exFAT is not available for flash drive Rescue Media, is it?


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dbminter
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I seem to recall somewhere exFAT formatted flash drives are not capable of being bootable Rescue Media; is that the case?  I believe it is because I had a flash drive I formatted as exFAT and Rescue Media Builder wanted to format the flash drive for use.  I chose not to do that and reformatted the flash drive myself as FAT32, which I thought was the supported bootable format type.  After the FAT32 format, Rescue Media Builder did create flash drive Rescue Media that booted.


Thanks!

jphughan
jphughan
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The UEFI spec does not mandate firmware-level support for exFAT.  It mandates support for FAT(16) and FAT32, with NTFS being optional and not very widely implemented.  So UEFi booting from exFAT would likely be impossible or at least very widely not supported.  As for Legacy BIOS booting, that would require the partition bootloader to have the code necessary to work with the exFAT file system, and at least for now, I don't believe the Windows bootloader does.

dbminter
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Thanks!
RRbitwise
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You might be interested in the Open Source UEFI file system drivers
and UEFI boot support written by Pete Batard. Among other things,
he is the author of Rufus (see https://github.com/pbatard/rufus), a
very good and widely used tool which can be used to create bootable
USB flash drives from ISO images.  The URLs shown below will get
you to the relevant web sites:
https://efi.akeo.ie/
https://github.com/pbatard/efifs
https://github.com/pbatard/uefi-ntfs

Here ia an extraction from the README.md file for UEFI-NTFS:

UEFI:NTFS - Boot NTFS or exFAT partitions from UEFI

UEFI:NTFS is a generic bootloader, that is designed to allow boot
from NTFS or exFAT partitions, in pure UEFI mode, even if your
system does not natively support it.

In other words, UEFI:NTFS is designed to remove the restriction,
which most UEFI systems have, of only providing boot support from a
FAT32 partition, and enable the ability to also boot from NTFS
partitions.

This can be used, for instance, to UEFI-boot a Windows NTFS
installation media, containing an install.wim that is larger than 4
GB (something FAT32 cannot support) or to allow dual BIOS + UEFI
boot of 'Windows To Go' drives.

As an aside, and because there appears to exist a lot of inaccurate
information about this on the Internet, it needs to be stressed out
that there is absolutely nothing in the UEFI specifications that
actually forces the use of FAT32 for UEFI boot. On the contrary,
UEFI will happily boot from ANY file system, as long as your
firmware has a driver for it. As such, it is only the choice of
system manufacturers, who tend to only include a driver for FAT32,
that limits the default boot capabilities of UEFI, and that leads
many to erroneously believe that only FAT32 can be used for UEFI
boot.

jphughan
jphughan
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I didn't realize he'd added exFAT support, but I use his UEFI:NTFS driver to boot NTFS partitions in UEFI mode.  The only catch is that you have to disable UEFI Secure Boot, but that's not a big deal.  Thanks!

Edited 15 February 2021 7:47 PM by jphughan
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