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Windows 7 (and possibly Vista, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2) EFI-mode installation instructions

Introduction (Skip reading this if you know what you’re doing.) :

There are two basic protocol standards that most personal computers use to run the process of loading the operating system. One is called “Legacy BIOS boot mode”, and is what was the de facto standard since the 1980s and MS-DOS/ the earliest of Windows versions. The other one, introduced in the late 2000s and which has been the default protocol used in almost all computers manufactured since 2012, is the “EFI/UEFI boot mode”. These two differ in two fundamental ways: the way in which the software loads the drivers necessary for interaction with the computer’s various hardware features, and the style of partitioning of the computer’s internal hard drive that they use. Legacy BIOS boot mode needs the hard drive formatted to the Master Boot Record (MBR) “partition table format” (partition table format being the way in which file systems on the drive are defined), which UEFI boot mode uses the hard drive formatted to the newer GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition table format. GPT has multiple advantages over MBR, including the capacity for drives larger than 2 terabytes, the ability to have more than 4 “partitions” on the drive, and less vulnerability to viruses that install themselves to the “boot sector”, which is the section of the hard drive where the file systems are defined. And the UEFI boot mode itself has multiple advantages over legacy BIOS boot mode, including better power management on some computers. For these reasons, UEFI boot mode has now become the default mode used by almost all computers made since 2012, with systems from large companies like Dell and HP having this capability in computers made since 2010-11. Apple Macintosh computers have had this feature since the 2009 year models. As for operating systems, it is supported by Windows versions 8 and newer, Apple’s MacOS, and most Linux variants.

Windows 7, however, released in 2009, has only partial support for it - the operating system itself is capable of using UEFI boot mode, but the operating system’s bootloader (the small set of files responsible for loading the operating system when the computer is started) does not, due to the way in which it loads the video controller and display drivers. But there are reasons why you may need to install this version of Windows in UEFI boot mode - the most common of which being to run it as a secondary operating system on a computer already using a different operating system installed using UEFI boot mode (as you can’t have an OS that uses UEFI mode and an OS that uses legacy BIOS mode together on the same hard drive).

That is what this guide is for - installing Windows 7 in UEFI boot mode. To fix the issue that the Windows 7 bootloader has with UEFI boot mode, there is a compatibility layer software called “UEFISeven” that is available that adapts the Windows 7 bootloader to something that is fully UEFI boot mode capable. This guide shows you how to install and use the UEFISeven compatibility bootloader tool. UEFISeven is what is known as a “chainloader” - which is a software that is loaded by the computer first instead of the standard Windows bootloader, that applies certain patches before then loading the same standard Windows bootloader itself. It does not modify the Windows bootloader itself or any of the Windows system files - it is loaded by the computer before any of the operating system is loaded and applies its patches at that level, leaving the operating system itself untouched. This is the best way of applying any operating system patches, as against modifying the operating system’s code itself, since when you do that you introduce more places and times when something can error out and stop working.

Let’s get started, enough talk already.

Materials Needed:

Installation Procedure:

Congratulations, you are done!

Written by Vinay, 10/02/2021

All credit for this method goes to Pierre Kim / github user @manatails, who developed the UEFISeven application itself. I have no affiliation with him and no role in the development of UEFISeven. You can check out his website at - he has also written several other tech guides on various topics.

Also credit to Andrew Howe @Howeitworks for his role in figuring out how to get it to work properly. You can check out his website at - he has written tools for unbootable computer recovery and Windows driver installation on Apple Macs.

If you have questions about this process, if you have Discord you can join this group and ask us: