Testing rescue USB: how to boot?


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HGinDC
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I have an ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E based computer running Windows 10 Pro. I just created the Macrium rescue media on a USB stick. I'd like to test it but am uncertain as to how to get the computer to boot from the USB stick. I found this website (https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1013017/) that specifies an elaborate procedure, as follows:

-boot to UEFI bios
-select "Security"
.....set Secure Boot Control to DISABLED
-select "Boot"
…..set Fast Boot to DISABLED
…..set CSM support to ENABLED​​
-save config. and exit UEFI bios
-press Esc key during reboot and select boot device

Is it really that complicated?

Thanks.

--Howard​​​​​​​​
​​​​​​
jphughan
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No, in fact that would be a bad thing to do in this case.  That's how you'd configure your motherboard to allow Legacy BIOS booting if you needed to boot something that didn't support UEFI with Secure Boot, but Rescue Media built on WinPE 4 and newer supports that, so you don't need to do any of that.  Taking those steps to boot Rescue Media would actually increase the chances of problems, because you want to make sure you boot your Rescue Media the same way you boot your OS.  In many cases it doesn't matter, but if you ever need to run the Fix Boot Problems routine, the steps that routine performs depends on how the Rescue Media itself was booted, so if you configure your motherboard to allow Legacy BIOS booting and boot your Rescue Media that way even though your regular OS is set up to boot in UEFI mode, Fix Boot Problems will attempt the wrong steps.

The ideal way to boot from a temporarily attached USB device is to access a "one-time boot menu" that many systems and motherboards offer.  That allows you to press a key during startup that brings up a menu of devices to boot, and your selection there only applies to that specific boot attempt.  It's more efficient than rearranging the boot order to boot perhaps only once from a USB device, and then having to go back and set it back to normal later.  Does your motherboard have something like that?  If not, you might have to deal with rearranging the boot order, but in many UEFI implementations, USB devices aren't even listed in the boot order because of differences between UEFI and Legacy BIOS booting.

Edited 17 January 2019 2:25 AM by jphughan
jphughan
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(UPDATE: According to Page 68 of that motherboard's manual here, pressing F8 when the ASUS logo is displayed will present you with a one-time boot menu. That's the easiest option.  If you have trouble accessing it, just press F8 repeatedly from the time you system powers on in case the display takes too long to wake up.  Original follow-up reply below.)

Ok, in addition to my earlier post, I found this thread on the ASUS ROG forums, in particular Post #9.  Basically, it appears that if you want to boot external devices in UEFI mode, you need to have them connected (or a disc inserted) before you enter the BIOS Setup.  That way, the BIOS will scan any available devices/media for UEFI bootloaders and include them in the boot list that you can then rearrange.  In other UEFI implementations I've seen, boot options that reside on local storage devices (other than optical drives) are only listed in the boot order if they've actually been registered into the UEFI firmware, and that registration consists of a path to a specific bootloader file on a specific partition of a specific device.  By comparison, the contents of the one-time boot menu populates dynamically based on what's actually present at the time.  It looks like the ASUS implementation instead populates the BIOS Setup boot options dynamically.  That seems a bit awkward, because if I move my USB Rescue Media to the top of the boot list, then disconnect it later, it will disappear -- so what happens if I reconnect it later?  Does it reappear at the top of the boot order list, suggesting that it was still there and simply hidden, or does it end up at the bottom because missing boot options actually get deleted?

Edited 17 January 2019 2:26 AM by jphughan
HGinDC
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In my own (incomplete) defense, I was actually reading those pages from the motherboard manual, but still managed to miss the very last part of section 1.8. You have more patience than do I. I will play with the F8 function while the USB drive is installed and then without it being installed and post back. If you don't hear anything it means I haven't been able to find the OS drive after removing the USB stick!


Edited 17 January 2019 10:12 AM by Nick
jphughan
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Ha!  Well it helps that I kind of knew what I was looking for. Smile  Enjoy!  (On an unrelated note, somehow your reply above had a HUGE amount of white space added to it above your quote of my own post.  Not sure what happened there, but if you want to try to edit it, click the vertical dots in the upper-right corner of your own post and select Edit Post.)

