[RESOLVED] Installing Windows when USB boot fails

userHead QuakeDragon 2017-06-20 06:23:48 37449 Views10 Replies

Here I document my trial-and-error methods for booting the Windows OS install when the BIOS boot order was getting ignored. Another alternative title might be How I managed to install Windows when I could not boot from any USB devices. (Tested USB DVD, USB Flash Drives).

This was a new device, freshly unpacked and booted up. I experienced issues starting Windows for the first time. "OS goes to "Just a moment" for a very long time. Then the sysprep cmd window launches, then nothing happens." This issue is identical to this reddit post and has been posted a few times on the LattePanda forum already.

I followed the LattePanda documentation on reinstalling Windows to create the bootable USB stick. I set the boot order in BIOS, but it still just kicked me back to the pre-installed windows.

So I tried a different USB stick (sometimes they can be fussy) but the results were the same.
It just refused to boot to USB! Always defaulting back to the pre-installed Windows.

Next I grabbed a windows 10 home DVD and plugged in my trusty USB 2.0 DVD burner. It has it's own power source, so I was sure there wouldn't be any power draw issues. I accessed the BIOS and set my boot order. To my dismay, the system still refused to boot to USB (Just loaded the pre-installed Windows again.)

Next I used Microsoft's media creation tool and created a Windows 10 32-bit bootable USB stick. (32-bit because I am working on the 2G/32G version of the LattePanda, I shouldn't need the 64-bit version... or so I thought. read on!)
While it was downloading I did other stuff to shake my frustrations. Once finished, I connected the newly imaged USB stick to a different, working PC. It booted to the windows setup as expected.

I plug the USB stick into the 'Panda, change bios boot order settings... and it goes right back to the pre-installed windows. Won't boot from the USB stick or the USB DVD.

Ok, so that won't work. I get into the Windows troubleshooting start menu and I select the option to restore my PC, don't keep any settings. I start this process. 

Around 49%, I get hit with a brief power outage. Hmm... at least it wasn't firmware, right? I wait for a bit to make sure the power is stable again, then I start it up. That's when I am greeted by a not-so-nice message:
"The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. To install Windows, click 'OK' to restart the computer, and then restart the installation.".

I got this same mesage no matter how many times I tried to F8 or otherwise access any windows safe mode.

Great. So now my pre-installed image is shot and I can't get this thing to boot from any USB device.
I really didn't feel up to installing and configuring a PXE server just for a single Windows 10 install. So I kept on tinkering.. and while tinkering, I noticed an entry on the BIOS exit screen labeled "Launch EFI Shell from filesystem device".

I ran this and after a moment I was provided a command line to the EFI shell. Cool. Reading the screen I notice the mount points and read to figure out which is my USB device. In this case, fs1:

I mounted my USB device by typing fs1:
then I typed cd efi
then I typed cd boot
then I typed in bootia32.efi
I was immediately notified that the Image type IA32 is not supported by this x64 shell. so, Microsoft used the Itanium efi on the x86 version of Windows 10 home? That just doesn't make sense.

So, once again I used Microsoft's media creation tool and created a Windows 10 64-bit bootable USB stick.

Once the stick was ready, I launched EFI Shell from the BIOS. Ran these commands (again):

cd efi
cd boot

Success! The shell launched the Windows setup program from the USB device.
Because of the problems I was having, I decided to delete the hard disk partitions and reinstall windows on a clean 'unallocated space' emmc disk.

Afterwards, on another computer I downloaded the drivers from the LattePanda GITHub repository and transferred via the same USB stick. Then I proceeded to install drivers for all the unknown devices in the device manager. (it was a pretty long list.)

I had neglected to remove the USB stick from the LattePanda when I rebooted to finish installing the first of the device drivers. To my surprise, the 'Panda booted from the USB stick. So after the clean OS install my LattePanda began properly booting from the USB devices. 

I removed the USB stick, rebooted into Windows and continued with device driver installation. I've since then updated Windows and have let the device 'burn in' for a day. It seems to be working perfectly now.

I hope you find this post informative and helpful. Use these instructions at your own discretion.