Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

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Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby rwebb616 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:54 pm

Hi,

This could be a candidate for a sticky. I have some general questions as it relates to Boot IT. I'm a long time user of Boot It (bare metal) and with each new release of windows it gets more and more tricky to get multiple installs going on a single drive. I have always been able to figure it out but now with UEFI I just don't know what types of things I can do and what I shouldn't do. It would help to be armed with the answers to these questions for a new user to UEFI and Boot-IT UEFI. I just purchased the Boot It suite and these are my questions:

1. System Reserved partition - can this partition still be moved to the main windows partition under GPT and UEFI - seems I read somewhere that you can't do that now on GPT drives or maybe it was drives over a certain size - I just don't remember.

2. WinRE (Recovery) partition - does this partition "go with" a particular install of Windows? Do I need to keep it as a partition in my boot setup when I boot a particular Windows 10 partition? Does this mean that I would need to have a WinRE partition for each installed copy of Windows 10? Is it even necessary? Can it safely be removed? I know that some computers you can't get into the UEFI settings without the shift-return reboot thing.

3. EFI partition - this is new to me as far as I don't really know what it's for - but it appears that it is on any UEFI system. Perhaps this is used by the computer setup program?

4. Moving/Sliding and otherwise changing partition boundaries - I want to install Boot-IT to my drive but I want to slide my partitions down a little so it can make it's EMBR partition (is that still used?) as the first partition. If I slide these partitions will I still be able to boot?

Ideally I would like to mush all these partitions along with the OS partition so I have a single partition that my OS lives on like the old days of MBR 7 and XP. Is this even possible anymore?

Thanks for reading.. hope the answers to these questions will help others as well.
Rich
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby Brian K » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:07 pm

Rich,

Most of your questions relate to UEFI. These pages give you a good grounding of how it differs from MBR systems. Then BootIt UEFI will make more sense...

"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table"

"https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/hardware/design/dn640535(v=vs.85)?redirectedfrom=MSDN"
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:09 am

rwebb616 wrote:
> 1. System Reserved partition - can this partition still be moved to the
> main windows partition under GPT and UEFI - seems I read somewhere that you
> can't do that now on GPT drives or maybe it was drives over a certain size
> - I just don't remember.

GPT drives don't have a System Reserved partition. The EFI System partition is used for booting.

> 2. WinRE (Recovery) partition - does this partition "go with" a
> particular install of Windows? Do I need to keep it as a partition in my
> boot setup when I boot a particular Windows 10 partition? Does this mean
> that I would need to have a WinRE partition for each installed copy of
> Windows 10? Is it even necessary? Can it safely be removed? I know that
> some computers you can't get into the UEFI settings without the
> shift-return reboot thing.

In my opinion, it's best to keep the WinRE partition working and enabled. For multi-boot systems this may mean you have multiple (one for each, for example). Keep in mind that most major Windows updates will also create a new WinRE partition in space created by reducing the size of the Windows partition. So you may end up doing some partition cleanup from time to time if you don't want the old ones and want to regain the space.

> 3. EFI partition - this is new to me as far as I don't really know what
> it's for - but it appears that it is on any UEFI system. Perhaps this is
> used by the computer setup program?

The booting files are located on this partition. When BIU is installed it is also installed to this partition.

> 4. Moving/Sliding and otherwise changing partition boundaries - I want to
> install Boot-IT to my drive but I want to slide my partitions down a little
> so it can make it's EMBR partition (is that still used?) as the first
> partition. If I slide these partitions will I still be able to boot?

An EMBRM partition is not used for BIU. BIU installs to the EFI System partition.

> Ideally I would like to mush all these partitions along with the OS
> partition so I have a single partition that my OS lives on like the old
> days of MBR 7 and XP. Is this even possible anymore?

No. The booting files are located on the EFI System partition and Windows is on its own partition. There is only one EFI System partition per drive (if you have multiple operating systems installed they will all have their booting files on it). You can remove the WinRE partition if you really don't want it. Keep in mind that GPT drives are not limited to four primary partitions so having more partitions per OS or otherwise is not a problem.
Paul Purviance
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby rwebb616 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:34 am

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

Brian, thanks for the links. I will check them out.

