I am trying to follow some instructions to update some firmware:

x64 UEFI environment:

  • Boot to UEFI shell
  • Run update.nsh

I don't know how to do this. When I boot, do I have a choice to boot to UEFI Shell?

Do I need a separate bootable CD to go to UEFI shell or is this something like safe mode where I press a certain key to go to it?

My OS: Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Advanced Startup
    – Ramhound
    Mar 26, 2016 at 15:55
  • @Ramhound only if his question is how to get into UEFI setting
    – Tom Yan
    Mar 26, 2016 at 15:59
  • Man I am lost so there is no build in shell and advanced settings are settings for uefi but not gives me shell?
    – SeanClt
    Mar 26, 2016 at 16:00
  • @TomYan - Which is what Advanced Startup allows him to do
    – Ramhound
    Mar 26, 2016 at 16:12
  • @Ramhound You mean his UEFI Setting (instead of Advanced Startup) MIGHT allow him to launch a EFI shell right (which he seemed to have confirmed negative)? Coz I have no idea what you are talking about.
    – Tom Yan
    Mar 26, 2016 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


It depends on whether your UEFI has a shell builtin. If it does, there should be an option in its settings / boot menu for you to launch it. Some motherboard also provide an option to launch a shell from the EFI system partition (ESP).

You should consult the manual of your motherboard for the path it will look for (the instructions are often vague, though). Usually they are looking for a file named Shell.efi in the ESP root folder.

Another way is to launch it just like you launch any other EFI binary (e.g., a bootloader). Since it's not really accessible to register an EFI binary in your UEFI or put the shell binary in your ESP in Windows, the easiest way is probably to add it as \EFI\Boot\bootx64.efi (also add the update.nsh script you need to run and the files it requires under *\EFI\Boot*) in a FAT(32)-formatted USB drive (it shouldn't matter whether it's MBR or GPT as long as your UEFI is standard-conforming enough). Then reboot and boot the USB in UEFI mode from your UEFI boot menu.

You can obtain the EFI shell binary from the EDK2 project repository:

P.S.: You may need to disable Secure Boot.

  • I am just standard server 2012 r2 installation so my question is really specific about it
    – SeanClt
    Mar 26, 2016 at 15:49
  • 2
    @SeanClt Doesn't my answer clearly shows that it almost has nothing to do with your OS?
    – Tom Yan
    Mar 26, 2016 at 15:56
  • Oh sorry misunderstood
    – SeanClt
    Mar 26, 2016 at 15:56
  • @SeanClt updated my answer (the bold text), if you still can't help yourself with it then well, good luck
    – Tom Yan
    Mar 26, 2016 at 16:04
  • 2
    It worked on my old PC like a charm! I was always wondering how to enter the EFI shell...thanks.
    – bruin
    Jul 10, 2022 at 2:04

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