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not urgent: boot/boot manager questions



First of all I want to tell you that my computer is still running, so my issue is not urgent as some others may be. Yet I hope that someone may take his time to give me some hints. I am familiar with computers, but do not have deep knowledge about many parts of the operating system.

I am sorry for the unspecific title, I couldnt get it any better with a few letters and my little English knowledge.

When Windows 8.1 was released, I took my Windows 8 Pro licence and a step-by-step tutorial from a German IT magazine to install Win 8.1 straight to a brand new computer which was built by a local store. The tutorial had described how to have a microsoft tool running under Windows 7 create a bootable Win 8.1 USB stick.
(As the Microsoft tool does not run under Windows 8, I cannot use it anymore.)

Additionally, I followed instructions in a magazine to create and use a VHD file for installation of another instance of the operating system.

Everything worked fine until ... I did something stupid: I wanted to change the default boot entry and used EasyBCD to destroy my conmputer's ability to boot. (Yeah, well, don't use a tool if you don't know what you're doing.) During the process of repairing that (mostly by googling on my 4" smart phone, sigh), I've learned that you can take backups of your boot configuration and many more things, but still I don't really understand the boot process.
I bought books on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 but all I found was the very same information that you can find all over the internet (which is hardly more than bcdedit's parameters).

My computer is up and running since a few weeks again, booting both instances as desired. So I tried to find more information on the boot process but failed.

So finally -- thanks for reading so far -- I have some questions and would really appreciate some help!

  1. Is there sort of a "boot whitepaper" for booting Windows on UEFI systems? One that'd answer questions like what partitions must or can be involved, what parameters the boot manager accepts and what they are for and so on? I am mainly interested in the part between "UEFI finds boot manager" and "loading Windows has sucessfully started".
  2. While repairing my boot manager I disabled my USB stick's ability to boot. Booting from my USB stick it actually boots from the hrad disk now. This happened because I tried to work on the hard drive's boot configuration while having bootet from the stick. (One more lesson learned.)
    I guess this can easily be repaired but I have no idea how.
  3. I have 2 monitors. Before my disaster boot manager was displayed on both screens; since the incident only monitor 2 is used. (often I have only 1 monitor switched on, the other one may even be turned aside). Of this issue I also think it can be solved easily, but I had almost googled my fingertips off finding lots of dual monitor problems with one staying black all the time; but my sencond monitor is active all the time except when boot manager displays. BIOS/UEFI is displayed on both.
I admit I have one more question specific to my current configuration, but I think I better create a new thread for that one another day.

Thnak you in advance for anby hints! :)

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Intel64 Family 6 Model 60 Stepping 3 GenuineIntel ~3401 Mhz
    Asus H87-Pro
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 7970 6GB
    Hard Drives
    SATA only
    2 x 3 TB as RAID 1 = C:, D:
    3 TB = E:
    3 TB = F:
    Logitech K800 (cordless)
    Logitech G700s (cordless)
    Internet Speed
    Cable (5GBit up, 70GBit down)
    IE 11, FF 34
I disabled my USB stick's ability to boot
In the BIOS screen use the arrow keys to select "Boot".
In the priority set usb as first boot option.

Also enable "Boot Menu".
It will assign an F-key to press on restart to show the Boot Menu where you can select the usb if it is already inserted.

This is how it works on my computer.

Your BIOS might be different. :(

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    AMD K140 Cores 2 Threads 2 Name AMD K140 Package Socket FT1 BGA Technology 40nm
    Manufacturer Gateway Model SX2110G (P0)
    Type DDR3 Size 8192 MBytes DRAM Frequency 532.3 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics
    Sound Card
    AMD High Definition Audio Device Realtek High Definition Audio USB Audio Device
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Name 1950W on AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics Current Resolution 1366x768 pixels Work Resolution 1366x76
    Screen Resolution
    Current Resolution 1366x768 pixels Work Resolution 1366x768 pixels
    Hard Drives
    AMD K140
    Cores 2
    Threads 2
    Name AMD K140
    Package Socket FT1 BGA
    Technology 40nm
    Specification AMD E1-1200 APU with Radeon HD Graphics
    Family F
    Extended Family 14
    Model 2
    Extended Model 2
    Stepping 0
    Revision ON-C0
    Opera 24.0
    Avast Internet Security