(Inspiron 7720) Can't boot on Windows 8 installation media in UEFI

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(Inspiron 7720) Can't boot on Windows 8 installation media in UEFI

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Hello,

I  just received a Dell Inspiron 7720 (17" laptop) running on Windows 8. As usual, I want to reinstall Windows 8 myself to make sure I have a clean install (and to be sure I will be able to do it if I have to change my HDD). I want to do it in UEFI mode, and not Legacy mode.

  • I tried to boot on Dell Windows 8 DVD (requested by phone, it's Windows 8 64 bits) by pressing F12 on startup: the only options proposed are "Windows Boot Manager" and "Network Boot". No way to boot on DVD, Windows starts automatically.

I went into the "Bios" by pressing F2 on startup (Boot tab):

  • I tried to disable "Secure Boot": no results, kept it disabled.
  • I enabled Legacy Option Rom: A new menu "Legacy Boot:" allows me to boot on DVD Drive, but the boot starts in Legacy Mode, which is not allowing me to install Windows 8: the installer says my partition table is GPT, so I can't select any partition on my drives to install the OS.
  • I tried to add a boot option with Boot Option Name as "CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive": the file system list proposes "PciRoot (0x0)/Pci (0x1F, 0x2)/Sata(0x3,0x0,0x0)/CD" or 2 entries as "PciRoot (0x0)/Pci (0x1F, 0x2)/Sata(0x3,0x0,0x0)/HD". I tried all of them. I left the "File Name" line blank. No result: the CD starts spinning on boot then the OS starts 2 seconds later. I tried pressing repetitively "Enter" just after selection of my new boot entry in the F12 menu, same results.
  • I tried all of the above with the OS on an USB key (formatted in Fat32 using this http://www.servethehome.com/uefi-bootable-usb-drive-windows-8-windows-server-2012/), no results. The light on the USB key is indicating activity for 2 seconds, then goes off as Windows starts.
  • I tried to boot my DVD and my USB key on a new Inspiron 660 (Desktop): a line is added automatically on the F12 boot menu, and I can boot on the DVD or the USB key in UEFI mode (and I can reinstall Windows), so my devices don't seem to be the problem.
I spent 2 hours on the phone with a Dell technician, and he was not able to solve my problem.
It seems to me that Dell did not even try to check if their own OS Installation DVD works on their computers
I think I need to write something in the "File Name" area when adding a new Boot Option. But why ? Am I forgetting something ?
Thank you in advance for the time you spent reading this.
Verified Answer
  • Ok I solved the problem. That was very simple, but the bios obviously needs an update: the one-time boot menu (the one launched by pressing F12 on startup) is not working in UEFI...

    So how to boot on the DVD in UEFI mode:

    • Insert DVD in drive
    • Start your computer by pressing F2 to enter the Bios
    • Go to the boot tab
    • add a boot option with Boot Option Name as "CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive", and make sure the option with "CD" in the end is selected, like "PciRoot (0x0)/Pci (0x1F, 0x2)/Sata(0x3,0x0,0x0)/CD". Leave the filename entry blank.
    • Put the new entry before "Windows Boot Management" in the UEFI Boot section.
    • Save and restart.
    • When asked, press a key to boot on the DVD. DO NOT USE THE F12 ONE-TIME BOOT MENU: SELECTING "CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive" WILL NOT WORK.
    When Windows is correctly reinstalled, just change the boot order again or delete the boot entry you created before. Never use the one-time boot menu unless you want to to boot in Legacy mode (it works).
    I can't believe I lost so much time on this... I hope it will help.
All Replies
  • You are absolutely right when you say Dell did not test  W 8 with this computer. Even the "latest"  drivers that are on this site are older than what is in your computer delivered. I found the BIOS was the only one that was more the recent  ver A11.  My timed Sleep only works one in eight times, recovery disk generation does not work on 2nd disk,  blue screen crashes every time  when I exit BIOS (using F2 boot-up with no saves or changes when exiting) and then proceed to W 8 boot-up.  

