PE files and WIM - Location issue


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Froggie
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System: i7-4770, 12gB RAM, 3-disks (1-SSD <Legacy-BiOS BOOT, partitions=System Reserved + OS> and 2-HDD <see DISK MGMT below>.

When the PE files and the constructed BOOT.WIM are located on C:\ (the OS partition, Reflect's DEFAULT), BOOT menu option works fine. When they are located on either of the other DATA HDDs, BOOT menu option always fails (see BCDedit config and BOOTmgr failure messages below). The OS is Win10 v1803.17134.228.

All 3-disks are direct connect SATA3 ports (Disk0 = SATA0, Disk1 = SATA1, Disk2 = SATA4 <no SATA2 or SATA3 on the mainboard> ). It's as though the BOOTmgr cannot see any other disk other than the one it's installed on (or at least cannot see them as they are LETTER assigned by the OS... possibly a discovery issue maybe) at that time in the process... really weird.

I looked over all the BiOS options and nothing looks out of place on this particular System as far as disks are concerned.

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Disk Mgmt.JPG (6 views, 89.00 KB)
Reflect v7.2 (BCDedit).JPG (7 views, 103.00 KB)
Windows BOOTmgr.JPG (4 views, 122.00 KB)
L. W. "Dan" Danz
L. W. "Dan" Danz
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I have almost the same issue with one of my four systems. The only exception is I also tried Windows PE 10 as well as Windows RE, and they both fail with the same error code as froggie's if the WIM is on the non OS drive, and only when using the boot menu.  Booting the same rescue build from USB works.  My BCD looks the same as Froggie's.  OS 1803, MR 3825.  Boot menu was previously PE10  with WIM on non-OS drive and it worked with builds prior to MR 3811. 

The failing system is a MicroCenter G313 with an MSI motherboard/BIOS.  Another system, a home brew with Asus Z170 MB/BIOS works with the WIM on a non-OS disk.  Two others,  Lenovo Flex 3 1580 latops with 1803 or 1809 and with PE 10 or WinRE and with 3811 or 3825 rescue builds work just fine with WIM on non-OS disk.

So, in a nutshell, I believe MR 3811 introduced a bug when building the BCD for boot menu when the WIM is on a non-OS disk.


L. W. "Dan" Danz
Overland Park KS
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L. W. "Dan" Danz - 8 November 2018 3:37 PM
I have almost the same issue with one of my four systems. The only exception is I also tried Windows PE 10 as well as Windows RE, and they both fail with the same error code as froggie's if the WIM is on the non OS drive, and only when using the boot menu.  Booting the same rescue build from USB works.  My BCD looks the same as Froggie's.  OS 1803, MR 3825.  Boot menu was previously PE10  with WIM on non-OS drive and it worked with builds prior to MR 3811. 

The failing system is a MicroCenter G313 with an MSI motherboard/BIOS.  Another system, a home brew with Asus Z170 MB/BIOS works with the WIM on a non-OS disk.  Two others,  Lenovo Flex 3 1580 latops with 1803 or 1809 and with PE 10 or WinRE and with 3811 or 3825 rescue builds work just fine with WIM on non-OS disk.

So, in a nutshell, I believe MR 3811 introduced a bug when building the BCD for boot menu when the WIM is on a non-OS disk.

I just noticed a difference between our systems: all of mine are UEFI boots not legacy.


L. W. "Dan" Danz
Overland Park KS
Nick
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L. W. "Dan" Danz - 8 November 2018 3:37 PM
I have almost the same issue with one of my four systems. The only exception is I also tried Windows PE 10 as well as Windows RE, and they both fail with the same error code as froggie's if the WIM is on the non OS drive, and only when using the boot menu.  Booting the same rescue build from USB works.  My BCD looks the same as Froggie's.  OS 1803, MR 3825.  Boot menu was previously PE10  with WIM on non-OS drive and it worked with builds prior to MR 3811. 

The failing system is a MicroCenter G313 with an MSI motherboard/BIOS.  Another system, a home brew with Asus Z170 MB/BIOS works with the WIM on a non-OS disk.  Two others,  Lenovo Flex 3 1580 latops with 1803 or 1809 and with PE 10 or WinRE and with 3811 or 3825 rescue builds work just fine with WIM on non-OS disk.

So, in a nutshell, I believe MR 3811 introduced a bug when building the BCD for boot menu when the WIM is on a non-OS disk.

@Froggie @DanDanz

Thanks for posting and for the details. We'll check this out and provide a fix in a future update.

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

L. W. "Dan" Danz
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Nick - 8 November 2018 3:44 PM

@Froggie @DanDanz

Thanks for posting and for the details. We'll check this out and provide a fix in a future update.

