How to Install Windows 7 32-bit on a UEFI-based System with Bootmgr.efi
If you want to install Windows 7 32-bit on a UEFI-based system, you may encounter some challenges. UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is a modern replacement for BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) that supports 64-bit operating systems and GPT (GUID Partition Table) disks. However, 32-bit Windows 7 does not support UEFI and requires a MBR (Master Boot Record) disk to boot in BIOS mode.
This means that you need to convert your disk from GPT to MBR and disable UEFI mode in your firmware settings before installing Windows 7 32-bit. You also need to make sure that your Windows 7 installation media has the bootmgr.efi file, which is the boot loader for EFI systems. If your downloaded Windows 7 ISO file does not have this file, you may get an error message that the ISO is not valid or that Windows cannot be installed on this disk.
In this article, we will show you how to install Windows 7 32-bit on a UEFI-based system with bootmgr.efi. We will assume that you have a backup of your data and that you are willing to erase your existing partitions. If you want to dual-boot with another operating system, such as Windows 8 or 10, you may need to reinstall it in BIOS mode as well.
Step 1: Convert your disk from GPT to MBR
The first step is to convert your disk from GPT to MBR using a partitioning tool. You can use a free tool such as GPT fdisk (gdisk), which can perform this conversion non-destructively. However, this may still cause your existing operating system to stop booting, so make sure you have a backup of your data and a recovery media.
To use gdisk, you need to boot from a live CD or USB that has gdisk installed. You can download gdisk from https://sourceforge.net/projects/gptfdisk/ and create a bootable media using Rufus or another tool. Once you boot from the live media, open a terminal and run the following commands:
sudo gdisk /dev/sda # replace sda with your disk device name
p # print the current partition table
r # enter recovery mode
g # convert GPT to MBR
p # print the new partition table
w # write changes and exit
y # confirm
This will convert your disk from GPT to MBR without deleting any partitions. However, you may need to fix the boot sector and the partition flags using another tool such as fdisk or parted.
Step 2: Disable UEFI mode in your firmware settings
The next step is to disable UEFI mode in your firmware settings and enable legacy or CSM (Compatibility Support Module) mode. This will allow you to boot from an MBR disk and install Windows 7 32-bit in BIOS mode.
The exact steps to disable UEFI mode may vary depending on your computer model and firmware vendor. You may need to access the firmware settings by pressing a key such as F2, F10, F12, Esc or Del during startup. Then look for an option such as Boot Mode, Boot Options, Boot Configuration or Boot Order and change it from UEFI to Legacy or CSM. You may also need to disable Secure Boot if it is enabled.
Save the changes and exit the firmware settings. Your computer should now be able to boot from an MBR disk in BIOS mode.
Step 3: Create a bootable Windows 7 USB drive with bootmgr.efi
The final step is to create a bootable Windows 7 USB drive with bootmgr.efi file. You can use the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool from Microsoft to create a bootable USB drive from an ISO file. However, if your ISO file does not have the bootmgr.efi file, you need to add it manually.
To add the bootmgr.efi file, you need to extract the contents of the ISO file using a tool such as 7-Zip or WinRAR. ec8f644aee