both Legacy BIOS and UEFI systems, which is why the Rescue Media wizard doesn't support USB devices set up as GPT.  Again, just enable the multi-boot checkbox at the last step of the wizard and it will set your flash drive up properly. Smile

Edited 30 July 2018 1:36 PM by jphughan
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