RadarNyan
1 Copper

Aurora R3 + Windows 8.1 = warm boot freeze issue

First, let me be clear:

 It's impossible to solve the warm boot freeze on Aurora R3 running Windows 8/8.1 (for now) 

 Neither MBR nor GPT & EFI will solve the problem . Tweaking Windows settings (like disabling fastboot) doesn't do any good. 

 If you really want Windows 8/8.1 that bad, keep in mind you can never use fastboot or reboot. Whenever you what to reboot your PC, you have to shutdown completely then bootup to Windows 8/8.1, it doesn't have any problem with cold boot (as far as I know) Every time you run into this issue, you have to poweroff by holding power button, then boot again. This happens even during the Windows 8/8.1 installation process. 

Then if you have some question about that, please see what I did yesterday trying to solve this problem.

You can skip the first two paragraphs, I know I'm a little wordy 😛

I've been testing Windows 8 since Developer Preview. I had the warm boot freeze issue at that time, but I didn't care that much, because I thought it's a but of Developer Preview. Back then, Windows 8 didn't looks as suck as it is now: we still have aero glass, and if you like you can completely disable the "Modern UI" (a.k.a "Metro UI") and have your start button and start menu. Then things changed really quick. Since Customer Preview, I have none of the three features listed above - that's when Windows 8 begin sucks, still have the warm boot freeze issue. Same goes to RTM, and final release of Windows 8. Windows 8.1 did make some improvement, like we can directly go to desktop instead of start screen after login, we have the start button back - we can finally easily shutdown by right click on start button, but we still can't have start menu back, warm boot freeze issue continue exists.

Then I searched through internet, found out I'm not the only victim(and it seems like this issue doesn't only affect Aurora R3 owners) Found a post from a Aurora R3 owner saying after change BIOS setting to boot with "UEFI: Windows Boot Manager", I decided to give a try.

To use that option, clearly I have to install Windows8/8.1 in EFI mode. So I made a bootable UEFI usb-drive (here's a great guide for doing this: http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/15458-uefi-bootable-usb-flash-drive-create-windows.html ) grab a hard drive and completely wiped it, and disconnected all the other hard drives from my PC. I just wanted to start clean in case something goes wrong.

After the first reboot during the installation, I went to BIOS, checked boot section, I saw "UEFI: Windows Boot Manager" there and used it as the only boot device. I hit F10 to save BIOS settings and restart, it freeze once again. So I shutdown by holding power button, and boot again to complete the installation process. Finally I got Windows 8.1 installed to my hard drive (using GPT & EFI) I tried reboot several times, I still have this issue.

Checked a lot posts about this, seems dell doesn't give us what we wanted - a BIOS update to make it compatible with Windows 8/8.1.

But, is it really the fault of DELL / Aurora R3 BIOS? For me, I think it's a Microsoft / Windows 8/8.1 problem.

I just did more tests. Between each test, I wiped out the entire hard drive.

1. Install Windows 7 x64 in EFI mode. result: Working, no reboot freeze issue.

2. Install Ubuntu 13.10 x64 in EFI mode. Working, no reboot freeze issue. 

I don't know what you guys think, I'll blame this to Windows 8/8.1 . Since my Aurora R3 has no problem booting other system with EFI mode.

I can boot Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora and even OS X Mountain Lion on my Aurora R3 with no problem, but I can't warm boot Windows 8/8.1 ?! I think I'll never purchase any Windows as far as there‘s another person like Bill Gates being in charge of Microsoft.

I'll keep my Windows 7 and I'm happy with it: I have the eye candy Aero glass effect, I can disable DWM if I want to run some old program doesn't compatible with it ( yes, you can disable DWM in Windows 8/8.1 by kill explorer.exe, suspend winlogon.exe (so it doesn't respawn dwm.exe automaticly) then kill dwm.exe - You can never start explorer.exe in Windows 8 again or you will get a black screen. You can restart explorer.exe in Windows 8.1 since it's using D2D not D3D in Windows 8 explorer, but still buggy and you can get a black screen easily )

If I can't see a good edition of Windows in the future, I think I'd go with Linux with Wayland (maybe Ubuntu with Ubuntu Mir) So far I see nothing good enough for me to upgrade to Windows 8/8.1 and endure the warm boot freeze issue.

 Do yourself a favor, do not install Windows 8/8.1 on your Aurora R3. 

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