@Nick

Does 7.2.3858 contain a fix for this problem?


L. W. "Dan" Danz
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Nick
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L. W. "Dan" Danz - 12 November 2018 4:02 PM
Nick - 8 November 2018 3:44 PM

@Froggie @DanDanz

Thanks for posting and for the details. We'll check this out and provide a fix in a future update.

@Nick

Does 7.2.3858 contain a fix for this problem?

Thanks for getting back. 

I'm afraid not. As yet we haven't  been able to reproduce the problem. Can you confirm whether the Reflect 7.1 generated BCD could see the non-OS drive and boot from the menu successfully?

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

L. W. "Dan" Danz
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Nick - 12 November 2018 4:58 PM
L. W. "Dan" Danz - 12 November 2018 4:02 PM
Nick - 8 November 2018 3:44 PM

@Froggie @DanDanz

Thanks for posting and for the details. We'll check this out and provide a fix in a future update.

@Nick

Does 7.2.3858 contain a fix for this problem?

Thanks for getting back. 

I'm afraid not. As yet we haven't  been able to reproduce the problem. Can you confirm whether the Reflect 7.1 generated BCD could see the non-OS drive and boot from the menu successfully?

@Nick - Confirmed only from my memory that 7.1 could be booted from the menu when the Wim was on the D: drive.  When 7.2 arrived and the boot menu failed to boot, I tried a number of things:  de-select WiFi drivers (failed), try WinRE and when that also failed, revert to WinPE 10 (failed) and then change Wim storage location from D: to C: (that worked).  I subsequently changed to WinRe  and that worked as long as I stayed with the Wim on C.  Changing the Wim back to the D: drive failed, so I changed Wim storage back to C: and it's been working ever since.  I've been meaning to delete all the WinPE environment from the C: drive (an SSD) to save space now that WinRE works.


I consider the possibility that it's the BIOS that doesn't handle the boot correctly.  Is there some debugging tool that I can enable to get you more information?


L. W. "Dan" Danz
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@Nick @Froggie 
PROBLEM RESOLVED FOR ME
On a hunch (also called shotgun mode troubleshooting), I decided to check the level of the BIOS in the problem machine, and an update to the BIOS solved the problem.
For the record, the motherboard is an MSI Z170A PC MATE (MS 7971) with i5 6500K cpu.  The problem level of the BIOS was Version E7971IMS A60, built 12/17/2015, and I updated it to the latest BIOS for that product: E7971IMS AG0 dated 06/23/2018.  There's 11 updates between version 6 and version G.  

Hopefully, this will help
@Froggie, too.



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Froggie
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No joy in the pond.  The failing machine is at the most recent BiOS issue.  AND it's not a Reflect issue at all.  If I add my own BCD entries that reference any connected disk except the OS resident disk (SATA0 connected), I always receive the same BOOTmgr error msg telling me that the System can't find the referenced disk.

What has me confused is that the lettered references (that's what they are in the BCD entry) are supposed to be available at this point in the BOOT process... other than the OS disk, which BOOTmgr resides on, none of the others appear to be known (or mapped) at this point, very strange.

Is there a way to specify a BCD entry via GUID or possibly a Disk#/Partition# rather than the lettered assignment (clutching at straws here)?  The OS disk is known as PhysicalDrive0 on this System.

This is clearly not a Reflect issue so I won't stay around too long in this thread Crazy

Edited 13 November 2018 5:17 PM by Froggie
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Froggie - 13 November 2018 5:16 PM
No joy in the pond.  The failing machine is at the most recent BiOS issue.  AND it's not a Reflect issue at all.  If I add my own BCD entries that reference any connected disk except the OS resident disk (SATA0 connected), I always receive the same BOOTmgr error msg telling me that the System can't find the referenced disk.

What has me confused is that the lettered references (that's what they are in the BCD entry) are supposed to be available at this point in the BOOT process... other than the OS disk, which BOOTmgr resides on, none of the others appear to be known (or mapped) at this point, very strange.

Is there a way to specify a BCD entry via GUID or possibly a Disk#/Partition# rather than the lettered assignment (clutching at straws here)?  The OS disk is known as PhysicalDrive0 on this System.

This is clearly not a Reflect issue so I won't stay around too long in this thread Crazy

I think the drive letter reference works only for C because C is reserved for the partition from which Windows loads.  I don't know if other drive letters would work at that stage, or the not work reliably.  There are other ways to specify targets -- one of which is a very handy [Locate] variable that basically tells BootMgr to find the drive that contains the path, although I haven't looked into what limitations may surround that -- but I'm having trouble finding documentation on what alternate reference mechanisms are available.  I'll do some digging though.

GO

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