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Microsoft MDT: moving from BIOS to UEFI

If you have a Windows box and are trying to convert MBR/BIOS installs to GPT/UEFI installs on ‘class 2’ systems, you might want to read this:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mniehaus/2017/04/14/moving-from-bios-to-uefi-with-mdt-8443/

 

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MBR2GPT

“MBR2GPT.EXE converts a disk from Master Boot Record (MBR) to GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style without modifying or deleting data on the disk. The tool is designed to be run from a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) command prompt, but can also be run from the full Windows 10 operating system (OS).[…]”

https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/windows/deploy/mbr-to-gpt

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2017/04/05/whats-new-for-it-pros-in-the-windows-10-creators-update/

https://redmondmag.com/articles/2017/04/07/windows-10-creators-update-tools-and-documentation-released.aspx

 

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Brian on Secure Boot -vs- Nemesis

Brian Richardson of Intel wrote a new blog on the recent Nemesis malware:

(Nemesis targets BIOS-centric MBR not UEFI-centric GPT partititions.)

http://blogs.intel.com/evangelists/2015/12/08/nemesis-meet-uefi-secure-boot/

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Determining Windows partition information

Patrik Suzzi has an article on GPT partitions, and how to determine if you have MBR or GPT:

The article is written for Windows users, and has lots of screenshots, looks to be informative!

http://www.multibooters.com/guides/determine-if-hard-drive-is-mbr-or-gpt.html

 

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Intel EFI Disk Utilities

Intel has a set of disk utilities, for creating/checking GPT partitions and FAT file systems. They aren’t included in TianoCore’s EDK2 with the other BSD-licensed UEFI Shell commands. These tools ship separately, with a separate license, presumably due to the tool’s knowledge of FAT file system format. Here’s a brief description of the tools, as excerpted from the download license:

Microsoft EFI Utilities: The term “Microsoft EFI Utilities” shall mean the Guided Partition Table utilities Diskpart (Disk partitioning utility), Efifmt (EFI Format utility) and Efichk (EFI Check Disk utility) stored in a file named GPT_UTIL.zip.

To get the tools, you have to agree to the license on this page, if so you get to download a zip. Then you have to read the readme in that zip, to get the password for the other included zip, which contain the actual tools. Lawyer-designed.

http://www.intel.com/technology/efi/agree_diskutil.htm

The tools come with source, not just binary. They didn’t compile for me, this morning: I think they require a much older EDK2 environment to build. But at least they ship with source, though it is not BSD-licensed Open Source. The tools are old enough that they still use “EFI”, not the newer “UEFI” term.

I wish Intel could donate these tools to the UEFI Forum, so that Intel- *AND* ARM-based users could benefit. TianoCore already has a FAT license, for it’s file system driver. Adding these tools to that package would eliminate one FAT-centric license, and bundle FAT-centric tools along with the FAT-centric file system driver. It would be nice for TianoCore to be able to fix/create ESPs, not just run from ESPs created elsewhere. Perhaps use the Disk Util common code for some other UEFI-based file system diagnostic tools for file systems that UEFI ships, eg UFS, maybe UDF.

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Using FreeBSD, ZFS, and UEFI

Jashank Jeremy wrote an article on using FreeBSD, ZFS, GPT, and UEFI, on a 64-bit system.

Apparently, the trick to is to use GRUB’s kFreeBSD mode. Full information here:

Hmm, WordPress imbeds the entire source file listing of a Git.Github URL. So I’m splitting this URL, you’ll have to combine it yourself:

https://
gist.github.com/jashank
/9ec2f72126552068434c

Also check out the reply from Felix Khrohn on Jashank’s Twitter post, with an URL to alternative method by Ganael Laplanche.

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UEFI for OpenBSD??

Hmm, I was under the impression that of the BSDs, only FreeBSD supported UEFI. (As well as MacOSX, of course.) But it appears that despite Theo’s previous comments on UEFI 🙂 that there might be some UEFI support in OpenBSD eventually:

From last year, GSOC’14 for OpenBSD (UEFI and GPT), I’ve not studied to see if these have been upstreamed yet:
http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/project/details/google/gsoc2014/mmu/5639274879778816

From 2 days ago, a new OpenBSD-centric boot loader:
https://github.com/yasuoka/openbsd-uefi
It looks like the latter project needs some hardware help, besides the author’s VIAO, if you can help them out…

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