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Windows 7: Why can I not enter my boot options when in my bios menu?

07 Aug 2015   #1
jeplonski

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 
Why can I not enter my boot options when in my bios menu?

I press f2 at startup and get put into a black screen with white letters. I can either boot windows normally or run diagnostics. I need to change the boot order. I am running windows 7 off mac OS X if that would make a difference but I do not believe it would knowing I can still enter the boot menu. Windows still works like a regular windows computer but I can't seem to find the windows boot order. Can anyone help me with this? I have used Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool to format the USB correctly and install the ISO files. I am not sure where to go once in the windows boot menu so that is what I am asking for. Direction to the boot order so I can change it. Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Aug 2015   #2
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Hello jeplonski Welcome to the Seven Forums! The place to look would be in the user manual for either the system if premade or the board if a custom build to find out exactly which F key you need to press at post time that's right when first turning on the power or following a system restart when either the factory logo screen appears or doesn't if disabled in the bios setup program for the main board itself.

Often it will be the F4 if not F8 or F11, F12 keys that are used for bringing up the one time boot device menu. The Del key or another of the F keys will be assigned for entering the setup program right after the drives and other devices are detected at post. Once in the advanced section of the bios you will find the boot order for assigning which will be first as well as if only one, two, or three drives or devices will be set in order.

For installation from dvd in past years the dvd drive would be set as first often if there wasn't any boot device menu you could bring to select cd rom drive and see Windows installed. You had to go back in following first system restart once all the setup files had been copied from disk to hard drive to set the OS drive as the first in the boot order. Now we generally either boot from the dvd or a USB Installation Key made up using the one time boot option.

The boot device menu is not found in Windows at post time but an optional boot menu you bring up at post time. Typically you should be seeing the F key indicated right as the system powers up and the first post screen appears showing which key is pressed to enter the bios setup program as well as which other key is assigned to the boot device menu you are looking for. Once you find that and the screen appears you will need to scroll usually down to the USB HDD item and press the enter key in order to boot from the usb flash drive the setup files have been written to and watch as the installation screen appears in a few minutes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2015   #3
jeplonski

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Hello jeplonski Welcome to the Seven Forums! The place to look would be in the user manual for either the system if premade or the board if a custom build to find out exactly which F key you need to press at post time that's right when first turning on the power or following a system restart when either the factory logo screen appears or doesn't if disabled in the bios setup program for the main board itself.

Often it will be the F4 if not F8 or F11, F12 keys that are used for bringing up the one time boot device menu. The Del key or another of the F keys will be assigned for entering the setup program right after the drives and other devices are detected at post. Once in the advanced section of the bios you will find the boot order for assigning which will be first as well as if only one, two, or three drives or devices will be set in order.

For installation from dvd in past years the dvd drive would be set as first often if there wasn't any boot device menu you could bring to select cd rom drive and see Windows installed. You had to go back in following first system restart once all the setup files had been copied from disk to hard drive to set the OS drive as the first in the boot order. Now we generally either boot from the dvd or a USB Installation Key made up using the one time boot option.

The boot device menu is not found in Windows at post time but an optional boot menu you bring up at post time. Typically you should be seeing the F key indicated right as the system powers up and the first post screen appears showing which key is pressed to enter the bios setup program as well as which other key is assigned to the boot device menu you are looking for. Once you find that and the screen appears you will need to scroll usually down to the USB HDD item and press the enter key in order to boot from the usb flash drive the setup files have been written to and watch as the installation screen appears in a few minutes.
Thanks for the reply! I clicked f8 and have a lot of options

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode wth CMD Prompt

Enable boot logging
Enable low-res video
Last known good config (advanced)
Directory Services Restore Mode
Debugging Mode
Disable automatic restart on system failure
Disable Driver Signature enforcement

Start windows normally

Which do I pick?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Aug 2015   #4
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

That is the Windows optional boot menu for the boot into the Safe Mode as well as the repair tools like the Startup Repair and command prompt for troubleshooting purposes like why Window won't start up normally or hang at startup. What you are looking for is the correct F key right when the first black screen with text appears at post time to bring up the boot device menu which lists usb card reader, optical drive, hard drive, usb hdd also usb hard drive but shortened where you would highlight and press the enter/return key to boot from the usb flash drive.

The F8 key sometimes was assigned but later no longer assigned by board manufacturers for the bios setup not the Windows recovery/repair options screen. The other F keys like F4, F11, F12 are the ones used most often at this time. That first black screen you see at powering on the system is the first bios post screen where you want to look for the correct F key for either the one time boot since you will only need to boot from the flash drive long enough for the setup files to be copied over to the hard drive to see the clean install of 10 take place.

Now one question remains. Did you already see a successful upgrade of 10 on another machine or not? If so you can go ahead and see a clean install of 10 go on as long as the first upgrade has also been automatically activated so the MS server will remember you!

On the other hand IF? this is the first time you will want to be in Windows when manually browsing to the root directory of the flash drive to manually start the setup.exe file with a double click to start the upgrade process. The activation server will then detect not only your system configuration but recognize the valid product key used for seeing 7 go on. Note the usb install key is intended for full clean installs of 10 while the dvd option is strictly intended for upgrades only while you can still use the usb key for an upgrade while booted in Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2015   #5
jeplonski

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
That is the Windows optional boot menu for the boot into the Safe Mode as well as the repair tools like the Startup Repair and command prompt for troubleshooting purposes like why Window won't start up normally or hang at startup. What you are looking for is the correct F key right when the first black screen with text appears at post time to bring up the boot device menu which lists usb card reader, optical drive, hard drive, usb hdd also usb hard drive but shortened where you would highlight and press the enter/return key to boot from the usb flash drive.

The F8 key sometimes was assigned but later no longer assigned by board manufacturers for the bios setup not the Windows recovery/repair options screen. The other F keys like F4, F11, F12 are the ones used most often at this time. That first black screen you see at powering on the system is the first bios post screen where you want to look for the correct F key for either the one time boot since you will only need to boot from the flash drive long enough for the setup files to be copied over to the hard drive to see the clean install of 10 take place.

Now one question remains. Did you already see a successful upgrade of 10 on another machine or not? If so you can go ahead and see a clean install of 10 go on as long as the first upgrade has also been automatically activated so the MS server will remember you!

On the other hand IF? this is the first time you will want to be in Windows when manually browsing to the root directory of the flash drive to manually start the setup.exe file with a double click to start the upgrade process. The activation server will then detect not only your system configuration but recognize the valid product key used for seeing 7 go on. Note the usb install key is intended for full clean installs of 10 while the dvd option is strictly intended for upgrades only while you can still use the usb key for an upgrade while booted in Windows.
Well I am trying to install windows 7 64 bit because I have 32 bit. I just like windows 7 more than the other softwares. I am trying to do a clean install with my usb that is correctly formatted. I think it is suppost to be lissted under boot options where it says windows 7, but I can not seem to get it to show up. I have tried all the keys you have told me to do. f11 brought up boot options! It seams to be a cmd prompt though.
This is what it says:

Edit Windows boot options for: Windows 7

Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Partition: 4
Hard Disk: 23362335

[ /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN

I can type after OPTIN so it looks like a cmd prompt
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2015   #6
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Well the F8 Windows boot options would be seeing the Safe Mode with Command prompt option which is what that sounds like to me! You still got into the Windows boot options not the bios boot device menu one of the F keys is supposed to bring up before any part of an existing Windows installation starts loading.

Upon mentioning you are trying to see a full clean install of 7 go on you have two choices you can make to insure seeing a boot from the usb flash drive being changing the default boot device in the bios setup or bringing the one time only boot device menu where after a restart you wiil revert back to the hard drive or device already set as the default first in the boot order. Going into the bios to change that will insure you see the boot off of the usb key but also mean once the Windows setup files have completed being copied over you have to go right back in there to reset the hard drive as the first like it had been.

One problem you could be running into if you are not seeing the F key you would use like F12 to bring up the bios's own boot option menu where you choose the drive or device like flash drive or external hard drive, memory card to boot from would be the UEFI issue mentioned in the clean install keys here at SF, over at the Eight forums where this came up much more so, and the Ten Forums of course for the newest version out.

The UEFI is the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface offering the Secure boot option in the bios setup that can prevent booting from a flash drive. The guide you would want to go over on that is seen at UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with

Now another question I have for you of course would be the make and model of the mother board you have there so I can look up the user manual as well as specs to see how the bios goes as well as the boot options that are available with that model MB you have there. I suspect with your mention of a clean install you are planning to wipe the other OS off of the drive as well?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2015   #7
jeplonski

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Well the F8 Windows boot options would be seeing the Safe Mode with Command prompt option which is what that sounds like to me! You still got into the Windows boot options not the bios boot device menu one of the F keys is supposed to bring up before any part of an existing Windows installation starts loading.

