Installing Windows to an EFI-Based Computer

Published: October 22, 2009

Updated: October 22, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

If you are installing Windows® to an EFI-based computer, you must enable EFI mode in the computer's firmware in both attended and unattended installations. You must boot to 64-bit EFI-mode preinstallation media (64-bit Windows PE in EFI mode or 64-bit Windows Setup in EFI mode). You cannot install Windows to UEFI-based computers in BIOS mode. (For more information about switching modes, see your EFI firmware documentation.) The steps described in this topic are for reference only and may not match the specific commands for your EFI firmware type.

After Windows is installed, you can make additional configurations to your image. This Windows image becomes your master image that you use to deploy to other computers.

To Install Windows to an EFI-Based Computer

  1. Install Windows by running Windows Setup from an EFI boot entry on the master computer. Use the EFI shell or the firmware’s Boot from file menu to launch the Windows EFI Boot Loader on the installation disk. Refer to your firmware documentation for more information.

  2. From the EFI shell, select the device with the Windows installation media, and then start the EFI boot application. Assuming that the DVD device is fs0, use the following commands for x64-based computers:

    Shell> Fs0:
    fs0:> \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI
    For Itanium-based computers, use the following command:

    If the EFI boot manager supports booting from a DVD, the EFI shell command is not required. You can boot the DVD directly from the EFI boot manager.

  3. When prompted, press any key to boot from the Windows DVD. Windows installs to the computer.

    When booting Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) from CD-ROM or DVD, you can skip the “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD” prompt and boot directly into Windows PE. For x86 and AMD64, remove Bootfix.bin from your custom Windows PE image. For Itanuim-based Systems, use Efisys_noprompt.bin instead of Efisys.bin when building your customers' Windows PE image.

    If you perform an attended install, follow the user interface prompts to complete Windows Setup.

    Optionally, you can perform an unattended installation by using an Autounattend.xml file stored on a USB flash drive (UFD) disk or other device. For the answer file requirements for EFI-based computers, see Create UEFI-based Hard-Disk Partitions by Using Windows SIM.

    Some EFI platforms support both UEFI and BIOS firmware. On some of those systems, it is not always clear if the default DVD boot option is an EFI or BIOS boot option. On these systems, using the EFI shell command may be required. If you do not specifically start Windows Setup by using the EFI boot entry, the default firmware boot entry for BIOS may be used. If Windows Setup starts in BIOS mode on a combined EFI/BIOS system, the ESP and MSR partitions are not created. After Windows Setup completes, use the Diskpart command to verify that the ESP and MSR partitions were created.

  4. After Windows is installed to the computer, complete all other customization tasks.

  5. From an elevated command prompt, run sysprep to prepare the Windows image for imaging and deployment. For example,

    %WINDIR%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown
    When the Sysprep command completes, the computer shuts down.

See Also

Community Additions