Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

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Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:40 am

Anyone running Vista x64 done so with UEFI? Just curious. I'm thinking of doing a clean install of Vista x64 SP1. I found out my motherboard, an Intel DP35DP has a UEFI firmware that defaults to booting with BIOS emulation. There is an option to enable UEFI boot. The instructions for installing Vista SP1 to UEFI are a little more difficult but it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Just curious if anyone else has taken the plunge of doing away with BIOS?

Down with BIOS!
Taddeusz
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Re: Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:10 pm

I'm actually giving this some additional thought. I've been reading some more on Intel's implementation of UEFI and I've come back a little unimpressed. Apparently in order to enable UEFI on my DP35DP board I have to set my SATA to "Legacy IDE" mode. Apparently Intel's UEFI implementation doesn't have drivers for AHCI. So right now I'm thinking about just taking a spare hard drive and testing an installation on it before I commit a full install to UEFI.

Apparently their UEFI implementation is also more or less a work in progress. There were some firmware versions where the UEFI failed to work at all and people were forced to downgrade so their computer would again be bootable. So it seems that UEFI while exciting in that it does away with BIOS is not really ready for prime time.

Edit: Not to mention the fact that apparently Intel refuses to support use of UEFI on their desktop motherboards.
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Re: Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:28 am

I found out my motherboard, an Intel DP35DP has a UEFI firmware that defaults to booting with BIOS emulation.


I've done that. If you try this, ensure you're using a recent BIOS, since Intel's 3-series motherboards had pretty broken support around this time last year.

One of the problems with these motherboards is that they only have a 4 Mbit EEPROM flash chip, with the result that you won't be able to install to any drives in AHCI or Native IDE mode. You'll need to switch the SATA controller to legacy mode (so that the int 0x13 interfaces are available), since that is the only mode the UEFI firmware supports for UEFI boot. (The upshot of this is that when you boot up the Vista x64 SP1 installer with UEFI Boot turned on, it will refuse to install to any drives in AHCI or Native IDE mode, complaining that the system cannot boot off them, which it really can't.)

This of course also means no firmware RAID support for UEFI boot.

Another issue is that the EFI boot list in the NVRAM takes precedence over the boot order you specify in the BIOS setup. So if you have installed Vista x64 SP1 in UEFI mode, the installer places an entry in the EFI NVRAM that causes the motherboard to boot off it. If you now wipe the drive, at least with older BIOSes you couldn't boot at all unless you used the F10 key to explicitly pick a device every boot. Someone ran into this problem and PMed me on the Ars forums. At that point even if you try to boot off the Vista installer DVD, it won't bother booting off it. This issue persisted even if you turned off UEFI Boot in the BIOS setup.

It's my understanding that the last few BIOSes have this problem fixed, and now if the EFI boot list doesn't have any valid entries it'll proceed with legacy BIOS boot instead.

The 4-series boards from Intel have a four-times larger flash chip (32 Mbit), and their UEFI boot firmware does support booting off AHCI and I think RAID. With the 3-series boards I was rather disenchanted with the lack of support.

(In particular, I'm a Linux user, and trying to dual-boot Linux with Windows in UEFI mode would require the use of a UEFI shell, since Linux would also have to do UEFI boot, and the only UEFI bootloaders available for Linux need to have entries explicitly placed for them in the EFI NVRAM boot list via an EFI shell. Unlike the Windows installation DVD-ROM, Linux distros still don't have UEFI-enabled boot images that can start the installer via UEFI and thus be able to manipulate the EFI boot list to add an entry. The Intel desktop boards all lack an EFI shell altogether, so Linux cannot be installed on them via UEFI boot. So I found the UEFI support on my DG33FB−which uses the same firmware as your DP35DP−to be rather underwhelming.)

Good luck if you decide to experiment with it.
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Re: Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:04 pm

Vista x64 runs on my UEFI board from ASUS. But no addon card is able to run. Have anyone tried an RAID Controller like Adaptec SA2810SA or some LSI or 3ware SATA controller with an UEFI board and get that to work?

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Re: Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:29 pm

Prototyped wrote: Unlike the Windows installation DVD-ROM, Linux distros still don't have UEFI-enabled boot images that can start the installer via UEFI and thus be able to manipulate the EFI boot list to add an entry.


I did an UEFI install on a Sabertooth 990FX from a 12.04 Kubuntu. Couldn't do it from a usb drive (key, stick, whatever you want to call it) but it worked from CD. Don't know why, but the UEFI option shows up in the boot menu (F8 on an ASUS board) Installed the Kubuntu, and then later managed to get my usual Gentoo going from there.

More about installing Linux on UEFI here: http://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloaders/index.html
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Re: Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:33 pm

I transitioned to GPT (UEFI Boot) with my newest build.

I detailed my efforts and troubles with it. It works great once you figure out how to get it setup.
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Re: Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:59 pm

I recently transitioned my system to a strictly efi+gpt setup. The linux side of things went really well. Using the Refind boot manager along with the linux 3.3 efi boot stub made the process really easy. No nasty grub2 and it's horrible configuration format to deal with. I just needed to boot into an Ubuntu 12.04 thumb drive to get the EFI Boot vars setup right.

Windows though, was a real pain. First, for some reason my P8P67 (vanilla non deluxe, non pro) refused to detect the windows EFI boot mode on the Windows 7 install disk. I had to create a Windows 7 USB installer, then copy the files off of it, reformat the usb drive as fat32, copy the files back, add the bootmgfw.efi back onto the disk as BOOTX64.efi. Now even that didn't get it working. I had to boot into an efi shell, and then I was able to execute the BOOTX64 file on the USB stick and get the windows installer to run in EFI mode. Hopefully in the coming years mobo manufacturers will standardize their EFI boot setups. Fortunately I did not have to do a windows reinstall as this guide worked (aside from booting the windows installer in efi mode to get into recovery): http://gitorious.org/tianocore_uefi_due ... OS_to_UEFI

Now, windows barely has the chance to start its flower animation before I'm at the login screen - very nice.
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Re: Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:55 am

It's actually easy once you use modern operating systems. I found Windows 7 to be too old to be installed easily on UEFI GPT systems. I documented my installation of Windows 8, Ubuntu, any Linux distribution, and Grub2 here:

http://superuser.com/questions/415198/m ... k-together
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Re: Anyone Tried UEFI Boot?

Postposted on Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:51 pm

This was a >3 year old abandoned thread when it was resurrected. (Hence my report on an Intel 3-series chipset in February 2009.)

Interestingly my current (2008-era) computers don't do UEFI at all (with the exception of a Joggler which in fact can't do anything but (32-bit) UEFI), a regression from my previous, 2007-era desktop.

My next computers will.
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