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Switch to UEFI Boot Boosts Stability

On Leap Day (2/29) I made the switchover from my previous production desktop PC to a newly-built replacement. For the first 10 days or so I struggled with the build I’d put together. During that time, I slowly realized that a legacy BIOS environment with an MBR layout for the boot/sys drive was not working well. About one week ago, I bit the bullet, and reinstalled Windows 10 on that system. This time, I made sure to pick the UEFI: labeled item in the list of boot devices, and made sure to format the boot/sys drive using GPT partitioning. That way I could be sure to use my new PC’s extensive UEFI boot capabilities and utilities.

Modern Windows Works Well with UEFI Boot

Windows 8 and 10 are inherently UEFI-aware and -friendly. Subsequent system behavior has made this a very worthwhile action for me. Prior to the re-install, my reliability index had hovered between 1 (the lowest value possible) and 5 (the middle of the range). Since the day I re-installed as described, and started using UEFI boot, it’s been a straight, solid 10 across the board. Here’s a screencap:

A perfect 10 from day one to the present on the latest production PC Win10 build. (10 is top line, 1 bottom)

Even Better, UEFI Boot Works Like a Champ on my Windows 10 PC

I’m not used to seeing this kind of stability on my production systems. That’s probably because I mess around with them all the time. I’m always updating drivers, installing new software, tweaking here and there, and otherwise provoking trouble. But since I made the change to UEFI boot and GPT on this particular build, it seems to be as solid as the tablets and notebooks I use regularly. These include my Surface Pro 3 (i7, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM), my Lenovo ThinkPad X220T (i7, 256GB SSD, 16 GB RAM), and my Dell Venue Pro 11 (i5, 256GB SSD, 8 GB RAM), all pretty unshakeable machines.

The moral of this story is to check your defaults carefully when installing Windows 10, and to make sure you select the UEFI: item in the boot priority listing when booting to a USB Flash Drive to begin the installation process. The latest version of Rufus (2.7) makes that easy because it offers “GPT partition scheme for UEFI” as an option when setting up a bootable UFD for installing Windows 10. Electing that option means that the defaults that will be supplied in the Windows 10 installer are the ones you want, so your checking should simply confirm the desired options, rather than fixing incorrect ones. This should result in a solid and stable system, just like mine. Enjoy!