Recording OSD Videos and BIOS Screens

I have recorded some end-to-end OSD videos that show a zero touch BIOS to UEFI OS deployment (from a single task sequence without PXE) in order to show that this could be done. I have also captured screen shots from Dell, Lenovo and HP BIOS screens to have when presenting on the BIOS/UEFI topic – it is an easy way to show the settings in the UI. Many of you are probably wondering how I am able to capture these videos and screen shots as it can be tricky to do even with the right equipment.

For the capture device, my good friend Johan Arwidmark (who has expensive tastes in gadgets) talked me in to getting the Epiphan DVI2USB 3.0 USB video frame grabber. It is not cheap, but will get the job done and works much better than the other, cheaper solutions. It captures DVI, HDMI and VGA. It also comes with software that allows you to do video recording or screen shot captures. I do use this from time to time, but you really need to get a different codec otherwise your video file sizes will be huge. There is one called FFdshow that you can down load from Epiphan here. The other thing that I don’t like is that the software will stop recording when the device loses a signal (like a reboot on the device you are capturing). You can configure it to continue recording and it will start recording to another file. Not a show stopper, but a little annoying to me.

I ended up using Camtasia 8 for recording videos. It treats the device as a webcam and it continues to record even if the device loses a signal during a reboot. I recently upgraded to Camtasia 9 (which looks much better on high-res displays like my Surface Book), but they dropped the ability to record only from a webcam. In other words, you need to record part of the screen and the webcam and then delete the screen recording after the fact – almost annoying as the split files. Not happy with this, I started looking for another option.

I use Snagit almost daily for taking screen shots and I remembered that they added the ability to also do screen recordings a few versions back. I figured I would see if it could record the webcam and sure enough it did! Now for the real test, could it do what I wanted it to do – record uninterrupted in a single (reasonable size) file even across reboots?

With the Snagit Capture utility open, click on the Video tab:


Then simply turn the Webcam on and select the capture device:


Click on the Capture button and this will bring up the following menu where you can adjust the screen resolution to the desired size. The following is running on my Surface Book at 3000 x 2000. The device I am capturing at 1920 x 1080 is a Dell Latitude E6430 (getting ready to do a Zero Touch Windows 7 BIOS with 3rd party disk encryption to Windows 10 UEFI with BitLocker recording):


Click record when ready and edit the result in Snagit or Camtasia.

P.S. Snagit also makes animated GIFs. And yes, when going into the BIOS UI it sometimes shows a split screen, but it corrects the image shortly after as you can see below.


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