Boot menu doesn't display


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rlcronin
rlcronin
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So, I installed a boot menu on a new Dell XPS 17 but thereafter, when I reboot the machine and expect to see the screen offering me the choice of Windows 10 or Reflect, instead I see a blank screen. I figured out the menu is there, though, as I can press the down arrow and enter and Macrium starts up. It's just that the menu does not show on the screen. This is likely not Reflect related, but I'm hoping someone here wiser in the ways of how the boot menu is supposed to work could put forth a theory why it might not be showing. Ideas, anyone?

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bc
jphughan
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The menu is generated by Windows Boot Manager. Reflect just adds an entry to the Windows BCD, and the fact that there’s now more than one entry causes Windows Boot Manager to display that menu. If you’re having trouble with it, it’s a Microsoft thing, not a Macrium thing. It could be something related to video drivers or firmware. One workaround would be to switch your BCD to use the Legacy mode menu. Google should turn up the necessary command. That will give you a basic text menu instead, so you’ll lose fancy graphics as well as mouse and touchscreen support.
rlcronin
rlcronin
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Thanks for that. I worked on it for an hour or so and finally discovered that if I shutdown, closed the lid, opened it again and restarted then all was fine. It's a relatively new machine from Dell and probably has some BIOS teething to get through yet. In any event, I'm back in business.

--
bc
rlcronin
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rlcronin - 3 July 2021 10:28 PM
Thanks for that. I worked on it for an hour or so and finally discovered that if I shutdown, closed the lid, opened it again and restarted then all was fine. It's a relatively new machine from Dell and probably has some BIOS teething to get through yet. In any event, I'm back in business.

Sadly, this wasn't true. The problem came back on the next reboot. I've been working with Dell to try to get a solution but they are insisting that Macrium is somehow involved and I have to work through them and not Dell. That's clearly silly, as you said it's a Windows thing (likely driver or firmware), but they just won't listen to me. I did open a ticket with Macrium, just to humor the Dell people, with predictable results. So I'm basically nowhere on this. One additional bit of information I discovered in the interim, if I hook up an external display, the boot menu does display there. As proof, I took this pic showing the boot menu on the external display alongside the laptop with its black screen.



--
bc
Oldguy
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rlcronin - 4 August 2021 7:25 PM
rlcronin - 3 July 2021 10:28 PM
Thanks for that. I worked on it for an hour or so and finally discovered that if I shutdown, closed the lid, opened it again and restarted then all was fine. It's a relatively new machine from Dell and probably has some BIOS teething to get through yet. In any event, I'm back in business.

Sadly, this wasn't true. The problem came back on the next reboot. I've been working with Dell to try to get a solution but they are insisting that Macrium is somehow involved and I have to work through them and not Dell. That's clearly silly, as you said it's a Windows thing (likely driver or firmware), but they just won't listen to me. I did open a ticket with Macrium, just to humor the Dell people, with predictable results. So I'm basically nowhere on this. One additional bit of information I discovered in the interim, if I hook up an external display, the boot menu does display there. As proof, I took this pic showing the boot menu on the external display alongside the laptop with its black screen.


This is such a strange problem I can't believe I have found someone with the same problem with Macrium and Windows 10.  Background:  Just started up a new HP Pavilion Desktop with W-10.  (Old PC lost battle with lightning) I purchased license for Macrium V5 when it came out and used it on the old PC for many years. About 16 months ago purchased license for V7 but never installed it.  When setting up new desktop I installed V7 but never ran it but instead purchased upgrade for V8.  I have always installed the Macrium Boot entry and did so on this one but was shocked when I restarted the the PC and there was nothing but a black screen with functioning mouse pointer. There was no time delay so it would sit on black screen forever. Using Macrium for many years I am very familiar with the Boot Menu layout so I set the mouse pointer where I thought the Select Windows would be and clicked there and presto, windows started up.  Any restart yielded the same result.  However, the last few versions of windows had Fast Start Option which is changeable but set for default mode.  The Fast Start option is not the same as restart so with the PC set for Fast Start and you select Shutdown, the PC will show the Boot Options Menu on Startup but not if you Restart.  If I deselect Fast Start the PC and select Shutdown the PC shows black screen when you turn it on again because the PC basically goes through a Restart every time you turn it on.

THIS IS A PROBLEM! and I am not convinced it is solely a Microsoft Windows problem and there must be a way to fix this. 

Why does the Boot Options Menu show when shutting down and Turning On with Fast Start Selected but not with Restart?  I don't know but am working on it.  I suspect it has something to do with the order in which these commands are executed.  I think we need some help from Macrium on this and I certainly don't think it is a Dell or HP problem.  I am almost inclined to temporarily uninstall Macrium V8 and install the Free version to see if there is any change in behavior,  Possibly it has something to do with the upgrade process of upgrading a V7 installation to V8.  Microsoft is not going to change Windows 10 to accommodate Macrium, it is Macrium that must work around Windows 10.

Come On Macrium, at least spend a few minutes looking into this.
Oldguy
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Oldguy - 4 August 2021 10:34 PM
rlcronin - 4 August 2021 7:25 PM
rlcronin - 3 July 2021 10:28 PM
Thanks for that. I worked on it for an hour or so and finally discovered that if I shutdown, closed the lid, opened it again and restarted then all was fine. It's a relatively new machine from Dell and probably has some BIOS teething to get through yet. In any event, I'm back in business.

