Can't boot off of Windows 8.1 DVD

alerus

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Feb 25, 2014
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I just built a new PC from scratch. The build is this:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2oTKD

with the GPU being a Power Color R9 280x.

Since it's new there is no OS installed. The PC boots into BIOS fine. When I put in the Windows 8.1 DVD and choose to boot off it, things start okay. I get Windows logo and then shortly after I get spinning dots progress indicator at the bottom of the screen. That spins indefinitely. I've left it on that screen for an hour and nothing new every appeared.

Any thoughts?
 

Pinhedd

Champion
Moderator
Hi there,

Since your PC is new and has an Intel 8 series chipset the motherboard firmware will be based off of the much newer UEFI firmware standard rather than the (comparatively) ancient BIOS standard. Some motherboard vendors continue to list the motherboard firmware on their website as BIOS even though it is clearly UEFI based.

UEFI handles booting much differently than BIOS, but for compatibility reasons some motherboard vendors have included BIOS compatibility with UEFI firmware. This enhances the ability to boot off of old hard drives, old operating systems, and optical images that are not setup for the newer UEFI boot chain, but it has been known to cause issues when the installer encounters a mixture of the two. All installation media for Windows 7 and beyond (obviously including Windows 8.1) include everything necessary to boot through UEFI. If there is absolutely nothing else on the computer (which should be the case if you built it from scratch) the best solution is to disable legacy boot compatibility in the firmware settings. You will have to consult your motherboard manual on how to do this but in general you want to do the following:

1. Disable legacy boot compatibility entirely. You won't need it unless you're installing something that does not support UEFI such as some older Linux distributions, or various BSDs.

You can tell if legacy boot is enabled if you see various disk drives themselves as boot targets. UEFI scans the partition tables on the devices and enumerates individual volumes that identify themselves as EFI bootable partitions. So, rather than booting from "SOME LG OPTICAL DRIVE", you'll want to boot from something like "Windows Boot Manager". It's a much nicer system.

2. Disable legacy boot ROMs if present, or at least prioritize UEFI ROMs. These are the ROMs that control the storage controllers and run in order to put the storage controller into a state from which it may read the bootable media. Some platforms that bridged the gap between BIOS and UEFI have both, with one being prioritized. This is common on Intel 6 and 7 series motherboards. Add-in cards such as dedicated RAID controllers may have both as well, and the firmware may retain compatibility for these older ROMs as manufacturers make the shift to UEFI-only. Disabling them generally won't fix boot errors, but your PC will boot much quicker with all legacy components disabled (BIOS compatibility components collectively form a firmware subsystem named Compatibility Support Module). If you can disable CSM, and enable Secure Boot you will be have a very fast booting, very secure PC.

3. Make sure that the optical disk is attached to the Intel PCH storage controller rather than an add-in controller. I don't believe that yours has one, so you may be able to disregard this along with #2 above for the most part.

I hope that this helps.
 

Pinhedd

Champion
Moderator
Hi there,

Since your PC is new and has an Intel 8 series chipset the motherboard firmware will be based off of the much newer UEFI firmware standard rather than the (comparatively) ancient BIOS standard. Some motherboard vendors continue to list the motherboard firmware on their website as BIOS even though it is clearly UEFI based.

UEFI handles booting much differently than BIOS, but for compatibility reasons some motherboard vendors have included BIOS compatibility with UEFI firmware. This enhances the ability to boot off of old hard drives, old operating systems, and optical images that are not setup for the newer UEFI boot chain, but it has been known to cause issues when the installer encounters a mixture of the two. All installation media for Windows 7 and beyond (obviously including Windows 8.1) include everything necessary to boot through UEFI. If there is absolutely nothing else on the computer (which should be the case if you built it from scratch) the best solution is to disable legacy boot compatibility in the firmware settings. You will have to consult your motherboard manual on how to do this but in general you want to do the following:

1. Disable legacy boot compatibility entirely. You won't need it unless you're installing something that does not support UEFI such as some older Linux distributions, or various BSDs.

You can tell if legacy boot is enabled if you see various disk drives themselves as boot targets. UEFI scans the partition tables on the devices and enumerates individual volumes that identify themselves as EFI bootable partitions. So, rather than booting from "SOME LG OPTICAL DRIVE", you'll want to boot from something like "Windows Boot Manager". It's a much nicer system.

2. Disable legacy boot ROMs if present, or at least prioritize UEFI ROMs. These are the ROMs that control the storage controllers and run in order to put the storage controller into a state from which it may read the bootable media. Some platforms that bridged the gap between BIOS and UEFI have both, with one being prioritized. This is common on Intel 6 and 7 series motherboards. Add-in cards such as dedicated RAID controllers may have both as well, and the firmware may retain compatibility for these older ROMs as manufacturers make the shift to UEFI-only. Disabling them generally won't fix boot errors, but your PC will boot much quicker with all legacy components disabled (BIOS compatibility components collectively form a firmware subsystem named Compatibility Support Module). If you can disable CSM, and enable Secure Boot you will be have a very fast booting, very secure PC.

3. Make sure that the optical disk is attached to the Intel PCH storage controller rather than an add-in controller. I don't believe that yours has one, so you may be able to disregard this along with #2 above for the most part.

I hope that this helps.
 

alerus

Reputable
Feb 25, 2014
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4,510
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Thanks for the thorough reply. I will try this tonight and let you know. This certainly sounds like it might work, which is encouraging!
 

alerus

Reputable
Feb 25, 2014
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Unfortunately that didn't work. But I did figure it out. Something is wrong with my sound card. Removing it made everything launch fine. Very strange that it would get that far in without a problem. Guess I'll have to trouble shoot that later. For now, I just want windows installed :p
 

Pinhedd

Champion
Moderator


That is quite odd. What sound card do you have?
 

alerus

Reputable
Feb 25, 2014
4
0
4,510
0



Asus Xonar DGX. It seemed strange to me that pulling it would make everything work too, because I would have expected failure earlier if there was something wrong. But it was the first thing I tried after the UEFI switch didn't work (to try and scale back to the necessary components only) and it worked immediately afterward.

I'll add that it always bothered me because the metal port guard didn't quite go far enough to put the case screw in.
 

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