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UEFI fallback boot mode

The UEFI specification defines a so called "fallback boot mode" which allows booting an efi file from disks or removable disks (e.g. USB sticks) without a corresponding boot variable existing in NVRAM.

When the UEFI firmware is directed to boot from a disk it first searches for a EFI System partition (on GPT disks) or a FAT32 partition (on MBR disks). Subsequently, if such a partition is found the firmware searches for a file

\efi
    \boot
         \bootx64.efi
(on x86-64 machines), and if found, starts this efi file.

Example: Installation of boot manager Boot-US to USB stick

  • Get an USB stick formatted with FAT32 in MBR style
  • The USB stick may already contain directories and files
  • Create a directory \efi\boot on the USB stick
  • Install the boot manager Boot-US to a file, this creates the file bmgrus.efi
  • Copy the file bmgrus.efi to the directory \efi\boot on the USB stick
  • If you have specified a background image copy it to the same directory
  • Rename the file bmgrus.efi on the USB stick to bootx64.efi