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Can't change boot order


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I have been trying to change the boot order on my Acer Aspire desktop computer for several days now. When it is starting up, I keep pressing the DELETE button.  That takes me to the BIOS. I then toggle over to the BOOT Options page. I then have selected the CD/DVD device as well as the REMOVABLE device, I then save and exit. I have tried this several times. The computer still boots to the hard drive, Windows Boot Manager.  I have attached a picture that I took, hopefully. You can see that the First boot device is set to the Removable device, which I believe is the USB. I have done this with the CD/DVD device also, no difference, the computer still boots to  the hard drive.  I have also tried hitting the F12 key as the computer starts up. That takes me to the Boot up screen only. I have attached a picture of that also. You can see that the boot up is set to Windows Boot Manager. According to the screen it has an up and down arrow that supposedly allows me to change the boot order. But they do NOT work.   I can not make any changes to the boot order here. I called Acer since the computer is still under warranty. They just gave me a third party number to call, which I did, but there would be a charge, so I declined. It is not a big deal, but if the computer ever crashes, I can not boot to an external hard disc and restore everything. Any suggestions, thanks,  Mike.     I tried to upload the PNG files I took, but the size is too large. 

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Maybe not your case, but it is possible that the priority only "kicks in" if a valid device is found, i.e. are you really sure that the USB stick you tried is bootable (or the CD/DVD) with the current settings?

That behaviour seems to be connected with UEFI firmware.

If this is the case you can try switching (temporarily) to CSM.

Post (EXACT) model and (EXACT) version of windows you are now running.

jaclaz

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The BBS menu will only show populated volumes. So it is showing Windows Boot Manager because UEFI boot is enabled, and your OS disk is of GPT type. The other drives will not show if they have no media or not valid media present. By valid media, if you have boot control set to flat UEFI or per-device UEFI, they will not appear in the BBS menu. In other words, the firmware (now) knows to not attempt to boot off of devices with no valid boot roms. Boards with this type of detection feature will have a longer POST time due to the system checking the presence of media. As an example, if you had a CD in the drive, you'd hear the drive spin up during POST, rather than just the power check that would happen with older hardware, to determine the boot capabilities.

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Thanks jaclaz for the reply. Your first question "are you sure the USB or CD/DVD is bootabe with the current settings"  I do not know. I have made recovery CD/DVD, and USB sticks with Paragon, EASEUSTODO, and Macrium in the past. The most recent USB stick I made was with the software right in this Acer computer, so I would assume that should work. I believe that I once tried changing the CSM in the BIOS, but I can not change it, it is grayed out. Also, when I go directly to the BOOT screen by pressing F12, why can I NOT change the boot order there like if I start with the bios. It seems like I should be able to do it there also, because it has the up and down arrows, but they do no work. I will attach a picture of the Windows 10 Home.

Windowsspecs.PNG

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48 minutes ago, Tripredacus said:

The BBS menu will only show populated volumes. So it is showing Windows Boot Manager because UEFI boot is enabled, and your OS disk is of GPT type. The other drives will not show if they have no media or not valid media present. By valid media, if you have boot control set to flat UEFI or per-device UEFI, they will not appear in the BBS menu. In other words, the firmware (now) knows to not attempt to boot off of devices with no valid boot roms. Boards with this type of detection feature will have a longer POST time due to the system checking the presence of media. As an example, if you had a CD in the drive, you'd hear the drive spin up during POST, rather than just the power check that would happen with older hardware, to determine the boot capabilities.

Thanks Tripredacus for the reply. I think I know what you said. 

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Basically:

1) "Old" BIOS (or CSM) method: boot priority is "per device", the actual boot mechanism implies that the device first sector (or sector 16 for CD/DVD optical media) is chainloaded, i.e. *whatever* code (if any) there is executed[1], if it is good then it boots, if it is not good either halts or tries the next device in boot priority

2) "New" UEFI method: boot priority is still "per device" but only nominally as the device (the filesystem on the device) is accessed and ONLY IF a valid UEFI/EFI bootloader is found THEN the device is "valid" and the bootloader is chainloaded, otherwise the device is "skipped"

The F12 menu is not entirely different, on BIOS the list of available device is always populated by ALL the devices (that are "hardcoded" in the actual BIOS/firmware) while on UEFI (but it may depend on specific implementations) the list is populated ONLY by devices which filesystem actually contain a valid bootloader.

In other words, your CD/DVD or USB stick may well be normally bootable on BIOS/CSM but if it is not ALSO UEFI bootable it won't likely be added to the F12 list.