  • Ok I solved the problem. That was very simple, but the bios obviously needs an update: the one-time boot menu (the one launched by pressing F12 on startup) is not working in UEFI...

    So how to boot on the DVD in UEFI mode:

    • Insert DVD in drive
    • Start your computer by pressing F2 to enter the Bios
    • Go to the boot tab
    • add a boot option with Boot Option Name as "CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive", and make sure the option with "CD" in the end is selected, like "PciRoot (0x0)/Pci (0x1F, 0x2)/Sata(0x3,0x0,0x0)/CD". Leave the filename entry blank.
    • Put the new entry before "Windows Boot Management" in the UEFI Boot section.
    • Save and restart.
    • When asked, press a key to boot on the DVD. DO NOT USE THE F12 ONE-TIME BOOT MENU: SELECTING "CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive" WILL NOT WORK.
    When Windows is correctly reinstalled, just change the boot order again or delete the boot entry you created before. Never use the one-time boot menu unless you want to to boot in Legacy mode (it works).
    I can't believe I lost so much time on this... I hope it will help.
  • Google "UEFI  Wikipedia" and you will see UEFI is the 64 bit replacement of the MBR (Master Boot Record) that is on the boot DVD,  You do have to choose Legacy Boot, Secure mode OFF, using F12 to boot that DVD.  Just make sure you  put it back to  "UEFI + Secure" mode after or you will not boot (gives "No Operating System Found") off the C:   drive afterwards! The joys of change.

  • Actually, your answer is wrong.

    If you boot in Legacy mode, you can't install Windows as the partition system is in GPT (UEFI). And if you do it by formatting completely the disk, then your partition system will be in MBR architecture.

    As you can see on my previous answer, I sovled the problem ;-)

    Beware of the F12 button, it does not work properly.

  • Sorry, I forgot you were using a Windows 8 DVD with UEFI.  I just spent a few hours trying to boot an EaseUs DiskCopy  DVD to clone my C: drive   and I had to read up on this as it had the older MBR.  By the way - thanks for posting your solution - it was a great help and most people do not bother once they have success.

  • Thank you for posting this.   How did you find out about this? 

  • I have a similar problem with my new 7720 purchased last week.

    According to the suggested solution 
    under the "Add Boot Option" heading there is "File System List"
    with two lines one for the HD and a second one for CD

    In my Inspiron 7720 the "File System List" includes two identical lines
    PciRoot (0x0)/Pci (0x1F, 0x2)/Sata(0x0,0x0,0x0)/HD
    PciRoot (0x0)/Pci (0x1F, 0x2)/Sata(0x0,0x0,0x0)/HD

    THERE IS NO LINE FOR CD in my 7720.

  • Put A DVD/CD in the drive to see it listed.  My trouble was that it does not save anything as it just discarded everything as I exited BIOS.

  • Hello guys!

    Well, to be hones I have had a live nightmare when I bought my new 7720. I was preinstalled with W7 64 on MBR.. I wantet to have W7 and Linux side by side, and Linux on SSD..

    So I changed mSATA to AHCI, turned on UEFI, turned OFF Secure Boot.. Booted up Arch Linux transfered my disks from MBR to GPT and successfuly installed linux. Than I inserted Dell Windows 7 install and added UEFI entry to \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI.. Black screen that loads CD data apeared, than the fancy color screen saying "Starting Windows"... but that was pretty much it... it stays like that for hours... Than I tryed vanilla OEM Windows 7 64 install and result was same, than I tryed to install it from USB

    AND STILL THE SAME!!!

    I dont know how I get the idea to turn on "Legacy ROM" support, so it was booting still in UEFI, but was able to boot CD,USB,HDD in MBR.. After reboot I DID NOT ENTERED STANDART BOOT, but runned UEFI entry I added previously( so to \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI ) and instalation bootet succesfully !?!?

    After I set up my windows 7 install, I have turned back to pure UEFI boot and guess what? When it was booting, screen stuck up again on "Starting Windows" BUT I could hear my desktop login sound and skype login notifications.

