UEFI and NTFS – Friends to MDT 2013 at last

Earlier today I noted a particularly interesting tweet in the stream. It was from Keith Garner, claiming that the latest Rufus version supported UEFI with NTFS based volumes. That made me wonder if that could be used deploy a 7.13GB Windows 8.1 image, via USB, to a machine enabled for UEFI.

MDT 2013 media with a 7.13 GB Windows 8.1 image.

Low and behold it bloody worked!  Happiness

Note #1: In my testing I got the best result when configuring the various machines tested for native UEFI boot. The machines also need to have a fairly updated UEFI support. Legacy UEFI versions like the BIOS in HP 8560w will not work, you need to have real UEFI support (not just the HP experimental unsupported stuff).

Note #2: To use the UEFI:NTFS Bootloader, Secure Boot must be turned of during deployment, and enabled once the machine has booted into Windows for the first time.

Blow the 32 GB FAT32 boot limits

This UEFI/NTFS hack obviously also blows away the 32 GB FAT32 volume limit on USB sticks. I just deployed a machine using a 128 GB USB stick created from a MDT 2013 media (ISO) and Rufus.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Create a MDT 2013 media (ISO) file.
  2. Start Rufus and insert the USB stick.
  3. In Rufus, select File System to NTFS, and ISO image to your MDT 2013 ISO media.
  4. Then select Partition scheme to GPT (it’s needs to be done in this order, otherwise Rufus changes the partition scheme when selecting the ISO).
  5. Click Start
  6. Go to a machine with UEFI enabled in BIOS, and boot on the USB.

Rufus creates a special partition on the USB stick that loads the NTFS driver for UEFI

The special partition created by Rufus.

Dell 7440-001
Booting the Dell E7440 on the NTFS formatted USB media, still with UEFI support.

Happy Deployment, Johan

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Johan Arwidmark

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Spencer Rodriguez
Spencer Rodriguez
3 years ago

Does this support Secure Boot as well? I am in a space where I am required to leave this option on.