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Recover files and/or system on a UEFI Ultrabook with external USB CD Drive - Mutually exclusive options

Level 2


SSR Desktop 2013 on Ultrabook

  • UEFI Windows 8 Lenovo Ultrabook WITHOUT internal optical drive
  • Disk locked unexpectedly
  • Manufacturer states disk is lost - only factory reset is possible
  • Unable to exchange HDDs because warranty will be invalidated

Trying to recover system (or files)

  • Connecting external USB optical drive for Symantec Recovery Disk
  • UEFI in BIOS fails to recognise USB optical device
  • LEGACY SUPPORT allows optical device to be recognised (I assume the same goes for USB flash disks)
  • SSR runs but refuses to use backup because it is a UEFI backup and at that point it is being run on a BIOS/Legacy machine

Extra points

This situation is not covered in the documentation. Can I verify if my data are ok? How can I restore a UEFI backup to a system that needs to be on Legacy mode to recognize my recovery CD or flash drive?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

George Thalassinos


Level 6
Employee Accredited

Hi George,

A UEFI enabled system cannot be restored on a BIOS machine , you will have to look for a UEFI enabled system to restore UEFI machine and a BIOS for a BIOS.

Please check the details in the article :

Level 4

I assume your images are also on the same system.

If thats the case you can save your data by copying the images onto a large enough external drive.  Once the recovery disk is loaded everything is running in a RAM drive, you can unplug the optical drive and plug in a USB drive if the ultrabook does not have any open USB ports.

Click Analyze > Explorer my Computer

Navigate to the images and right click and copy. (You can only select one file at a time).

Then navigate to the external drive and paste. After it is copied you can double click the image file to open it in the image explorer to verify your data is intact.

Also don't assume you can't boot a flash drive as UEFI just because the optical drive won't.

Most systems don't and I never tried on a laptop but I have an Asus moherboard here that has no problems booting a flash drive as MBR or UEFI.

Best of luck,


Level 2

Hi Dave,

My images are on an external USB disk. I do see this disk and its contents from Analyze and I am also able to select the image from Recover My System and exactly then is when the UEFI / BIOS conflict arises.

The actual problem I guess is, what medium can I boot from in UEFI mode so that the Recovery doesn't throw a UEFI/BIOS exception.

My best bet is what you say about the flash disk "don't assume you can't boot a flash drive as UEFI just because the optical drive won't". Maybe this is the (only) way to recover a UEFI system on an Ultrabook without an ODD.

I'll give it a go.

Thanks for the tip! If this works I'll mark your reply as answer.

Level 6
Employee Accredited

Try this :


1.     In the BIOS, under Security => System Security - disable Data Execution Prevention and OS management of Embedded Security Device


2.     In Boot Options => disable EFI Boot options and prioritize Legacy boot options to boot from CD first


3.     Use the multi-language CD to boot

Level 6
Employee Accredited

Did the suggestion help? I would like to help if issue is not resolved...