Sadly, this wasn't true. The problem came back on the next reboot. I've been working with Dell to try to get a solution but they are insisting that Macrium is somehow involved and I have to work through them and not Dell. That's clearly silly, as you said it's a Windows thing (likely driver or firmware), but they just won't listen to me. I did open a ticket with Macrium, just to humor the Dell people, with predictable results. So I'm basically nowhere on this. One additional bit of information I discovered in the interim, if I hook up an external display, the boot menu does display there. As proof, I took this pic showing the boot menu on the external display alongside the laptop with its black screen.


This is such a strange problem I can't believe I have found someone with the same problem with Macrium and Windows 10.  Background:  Just started up a new HP Pavilion Desktop with W-10.  (Old PC lost battle with lightning) I purchased license for Macrium V5 when it came out and used it on the old PC for many years. About 16 months ago purchased license for V7 but never installed it.  When setting up new desktop I installed V7 but never ran it but instead purchased upgrade for V8.  I have always installed the Macrium Boot entry and did so on this one but was shocked when I restarted the the PC and there was nothing but a black screen with functioning mouse pointer. There was no time delay so it would sit on black screen forever. Using Macrium for many years I am very familiar with the Boot Menu layout so I set the mouse pointer where I thought the Select Windows would be and clicked there and presto, windows started up.  Any restart yielded the same result.  However, the last few versions of windows had Fast Start Option which is changeable but set for default mode.  The Fast Start option is not the same as restart so with the PC set for Fast Start and you select Shutdown, the PC will show the Boot Options Menu on Startup but not if you Restart.  If I deselect Fast Start the PC and select Shutdown the PC shows black screen when you turn it on again because the PC basically goes through a Restart every time you turn it on.

THIS IS A PROBLEM! and I am not convinced it is solely a Microsoft Windows problem and there must be a way to fix this. 

Why does the Boot Options Menu show when shutting down and Turning On with Fast Start Selected but not with Restart?  I don't know but am working on it.  I suspect it has something to do with the order in which these commands are executed.  I think we need some help from Macrium on this and I certainly don't think it is a Dell or HP problem.  I am almost inclined to temporarily uninstall Macrium V8 and install the Free version to see if there is any change in behavior,  Possibly it has something to do with the upgrade process of upgrading a V7 installation to V8.  Microsoft is not going to change Windows 10 to accommodate Macrium, it is Macrium that must work around Windows 10.

Come On Macrium, at least spend a few minutes looking into this.

PS:  And I don't think Video Drivers or Firmware are involved.
jphughan
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Not sure why you think this is a Macrium issue. Reflect just adds an entry to the Windows BCD, and having that second entry is what causes Windows Boot Manager to display the menu so that you can choose between your options that now number greater than one. I suspect you will find that if you remove the Reflect boot menu entry and then add another BCD entry of any type, including a duplicate of the default entry that just has a different name, you will experience the same behavior. So it may not be purely a Microsoft issue, in that there may well be drivers or firmware involved here, but there’s nothing special about having a BCD entry that points to a Microsoft WIM file that just happens to contain a Macrium Reflect Rescue Media build. Windows Boot Manager wouldn’t even have a way to know that. It just knows that it has an entry that points to a WIM file, and that is a Microsoft file standard, not a Macrium standard.
rlcronin
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jphughan - 4 August 2021 10:51 PM
Not sure why you think this is a Macrium issue. Reflect just adds an entry to the Windows BCD, and having that second entry is what causes Windows Boot Manager to display the menu so that you can choose between your options that now number greater than one. I suspect you will find that if you remove the Reflect boot menu entry and then add another BCD entry of any type, including a duplicate of the default entry that just has a different name, you will experience the same behavior. So it may not be purely a Microsoft issue, in that there may well be drivers or firmware involved here, but there’s nothing special about having a BCD entry that points to a Microsoft WIM file that just happens to contain a Macrium Reflect Rescue Media build. Windows Boot Manager wouldn’t even have a way to know that. It just knows that it has an entry that points to a WIM file, and that is a Microsoft file standard, not a Macrium standard.

So I just verified this. I deleted the Reflect boot menu entry and added a duplicate of the Windows 10 entry, simply renaming it to "Microsoft Windows" instead of "Windows 10". I got exactly the same behavior on boot. A screen with the Dell logo and a spinning circle of dots at the bottom, followed by a (nearly) black screen with only a mouse pointer. I removed the 10 second delay so that it would just sit there waiting for input. After 30 seconds or so I pressed enter to (blindly) select the first menu entry and Windows booted up immediately. So it clearly has nothing whatsoever to do with Reflect. Why the Dell support team would think otherwise is discouraging to think about. In any event I am playing along with them, hoping that they will get in touch with someone at Macrium who they'll hopefully believe when they tell them the same thing I've been trying to tell them for weeks.

jphughan kindly provided hints to a workaround. If you issue the following from an elevated command prompt you'll get the old text-style boot menu:

bcdedit /set {current} bootmenupolicy legacy

To revert, use

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard

Full documentation of that is here.



--
bc
Edited 4 August 2021 11:29 PM by rlcronin
JK
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Maybe open a new ticket with Dell support to troubleshoot your new dual-Windows boot configuration...  (that way they can't point fingers at a third party).

                                
rlcronin
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JK - 5 August 2021 1:28 AM
Maybe open a new ticket with Dell support to troubleshoot your new dual-Windows boot configuration...  (that way they can't point fingers at a third party).

Aye, if it comes to that I will.

--
bc
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