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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Need Help with Booting to Clone to Verify Backup

    On my old computer (BIOS, Windows 7) I could clone my Windows system drive to an external drive using an eSATA connection. Then it was easy to go into BIOS and choose to boot from the eSATA drive to verify that the clone was good.

    Now I have a new computer (ASUS,- motherboard H81M) with UEFI firmware and running Windows 10. I can still clone to the eSATA external drive, but despite trying all sort of options in the UEFI firmware, I cannot get the system to boot from the eSATA drive while the internal drive is connected. If I unplug the internal drive, the eSATA boots fine. What is more confusing, it if I reconnect the internal drive, the system still boots from the eSATA drive! It seems that something, somewhere, is "remembering" the most recent boot drive. I have to disconnect the eSATA drive and reconnect the internal drive to get back to normal booting.

    I have done a good bit of fiddling with drive order, boot priorities, "Boot Override" etc. with no luck. I have also downloaded the ASUS manual for this motherboard, but the information on the UEFI interface is mostly screen shots with no additional detail on what the various settings do or how they interact.

    If someone is able to choose to boot to a choice of two Windows drives under UEFI I would appreciate some insight on how to set it up. Even better would be a reference to a tutorial on how UEFI handles two drives where each has Windows installed.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    A couple of things here. UEFI is by no means mature. It can be implemented in many different ways and hide/expose many different options, depending on how it is implemented. Microsoft specifies some basic necessities in UEFI for its OEM's, but beyond that, they can expound as they see fit.

    The UEFI boot segment in your motherboard "talks" to the OS, and the OS "talks" to the motherboard. A true clone replicates the entire hard drive, so on your eSATA clone you also have an EFI partition. When you boot from the eSATA drive, the motherboard remembers where it found the last EFI partition, and that's where it looks for it the next boot. You have to hide it in order for UEFI to look elsewhere.

    I dual boot Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 from different internal SATA drives, but only one drive has an EFI partition. I use a boot menu (BCD store) to choose which OS to boot, and define which OS is the default OS in case of an unattended reboot (power failures and such).

    You could use BCDEdit to create a menu, or download and install EasyBCD to add a menu. You would want to have it located on the internal drive, in case the eSATA drive is unplugged.

    You have to disconnect the eSATA drive in order to get the motherboard to look elsewhere for the EFI partition. It "remembers" that there's one on the SATA drive, and goes there to boot. You don't want it remembering the eSATA drive as the only place to look for a boot menu
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to bbearren For This Useful Post:

    whbecker (2016-04-02)

  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    Wow, many thank for the reference to EasyBCD! Nifty program with excellent documentation. I am up and running with my backup and test process.

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