Upon mentioning you are trying to see a full clean install of 7 go on you have two choices you can make to insure seeing a boot from the usb flash drive being changing the default boot device in the bios setup or bringing the one time only boot device menu where after a restart you wiil revert back to the hard drive or device already set as the default first in the boot order. Going into the bios to change that will insure you see the boot off of the usb key but also mean once the Windows setup files have completed being copied over you have to go right back in there to reset the hard drive as the first like it had been.

One problem you could be running into if you are not seeing the F key you would use like F12 to bring up the bios's own boot option menu where you choose the drive or device like flash drive or external hard drive, memory card to boot from would be the UEFI issue mentioned in the clean install keys here at SF, over at the Eight forums where this came up much more so, and the Ten Forums of course for the newest version out.

The UEFI is the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface offering the Secure boot option in the bios setup that can prevent booting from a flash drive. The guide you would want to go over on that is seen at UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with

Now another question I have for you of course would be the make and model of the mother board you have there so I can look up the user manual as well as specs to see how the bios goes as well as the boot options that are available with that model MB you have there. I suspect with your mention of a clean install you are planning to wipe the other OS off of the drive as well?
First off, I would like to thank you for sticking around and helping me through this. I have an iMac mid 2010 but I do not know what the motherboard is and I believe it to be risky taking it apart. I also would like to say that I am planning on wiping the 32 bit partition and installing 64 bit over it. I think it would be best for me to have a step by step walk through of what I need to do in order to boot from my USB. It has been made bootable and all I need to do is find the bios to change the boot order. Sorry if I am missing a key point that you are trying to make. I have been stuck with mac my whole life so I only know small details about windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2015   #8
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Well it's going to take a bit since a look at the information on the make and model board you have there will explain which key has to be pressed at post time and how to walk through the bios setup for that board without any mishaps! Oh yes you might just change and save the wrong setting and it won't matter what OS is on you will have to go right back in and correct the mistake! You also wouldn't want to enable or disable something that might cause a problem while you may just have to go in there due to something like the UEFI problem in order to disable Secure Boot!

That last guide there addresses that in detail. The other guides found in the tutorial section are the step by step instructions needed to actually walk you through how to create the flash drive installation key making it bootable which you already have. And you should still go over the other guides on how to perform a clean install of Windows in order to get familiar with the Windows OS itself. I know a lot of good work has been put into those guides to make them as easy as possible to follow while still being detailed enough to include additional information you may need at times.

As for seeing a 32bit 7 wiped clean off of a drive while not planning to reformat in order to save existing files my recommendation would be to first back the files up to another drive or removable media like burning to dvds or writing to dvd rewritable disks if not to any usb flash drives or external hard drive in a usb enclosure if the other drive lacks space for temporarily storing files there. If you downloaded and saved driver sets and other updates for the 32bit 7 install those you can generally find available to download again if you should decide to go back to the 32bit later.

With the drive all set as far as having backed up anything and everything you want to keep the step I take here often enough over the years is simply nuking the present primaty partition off of the drive in order to see a fresh brand new primary created. The extra step is taken to prevent ending up with any partition errors if the previous install had been on for some time and ended seeing any possible volume information lost. Once the new simple volume is created you see it formatted.

Now that is the proceedure either when prepping a second drive while booted in Windows on a first while in the Disk Management tool or when booted live from either a 7 dvd or a usb install key. After first clicking on the big right in plain view "Install Now" button you will move onto the next screen where you then see the two large rectangular buttons actually with the second on the bottom of the two being the Custom Installation option you want to click there. On the screen that follows as any of the installation guides will show you then pick and choose the particular drive of all the ones shown where you want to see Windows installed to.

Now the first thing to know is that if you leave any other drives plugged in and the intended drive is not Disk #0 the MBR(Master Boot Record) as well as boot files could end up on the wrong drive seeing the wrong drive made bootable! For getting the new version of Windows 10 onto the second drive I just ran into this type of problem from not having unplugged the two storage drives which were Sata 3 type to the pait of Sata II OS drives in use! You wouldn't want to trash the other OS either without having the experience so far with one OS overriding things with other as far as the boot information,etc. and why you see this advised in a guide too since you would want to see the other OS isolated to prevent any accidents?
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 Why can I not enter my boot options when in my bios menu?




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