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Consequences of installing in Legacy BIOS mode? 8.1 Pro

  1. #1


    Texas
    Posts : 128
    Win 8.1, Win 10P, Win7-all, RIP XPP, 'droid 2.2, 2.3,4.x, 5..IOS,

    Consequences of installing in Legacy BIOS mode? 8.1 Pro


    Dell Latitude E5440 I fresh installed 8.1 but, as the bro' in the Acer UEFI thread [just resolved] said, I have the same: the latest Dell BIOS does not give any options at all in UEFI mode - that is, there is no table of boot device choice sequencing, and neither the ADD or REMOVE functions, though the buttons are in the UI beside the UEFI option switch - no worky. press add, get no response; press REMOVE, no response. When I tried to set UEFI [which appeared to succeed], booted with the SD card with Win8.1 on it per the Microsoft USB burn tool, it didn't recognize a bootable device [sorta makes sense, only lenovo gets this right in my experience]. Put that device in USB Adapter, started system, "no device". Tried the F12 menu, no USB option shown. Wash/rinse/repeat.

    Finally switched back to Legacy Mode, and everything worked, I installed 8.1 but...
    All looked OK until Win update downloaded a long list of updates to 8.1 as expected. appeared to go ok. hours later I "Shut Down" the system. On next boot, lots of ERRORS, the root of which seems to be wuauserv locked in perpetual "stopping" state. There was one of the Updates that failed to reach the "Installed" state in the log.

    nevermind all the errors, but my question is whether this is a fundamental mistake when installing 8.1. Will it forever cause grief if not installed with the Drive formatted in UEFI mode? If that is the case, am I better off to use a 3rd party util to setup the hard drive first before attempting to boot up the USB install media at all?

    for the record, yes the install aforementioned did show a proper Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit install and it worked swell until all the updates. Still had me wondering if I should have forced a UEFI...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    If disk is formatted in GPT (as required by UEFI) instead of NTFS windows might be installing UEFI, it's always better if possible to start from scratch on freshly cleaned and formatted disk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by cognus View Post
    Dell Latitude E5440...Finally switched back to Legacy Mode, and everything worked, I installed 8.1 but...
    All looked OK until Win update downloaded a long list of updates to 8.1 as expected. appeared to go ok. hours later I "Shut Down" the system. On next boot, lots of ERRORS, the root of which seems to be wuauserv locked in perpetual "stopping" state. There was one of the Updates that failed to reach the "Installed" state in the log.

    nevermind all the errors, but my question is whether this is a fundamental mistake when installing 8.1. Will it forever cause grief if not installed with the Drive formatted in UEFI mode?
    I can't speak about proprietary systems like Dell and whatnot, but for computers I build myself, UEFI can only cause problems. That's why I use legacy mode. No idea about your wuauserv problem, but one of the first things I do after installing Windows is disable automatic Windows updates. I have no problems whatsoever with manual Windows updates. I may re-evaluate UEFI and Secure Boot the next I build a system, but it was clearly a big mess a year and a half ago when I last built a computer; the benefits were not worth the uncertainty of it working right and allowing me to use boot media like IFW and PartEd Magic (though IFW is now supposed to work with Secure Boot enabled), and legacy mode has not let me down. FWIW, I encrypt all my numerous drives with BitLocker, and UEFI is not necessary for that. I don't know why you would be having problems other than that Dell has derped your computer, like they used to do with their proprietary power supplies. That said, I do have Windows 8.1 running fine in a Dell Vostro 1400 laptop I bought in 2008 or thereabouts, and that is obviously legacy BIOS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Texas
    Posts : 128
    Win 8.1, Win 10P, Win7-all, RIP XPP, 'droid 2.2, 2.3,4.x, 5..IOS,


    crawfish I appreciate your detail. Yes, as it turned out this Latitude iteration has a number of BIOS features that make it probably the strangest one I've seen [and I worked there for a long time...]. Still not sure I fully understand what WAS going on but I went from 1200+ ERRORS [not warnings] in a couple of hours operating time to almost none [usual DCOM fails here and there]. Seemed to have stemmed from processor throttling via a half dozen BIOS-level power management/sys-management options in the BIOS, and options set the wrong way for the embedded NIC. See how logical this is: I had to install in legacy mode because it would not recognize anything UEFI mode [though secure boot was unchecked], and so it is. However, it threw errors constantly with the NIC optioned other-than-UEFI stack [there are two other options, w/pxe, w/o] which one would think would be contraindicated. But, enabled the UEFI stack option and most of the problems exited.. BITS could not function properly without something in that stack [what, by the way?]... causing a lot of downstream update, permissions, etc issues. I guess I need to get a lot smarter on what option ROMS are installed in this one. sure glad it didn't have a BIOS pwd set.... yikes

    Let me ask a low level question: if this had been a case where the previous install HAD been on formatted for GPT, 1.] would my install media have even worked?, and 2.] if so, in legacy bios mode, having deleted the Partitions using the Windows 8.1 iso, would it not have reformatted on the fly for GPT? or do you have to force that, and if so, via the windows install package or prior/other? I'm not asking what is BEST practice but if there is formatting in the background on the fly...

    BTW for future readers - even when the embedded NIC was not in use [I was using WIFI mostly], and EVEN WHEN disabled at the OS level, the same errors were still occurring - didn't materially affect such. Only when enabling the UEFI stack in system ROM did I get relief.

    One other thing: Intel Management Engine components... - I take it that there are several Ref-Spec builds recommended with varying systemboard options that IMEI can or must latch. This one, when IMEI was installed, seemed to be generating errors due possibly not to the low level stuff but the Utility that they bundle in with the drivers [I haven't figured out how to separate yet - there was no obvious install/uninstall for just the util itself]. without the Dell and/or Intel driver package and its installer, Will 8.1 updates pull the necessary drivers for those components or not?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    During installation of windows you can choose what and which way to partition/format.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Consequences of installing in Legacy BIOS mode? 8.1 Pro
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