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I'm having a problem Booting Windows 8 x86 through USB and UEFI

  1. Apr 25, 2014 #1
    My friend just let his computer fall to the ground and something appeared to have happened to the hard drive. While the hard drive it's not making terrible sounds (unlike another one I'm fixing as well because it's owner formidably hit it with his arm while he was alseep... accidentally of course) there appears to be some damage.

    The thing is that the computer is not recognizing Windows 8 x86 USB boot. It only recognizes Windows 8.1 x64 USB boot. I checked and it appears to be that there is this file that the UEFI firmware is checking for: "/efi/boot/bootx64.efi".

    Both ISOs have that file (although windows 8 is 32 bits so the file is named "bootia32.efi"), but only Windows 8.1 is being recognized as bootable by the UEFI firmware. I need it to recognize the Windows 8 USB boot.

    EDIT: Also, I can't find options to disable UEFI and enable legacy mode. Otherwise this would be done with already.

    Any knowledge on what might be going on?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2014 #2
    There's a good chance that the drive is physically damaged if this occurred immediately after the system was dropped.

    Try this
    1) Run chkdsk on the damaged drive to see if it can fix the problem.
    2) If it fails, get another USB hard drive, install windows on it and see if it boots
    3) If it also fails, then the problem is something else, time to take the computer apart and reset all the other connections.
    4) If the other hard drive works and the old one does not, then it's time to copy (if possible) important data off the old drive, format the old drive and try a clean install
    5) If old hard drive still doesn't work properly after wipe, it's toast. Get a new hard drive.
    6) Now it's time to hope the busted drive is still under warranty and call the manufacturer. Do not volunteer the information that you dropped it or they won't cover it under warranty. Start by just say it's not working and that you have done the steps above. If they ask if the drive was dropped, then you'll need to decide what the answer to that question should be.

    Best of luck!
  4. Apr 25, 2014 #3
    There are several settings in most UEFI PCs that affect boot. You probably already know about SecureBoot which should, in this case, be Off. Unfortunately different manufacturers call these devices different things. I'm in the PC maintenance and repair business and quite often I can't even go by what the last one calls these. In these cases I have to download the User Manual or even Tech Manual to go through each setup item to determine which ones affect boot. In similar cases to yours, an override like an "Fx" button (eg: F10) to alter boot order sometimes works, but often it's to the books.
  5. Apr 26, 2014 #4
    Thanks to both of you. I finally know what is happening after a few searches (well, many searches). That PC's UEFI firmware only supports 64 bit versions of Windows. I need the 64 bit version installation. Either that or turn on Legacy Mode which I still can't find an option to in the settings. I'll get it and run chkdsk.

    The curious thing is that only in forums have other people stated that Windows 8 32 bits does not support UEFI, because if you go to original sources, it says it does support it only if the firmware (UEFI 64-bit or UEFI 32-bit) matches the Widnows version. I suppose almost every vendor is releasing hardware with UEFI 64-bit firmware and that's why the assumption has been made that UEFI does not support 32 bit versions of Windows 8.

    Thanks again.
  6. Apr 28, 2014 #5
    I am positive that the UEFI standard, of itself, does not preclude 32bit operating systems. Specific implementations of it by some OEMs are certainly possible, but even then also possible to restore. It's mainly a question of "is the juice worth the squeeze?". This is not stated as a foregone conclusion since some 32bit operating systems are especially useful for some jobs and associated software, not to mention to users who "feel stuck" with being compelled to "upgrade".
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