Edited 17 January 2019 5:20 AM by jphughan
HGinDC
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jphughan - 17 January 2019 5:20 AM
Ha!  Well it helps that I kind of knew what I was looking for. Smile  Enjoy!  (On an unrelated note, somehow your reply above had a HUGE amount of white space added to it above your quote of my own post.  Not sure what happened there, but if you want to try to edit it, click the vertical dots in the upper-right corner of your own post and select Edit Post.)
Hello again. The F8 key did indeed take me to boot device selection​, but the USB key was not listed:

I tried it twice, with the USB key in different USB ports, but it made no difference. On the second try, as Windows continued booting after I hit ESC to boot using defaults, Windows scanned and repaired drive H: (the USB key) and then continued to boot into the OS. I then examined the conten​​ts of the USB key and found that Windows added a file, BOOTEX.LOG, that said as follows:

Checking file system on H:
The type of the file system is FAT32.

One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You
may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly recommended
that you continue.
Windows will now check the disk.                        
Volume Serial Number is AED6-434E
Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
No further action is required.
 3871358976 bytes total disk space.
 16384 bytes in 1 hidden files.
 1409024 bytes in 86 folders.
 794443776 bytes in 234 files.
 3075473408 bytes available on disk.
                       16384 bytes in each allocation unit.
                       236289 total allocation units on disk.
                       187712 allocation units available on disk.

FYI, the files on the USB stick are:


Any ideas?

--Howard​​
​​

Edited 17 January 2019 3:37 PM by HGinDC
jphughan
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Just to make sure, did you already have the flash drive attached when the system was first starting?  You can't insert it while the boot menu is displayed.  If that's not the issue, the UEFI bootloader file you need in order to boot in UEFI mode should in the \EFI\Boot folder and be named Bootx64.efi.  If you don't have that file on your Rescue Media, go to Rescue Media Builder and click Advanced.  Under the Options tab, make sure you're building 64-bit media rather than 32-bit.  Then go over to the Choose Base WIM tab and make sure you're using either WinPE 4 or newer.  WinPE 3.1 doesn't support UEFI booting.  If you have WinRE selected there, then as long as your system is running Windows 8 or above, that option is fine.

HGinDC
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jphughan - 17 January 2019 4:00 PM
Just to make sure, did you already have the flash drive attached when the system was first starting?  You can't insert it while the boot menu is displayed.  If that's not the issue, the UEFI bootloader file you need in order to boot in UEFI mode should in the \EFI\Boot folder and be named Bootx64.efi.  If you don't have that file on your Rescue Media, go to Rescue Media Builder and click Advanced.  Under the Options tab, make sure you're building 64-bit media rather than 32-bit.  Then go over to the Choose Base WIM tab and make sure you're using either WinPE 4 or newer.  WinPE 3.1 doesn't support UEFI booting.  If you have WinRE selected there, then as long as your system is running Windows 8 or above, that option is fine.
1. Flash drive was already attached at start of reboot.
2. ​The file exists on the flash drive as follows: H:\EFI\Boot\bootx64.efi
3. 64-bit? yes
4. WinRE? yes​​

I just rebuilt the media and will try again.​​



HGinDC
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HGinDC - 17 January 2019 4:24 PM
jphughan - 17 January 2019 4:00 PM
Just to make sure, did you already have the flash drive attached when the system was first starting?  You can't insert it while the boot menu is displayed.  If that's not the issue, the UEFI bootloader file you need in order to boot in UEFI mode should in the \EFI\Boot folder and be named Bootx64.efi.  If you don't have that file on your Rescue Media, go to Rescue Media Builder and click Advanced.  Under the Options tab, make sure you're building 64-bit media rather than 32-bit.  Then go over to the Choose Base WIM tab and make sure you're using either WinPE 4 or newer.  WinPE 3.1 doesn't support UEFI booting.  If you have WinRE selected there, then as long as your system is running Windows 8 or above, that option is fine.
1. Flash drive was already attached at start of reboot.
2. The file exists on the flash drive as follows: H:\EFI\Boot\bootx64.efi
3. 64-bit? yes
4. WinRE? yes

I just rebuilt the media and will try again.



Just tried again with rebuilt flash drive but issue persists.
jphughan
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Can you try a different flash drive?  I know that some flash drives seem not to like booting, at least on some systems.  And even though it would be less convenient, as a test try going into the BIOS Setup to check the boot order and see if it appears there.

GO

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