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Fixing VeraCrypt EFI Boot

I recently decided to swap around my hard drives to different SATA slots so my most used hard drives were on the fastest ports. Unfortunately, when I did this, my computer stopped booting to Windows. I never did figure out why my bootable EFI partitions only showed up randomly in BIOS depending on which hard drives were plugged in, but I found a configuration the computer liked and I was able to see the Microsoft Boot EFI partition and EFI boots on my USB keys.


The next step was to get the computer actually booting to something I could run commands on. When I try to boot directly to the EFI shell, the resolution is always screwed up and I can only see the top half of what should be visible, so I can’t actually see the command line I am typing too. This actually happens to everything I directly boot to that uses console text. The way around this for me is that I need to boot to the BIOS setup, and from there tell it to boot immediately to the EFI option of my choice when exiting the BIOS. From there, the proper resolution is used and everything is visible.


Next, in the EFI shell, you can run map to see all of the available possible mounts. This should automatically run when the EFI shell starts anyways, so you should already have that information. Any detected EFI partition on any bootable device should be given a mapping of “fs#” where # is a number. In my case, it was fs0. So to mount that, I ran mount fs0 x. “x” could be whatever you want, it doesn’t really matter. It’s analogous to a drive letter in windows, and you can make it any string (within reason, I believe anything alphanumeric should be fine). So next you would run x: to switch to that drive. From there, you can run cd EFI\Microsoft\Boot and then bootmgfw.efi to boot to windows.


Since I use VeraCrypt system encryption, I had to go to “EFI\VeraCrypt” and run DcsBoot.efi to finally boot into Windows through VeraCrypt.


Finally, to get the Windows Boot manager to start with VeraCrypt, run in the Windows command prompt bcdedit /set '{bootmgr}' path \EFI\VeraCrypt\DcsBoot.efi.

Booting Windows from a GPT drive with EFI

It took me days to get a Windows 7 install back up when I lost a drive with the MBR record that booted to my GPT drive. The windows booting and install processes are just REALLY finicky and temperamental. One of my largest problems was that I couldn’t find certain required files online, so the only way to acquire them was to unhook all but 1 GPT partitioned drive from the computer and install Windows to it.

Here are the files needed to boot Windows 7 x64 from a GPT drive, assuming your mother board supports EFI. The first step is creating a system partition anywhere on the drive (you may have to shrink another partition) and extract these files to that partition. This blog post has good instructions on the entire process, however, instead of using bcdboot, I recommend using “bootrec /ScanOS” followed by “bootrec /RebuildBCD”. You MAY also need a “bootrec /FixMBR”.

These files were obtained from a Windows 7 x64 Ultimate install, so it should work if your install type matches. I expect it will work for any Windows version of an x64 install.


Here is a list of the files:
EFI
├── Boot
│   └── bootx64.efi
└── Microsoft
    └── Boot
        ├── bootmgfw.efi
        ├── bootmgr.efi
        ├── BOOTSTAT.DAT
        ├── cs-CZ
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── da-DK
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── de-DE
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── el-GR
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── en-US
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   ├── bootmgr.efi.mui
        │   └── memtest.efi.mui
        ├── es-ES
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── fi-FI
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── Fonts
        │   ├── chs_boot.ttf
        │   ├── cht_boot.ttf
        │   ├── jpn_boot.ttf
        │   ├── kor_boot.ttf
        │   └── wgl4_boot.ttf
        ├── fr-FR
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── hu-HU
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── it-IT
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── ja-JP
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── ko-KR
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── memtest.efi
        ├── nb-NO
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── nl-NL
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── pl-PL
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── pt-BR
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── pt-PT
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── ru-RU
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── sv-SE
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── tr-TR
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── zh-CN
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        ├── zh-HK
        │   ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
        │   └── bootmgr.efi.mui
        └── zh-TW
            ├── bootmgfw.efi.mui
            └── bootmgr.efi.mui

27 directories, 57 files

“EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD” is not included because it is computer dependent and is created with the bootrec command.
“EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD.LOG*” are not included for obvious reasons.