To make things worse (if possible) in some implementations (not necessarily your specific one) the booting options are recorded in NVRAM and - for *whatever* reasons - it may also happen that the NVRAM becomes "locked" (i.e. Read Only) and it is not possible to update it without first resetting the firmware.

Having "Secure Boot" on may (or may not) further limit the bootable status of a device (again it depends on the specific UEFI/EFI firmware implementation).

Post the EXACT model of your Acer Aspire computer,  maybe having a look at its manual it is possible to understand how it should behave.

jaclaz

[1] generally speaking, in some cases - looking at you Insyde BIOS - the actual boot code is actually checked (wrongly) and in some cases it won't boot even if the code is just fine.

Edited by jaclaz
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Good :), the support page is here:

https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/7624?b=1&pn=DT.BAPAA.006

Bad :(, the user manual is EITHER a dumb user manual OR a manual for dumb user as it contains NO meaninfgul information on the BIOS/UEFI settings.

Side note:
the page lists 4 different BIOS updates, last one march 09 2020, so maybe it is to be evaluated the opportunity to update your BIOS :dubbio:.

Watch this (starting from around 1:40), it is about an Acer (though a model with Insyde firmware as opposed to the AMI one you have) to further understand how it is vital to know if the device is actually UEFI bootable:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU0b48XpNsU

Then watch this one (about a Toshiba BUT with an AMI firmware that should be similar to yours):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Ml1IbVp-8

to see how you could try experimenting.

jaclaz

 

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jaclaz, Thanks for the video links. I think I understood about 60% of what I saw. I guess I take it that the recovery USB,  CD/DVD must be UEFI format or compliant.  The one video was using Acronis software, but did not really say that you had an option to make the recovery USB in a UEFI format. Is there any backup programs out there that would ask you how you want the recovery disc / USB formatted ??  Paragon, Macrium Reflect, Easeustodo, etc.  I find it very stupid that Acer would put a program on the computer (which is what I used) for you to make a recovery disc, but it is not UEFI compliant etc. Mike

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Yep.

If you have a "spare" USB stick, you could use Rufus to make it surely UEFI bootable.

https://rufus.ie/

It doesn't really matter *which* payload you use, you can try the SuperGrub2:

https://www.supergrubdisk.org/category/download/supergrub2diskdownload/super-grub2-disk-stable/

https://sourceforge.net/projects/supergrub2/files/2.04s1/super_grub2_disk_2.04s1/super_grub2_disk_hybrid_2.04s1.iso/download

which is small and simple and *universal*.

Right now we don't know if the issue is the format of the *whatever* device you tried till now or *something else*, so we need to test with a surely UEFI compatible/bootable device to see if it makes a difference (it is a rare occasion, but it is possible that it could be a *random* firmware/NVRAM issue).

jaclaz

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Problem solved.  I found out on the Acer Community help site that I need to do this to get the computer to Boot to a different device. While the computer in ON, put the DVD that you are going to use, or connect the USB device. Turn Off the computer. Turn it back on while pressing the Delete button. When the Bios page opens,  page over to Boot options. Make the change there, save and exit. Right after you saved and exited, start hitting the F12 key. This is the boot page. You should NOW see the device you set as primary boot device, as well as the Windows Boot Manager.  You can now select the DVD or USB that you want. This procedure is different that I had been using in the past, but it does work. I can now have the computer boot to a DVD device or a USB device. Just thought I would share. Mike

 

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Yep, this is what Tripredacus and I tried telling you since the start, possiby we were not clear enough, you need a device inserted/connected BEFORE attempting to change boot order and/or choosing device via F12.

jaclaz

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Hi, The DVD was in the DVD recorder, or the USB was connected to the computer before I tried anything. In the past, (maybe this was the problem, maybe it is different with this computer) I would put the DVD in the device, or install the USB first. Then I would go into the bios, and change the First boot device to either the DVD or USB that I was using. Then I would save and exit. If I remember correct , (not sure), the computer would shut down and I had to push the switch for it to start up. Then, when it started, it booted to the device automatically that I had already set as the first boot device. I did not have to do anything additional, like pressing the F12 key. I just did a test, I put a DVD in the reader, went into the bios, and changed the First boot device to the DVD etc. Saved and exit. Without me doing anything, the computer booted right to the main hard drive with Windows 10 on it. So the trick is that I have to keep pressing the F12 key after the first boot device is changed, and obviously after the DVD is inserted. Anyway, the problem is fixed, and I appreciate the help you and Tripredacus have given. Mike

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