Installing Windows with Dell EFI BIOS (unsecured)

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Installing Windows with Dell EFI BIOS (unsecured)

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:58 am

I had to re-install Windows 8 on a late vintage Dell laptop with an EFI BIOS. I had trouble getting it to boot off USB and noticed that documentation is a little thin out there or is not merged into one piece making it difficult to just do the job. So, I'll explain quickly what needs to be done. I have not been able to USB boot any Linux operating systems yet because, after I figured out the Windows 8 install, I moved on. I also did not experiment with secured boot, so this is unsecured.

Anyway, let's begin:

Grab an 8GB USB pendrive and insert into a USB port on a functioning Windows computer.
Launch the command line as administrator.
Using the command line launch Diskpart.
Determine which disk is USB drive and issue commands so that you are focused on it within Diskpart (list disk *, select disk *.)
Issue clean command.
Issue command to create a primary partition (create partition primary.)
Make partition active.
Format it in fat32 (format fs fat32 quick.)
Issue assign command.
Copy files form Windows 8 DVD to USB pendrive.

The above is pretty much standard fare. With the Dell USB BIOS you'll want to enter BIOS setup. move over to the boot menu and make sure you have UEFI boot enabled and it's unsecured boot. Select add boot path. You'll see three lines in a popup window. They are:

Name
Device
Path

Give your boot device any name, so you can easily recognize it as your handiwork.
Devices simply lists available devices. You can't change anything here other than verify.
On the path line you'll create a path to the EFI boot file on the USB stick. For me it was /efi/boot/bootx64.efi. That's pretty much the format for the path to the booting efi file. For Linux you'll also want to determine where the efi boot file is and adjust the path accordingly.

Lastly, my Dell laptop took forever launch the windows installer (about 30 seconds.) I had nothing to indicate anything was happening and turned away in disgust at my failure before the Windows 8 installer finally showed it ugly face on the screen. Watch out for the fakeout there.
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