Windows 8 Hardware Requirements and "non-UEFI" BIOS

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by BonzaiDuck, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

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    Sooo many things to keep track of; soooo many things to keep up with!

    As of early October, we have finally upgraded all our household systems to Windows 7 SP1 64-bit. More accurately, the "holdouts" were one old Northwood skt-478 P4 system we totally decommissioned for recycling, and my brother's LGA-775 C2D system that had been running XP Home 32-bit.

    Now we have the Windows 8 release. I used to jump on a new Windows OS during my working life like flies on roadkill. I'm more cautious now.

    One machine we freed up for "new uses" was my WHS v.1 box -- an LGA-775 Gigabyte P45 mobo with an E8400 C2D processor. Obviously, it doesn't have "UEFI-BIOS."

    An extra system offers me a chance to "play around with" the new OS. However, I find this in a web-search leading to this MS webpage, after I'd already read somewhere something about Windows 8 and "UEFI:"

    "Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database"

    What does this mean, exactly? What can I do, and what can I not do, for experimenting with Windows 8 on a spare computer system without "UEFI-BIOS?"
     
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  3. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

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  4. ViRGE

    ViRGE Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus

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    You don't lose any features of note on non-UEFI systems besides some boot speed optimizations, and of course Secure Boot.
     
  5. tommo123

    tommo123 Platinum Member

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    i was thinking about this, my laptop (got in march) appears to just be normal bios and not EFI. i assume they're one or the other entirely? as in, there won't be some funky option in the bios somewhere to enable EFI?
     
  6. ViRGE

    ViRGE Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus

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    For something that new your laptop is almost certainly UEFI. However it sounds like Win8 was installed in BIOS mode.
     
  7. tommo123

    tommo123 Platinum Member

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    it's a normal bios - from what little i saw anyway.

    might have a gander and see if there's any EFI options in there. boot speed isn't important to me (i reboot about once a month) but what's secure boot?
     
  8. ViRGE

    ViRGE Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus

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    Secure Boot allows for UEFI validation of the bootloader in order to establish a chain of trust. The idea is that malware cannot infect/replace the bootloader and hide from the system that way.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boot_sector#Boot_sector_viruses
     
  9. tommo123

    tommo123 Platinum Member

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    thanks, i read something on google about linux users being worried they wouldn't be able to install it with this turned on?

    doesn't it also allow for whitelisting software as well as the OS? maybe i'm paranoid but it sounds like a step towards locking the PC down so only MS approved software can be run? which is going to suck
     
  10. ViRGE

    ViRGE Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus

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    Linux users tend to be drama queens when code signing is involved. Most OEM systems will only ship with the MS root key (because let's face it, most computers will run Windows), but it's a requirement that these systems have the functionality to disable Secure Boot, with the further option of adding additional root keys (side note: the Linux guys refuse to get together to create their own root key). Or you can go the Ubuntu/RedHat route and get your bootloader signed by MS for $99/year.

    The end result is that as long as Secure Boot can be controlled, nothing changes as far as 3rd party OS compatibility is concerned.
     
  11. tommo123

    tommo123 Platinum Member

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    ah cool. thanks

    in a way i suppose it's a good thing they are drama queens when our PC freedom is at stake. even if there is a lot of false drama. kinda like the old Pentium 3 drama regarding the chip serial number
     
  12. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    And that's the problem. For Win8 certification, secure boot MUST be selectable. A company that isn't concerned with Win8 certification may decide to omit that entirely. It also shouldn't require third parties to allow secure boot. It's a play against user control, and control over others by those with a financial interest will always occur as they always have in the past.
     
  13. ViRGE

    ViRGE Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus

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    If an OEM is forgoing certification I can't imagine they'll even enable Secure Boot. At that point it would be more effort than it's worth on their part. But I guess anything can happen.