    I have A12 BIOS and I am convinced that there is serious bug in BIOS with graphical adapter when UEFI mode is pure without Legacy support.. I have also observed other leads that take me to this opinion. I will make video on youtube so I will be clear. I have contacted support of Dell and they told me that I will have to pay to get this bug fixed ... WTF?

  • here is the video

  • Nice Post Adam - Hopefully Dell Engineering can use the video as well to help ascertain what issues we are seeing and help fix the BIOS...

    Personally from what I know and from what I've been reading on the forums here,  the A12 BIOS has some serious issues, it's known to break functionality of the 7720 why it's still up on the Dell download site for this particular Unit or for that matter if it's being shipped on newer systems is beyond me.  Daily those of us who have been lurking on the forums here for a while in regards to 7720 BIOS issues have seen more and more people joining the band wagon with complaints about it.

     

    EDIT: As an FYI: There's a long post about the BIOS issues on the forum,  We do have a Dell Rep actively working the thread and feeding information to the engineers, I know they follow my posts so hopefully they'll see this one and forward the information that you posted to engineering as well. 

    I know the BIOS issues are being worked on as of two weeks ago I did receive a Beta Bios to test but it didn't fix the issue. 

     

  • Wow, that is interesting that you have recieved beta BIOS... I still dont uderstand why the guy on Dell support line told me that he is sorry, but Dell support cannot do anything about my issue.. I have posted an complain to Dells facebook so maybe then understand that support should collect serious bugs an report them to the system where Dell Engineering can look at it sometime... I dont expect fix on next bussines day.. but I also expect that Dell wont ignore it

  • Just walk the forums to see all the posts about 7720 BIOS issues it's known by them that A12 is causing serious issues.

    But Like I said, I still don't know why it hasn't been removed from the Download page.. it's only going to bring more and more people to the forums or raise support call issues.

    Bios Causing issues with Booting on cold boots and restarts

    Bios Causing issues with Windows Boot Manager being removed from the UEFI Boot Priority List.

    Bios Causing issues when saving  information, specifically in some cases where one selects restore defaults and it complaining "Access Denied"

    Bios Causing issues with F2 / F12 FN Key functionality during Splash Screen.

    Bios Causing issues with Nvidia GT650M Boost Throttling getting stuck at 745MHZ when it should be able to Boost to 835Mhz with only resort to pulling AC and removing battery to reset it back to normal boost mode.

    That's just the major ones I know, Plus my pet peeve for some reason Dell Disabled the AES-NI instruction set in our Gen 3 Intel Processors, funny I thought I bought and paid for a wholly functional Intel Gen 3 i7 Processor, seems I didn't according to Dell, no where do they mention that they turn off specific instruction sets of a processor. (Normally one goes into the BIOS to enable this, but Dell locks that area out from the BIOS. To me that has to be the most irritating thing about this whole mess. Am I not entitled to a fully functional i7 Processor that I bought??

    <Sigh> Welcome to the 7720 Owners Club.

  • Yeah, I have heard abou some you posted... I TOTALY AGREE WITH YOUR LAST PARAGHRAPH!! I was so happy about the spec and I put my trust into Dell product for first time, till now I have had Asus laptops.... Lets hope that they are/will work on BIOS issues to be fixed...

  • Hi there, first : apologize for my english because I'm french.

    I am a new member of the famous "7720 twice boot club" .

    Just to say that i have the A11 Bios and i have to boot twice or press Ctrl+Alt+Del to boot my laptop.

    F12 key is working sometimes, i need sometimes 2 or 3 attempt to succeed in access to F12 menu.

    just went to F12 to disable Secure Boot.

    I don't have windows boot manager , just network boot available.

    A Dell technician will call me tonight to try to retrograde my Bios to A10 Bios if it is avalaible somewhere ( just only found the A03 yesterday but no trace of the A10 ).

    I hope A10 will be fine with my boot issue, if not my laptop will go to bench for MOBO exchange...

    Thanks a lot to everyone here and other polls about 7720 Bios and boot issues, i try to read it but not sure to really understand because as my writiing, my english reading is not perfect too...