> GPT drives don't have a System Reserved partition.

Now that I look at it closer you're right - I have Recovery, EFI system and my main OS partition.

EDIT>> I DO have a system reserved partition according to Boot IT. It's labeled "Microsoft reserved partition" and it's 16MB in size. Can this be removed then?

> In my opinion, it's best to keep the WinRE partition working and enabled.

Ok so on the boot entries I just make sure that the recovery partition is one of the partitions? Or do I need to somehow tell Windows where that partition is?

> BIU installs to the EFI System partition.

Ok that's good to know - then I guess it's no longer necessary for a new partition to be created for Boot-IT.

> There is only one EFI System partition per drive

I notice on my drive the recovery partition is ahead of the EFI partition. Does the position matter? Can the EFI partition be moved around preferably to the first partition?

If I wanted to make a copy of my existing windows 10 partition as a starting point for a new OS partition then based on your answers I would duplicate the WinRE and the OS partitions and then create a new boot entry with both of those partitions as location one and two on the boot it partition map? What I have done in the past is created a fresh install of windows with all drivers and activation done and shrunk the partition to the smallest size and made a copy at the end of the drive. Then when I wanted to have another OS for something I would just duplicate that partition and expand to the required size.

Thanks for the help - sorry if these are noob questions. :)

Rich

Thanks,
Rich
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby Bob Coleman » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:22 am

TeraByte Support(PP) wrote:

> You can remove the WinRE partition if you really don't want it.

It can also be combined with the OS partition, right? I think that's what I did, but I don't remember how or really why. Also, I'm using an EMBR disk. Maybe that's relevant.
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby Bob Coleman » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:25 am

Rwebb616,

Not an answer to anything you asked, but I recommend before changing anything, do a full disk backup so you can get back to where you were if anything goes wrong. I usually use stand alone IFL for this.
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby rwebb616 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:39 am

Yes I tend to be very careful when working with boot managers and Windows installers. I've been burned before with Windows deciding that my unallocated space was a perfect place for it to create it's 100MB system reserved partition overwriting the first part of one of my Windows installs only because it didn't know anything of value was there.

My ultimate goal is to get a fresh minimal install of Windows set up on a partition that I can quickly duplicate if I need to test something or to have a specific partition for a particular project. This is how I operate on my main desktop with BootIt BM. I just haven't done anything with my laptop yet because I'm not all that familiar with UEFI yet to be able to understand / fix things if they go wrong. I'm getting more familiar though as I learn quickly.

Rich
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby Brian K » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:04 pm

rwebb616 wrote:

>
> EDIT>> I DO have a system reserved partition according to Boot IT. It's
> labeled "Microsoft reserved partition" and it's 16MB in size. Can this be
> removed then?
>

Rich,

A Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR) is quite different from a System Reserved Partition. This is explained in the link I posted.
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:08 pm

If you want to keep your Windows installations down to one partition (not counting the EFI System partition, which is shared), you can certainly setup WinRE to use the Windows partition instead of its own and get rid of the partition. Just be aware that Windows may still create a new WinRE partition that you'll need to clean up again (move WinRE back to the Windows partition, remove WinRE partition, resize Windows partition, etc.). Even if you setup separate WinRE partitions for each Windows, Windows upgrades may still create new WinRE partitions (you'll end up with each having two WinRE partitions) that you'll need to clean up.
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Re: Windows 10 questions with new UEFI boot-it

Postby CyberSimian » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:08 am

TeraByte Support(PP) wrote:
> If you want to keep your Windows installations down to one partition (not
> counting the EFI System partition, which is shared), you can certainly
> setup WinRE to use the Windows partition instead of its own and get rid of
> the partition.

You did not mention how to do this. I believe that you use the REAGENTC command, something like this:

reagentc.exe /disable

which (I think) copies the recovery files from the separate Recovery drive to the Windows drive. You can then delete the Recovery drive. Then use:

reagentc.exe /enable

to enable Windows recovery using the files on the Windows drive. The Terabyte Knowledge Base should have some articles describing this, or you can search the internet for more information.

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
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