Should I change BIOS Mode to UEFI?

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  1. Posts : 44
    Windows 10 Pro (Version 20H2, Build 19042.867 )
       #1

    Should I change BIOS Mode to UEFI?


    Hello,

    I would like to dual boot Win 10 (20H2, Build 19042.804) with Ubuntu on my Dell Inspiron 7520. When I open "System Information" I see Bios Mode Legacy. And when I run bcedit from the command line I get: "path \Windows\system32\winload.exe". So I think this means I am using Legacy BIOS. I also ran diskpart and list disk and confirm that my disks are not partitioned in GPT so I guess they must be MBR.

    There are instructions here about setting up the dual boot and it talks about needing UEFI. Is it possible to update my laptop to use UEFI? Or maybe I don't need to?

    I find all this very confusing! There are instructions about Converting Windows 10 from Legacy BIOS to UEFI and it says that you must have UEFI firmware (BIOS) enabled.

    I have the Dell BIOS firmware A04 on my laptop but when I hit F12 on boot up I don't see any mention of UEFI in the BIOS screens. How do I enable UEFI firmware on my laptop? Is that my first step?

    Cheers,
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 18,407
    Windows 11 Pro
       #2

    You boot into UEFI mode by disabling CSM mode (or possibly called legacy mode) in your UEFI settings. But, until you prepare your hard drive (or SSD) to boot in UEFI, you likely will fail to boot. To convert your HDD or SSD to boot in UEFI mode you could try this:
    Convert Windows 10 from Legacy BIOS to UEFI without Data Loss

    But, if you succeed in converting the HDD/SSD to GPT, and you can't change you BIOS to boot in UEFI mode, then again you will fail to boot. So, I would suggest that you really know what you are doing before you undertake changing legacy BIOS (CSM mode) booting to UEFI.

    I would suggest running Ubuntu in a Virtual Machine rather than dual booting.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 44
    Windows 10 Pro (Version 20H2, Build 19042.867 )
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Yes I read through that link: "Convert Windows 10 from Legacy BIOS to UEFI without Data Loss"

    But at the top it says you "..must have UEFI firmware (BIOS) enabled." But it doesn't explain how to do that.

    So that's why I was asking if someone knows how I enable UEFI firmware? Do I need to install a Dell BIOS Driver update maybe?

    Have you ever dual booted Windows 10 with Linux? Maybe I don't need UEFI anyway?

    Cheers,
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 18,407
    Windows 11 Pro
       #4

    I've only dual booted with Linux when Linux was on it's own separate hard drive. I've also run Linux in a virtual machine, and as a "live OS" from a USB connected drive. But I have never dual booted Windows 10 and Linux installed on the same physical drive.

    To do the conversion to GPT and UEFI booting, you first run mbr2gpt to convert the drive. Then you shutdown and set the BIOS to boot in UEFI mode.

    Of course, you can set the BIOS to boot in UEFI mode first by disabling CSM (or legacy) mode and it will refuse to boot. Then you can reset the BIOS to boot in legacy mode, do the conversion to GPT, then go back and set it for UEFI mode.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 44
    Windows 10 Pro (Version 20H2, Build 19042.867 )
    Thread Starter
       #5

    I have Dell BIOS firmware A04 on my laptop. When I hit F12 on boot up I don't see any mention of UEFI in the BIOS screens. So I don't know how I am supposed to: "set the BIOS to boot in UEFI mode first".

    Maybe I need to update the BIOS firmware? Am I not seeing any mention of UEFI in the BIOS because the disks are MBR partition scheme and there is no UEFI partition maybe? I barely know what I'm talking about!

    Actually just today I got a caddy for my laptop and have two hard drives in it now. How did you dual boot with two hard drives? Did you switch between Windows/Linux by just hitting F12 on boot up and changing the disk boot order? This link talks about setting up dual boot that gives you the OS selection menu even when each OS is installed on a separate drive. I guess, hitting F12 to change the disk boot order is another dual boot strategy that is less hassle to set up?

    Cheers,
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 18,407
    Windows 11 Pro
       #6

    Yes, F12 to get into the boot override menu to boot from the second drive containing Linux.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 4,594
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    Ubuntu has been around for 100`s of years, you do not have to change to UEFI.

    Just install Ubuntu wherever you want.

    What is your purpose for installing Ubuntu ??
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 44
    Windows 10 Pro (Version 20H2, Build 19042.867 )
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Thanks for clarifying that I don't need to switch to UEFI.

    I want to switch to Ubuntu mate as my daily driver OS but use Win 10 to run things like Office and iTunes and any other programs I don't want to live without. I would prefer to dual boot them on one drive.

    In above comment @NavyLCDR stated:
    "To do the conversion to GPT and UEFI booting, you first run mbr2gpt to convert the drive. Then you shutdown and set the BIOS to boot in UEFI mode."

    But when I read through How to Convert Windows 10 from Legacy BIOS to UEFI without Data Loss it says:
    "You will only be able to convert a 64-bit Windows 10 to UEFI on a computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) enabled."

    Does that sentence mean:
    1. UEFI firmware needs to be enabled BEFORE running the mbr2gpt script?
    OR
    2. Run the mbr2gpt script then set the BIOS to use UEFI AFTER?

    If #1 then how do I enable UEFI firmware now because currently I am on Legacy BIOS.

    Cheers,

    - - - Updated - - -

    I found this link.. How to Convert MBR to UEFI in Windows 10, 8, 7?

    That gives more explanation about how to enable UEFI firmware.

    Basically I now understand that a GPT partition table is required first. I have MBR currently which I guess is why I'm not seeing any mention of UEFI in my BIOS screens. I also suppose I can use the free mbr2gpt script instead of the software that article is trying to get you to buy.

    Seemingly after converting your disk from MBR to GPT, you then use the BIOS settings screen to change from Legacy BIOS to UEFI.

    I just have to try it out now and probably break everything!

    Cheers,
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 6,196
    Windows 11 Pro - Windows 7 HP - Lubuntu
       #9

    You can have multi boot in a Legacy-MBR or UEFI-GPT. In my opinion, UEFI-GPT is better as the boot loaders are indepedent.

    On a Legacy-MBR, BIOS transfer the boot sequence to a drive MBR that will transfer to a master boot loader. This master boot loader (like Linux Grub) can transfer the boot sequence to a partition (like Linux) or to another boot loader in another partition (like Windows). It is a serial chain mode.
    On an UEFI-GPT, BIOS transfer the boot sequence to the BIOS priority boot loader on a Fat32 Partition and then to a OS on a partition (same drive or even to a different drive). On the FAT32 partition you may have one or many boot loaders (Linux and Windows etc). It is not a serial chain mode. It is a parallel mode.

    I have Windows and Ubuntu on the same UEFI-GPT drive. BIOS boot priority is Windows. When I want to boot Ubuntu I launch the boot menu (In my computer is F12 during POST). Works very well.

    To boot from a UEFI-GPT drive you must have an UEFI BIOS.

    Legacy or UEFI BIOS is a firmware (software) property.
    The latest firmaware for the Dell 7520 is A04 and it is UEFI capable.
    https://www.dell.com/support/home/en...e-7520/drivers
    https://dl.dell.com/FOLDER06325794M/...20_Win_A04.exe.

    In your case, you should:
    - Make a disk image and save to an external drive (very important)
    - Update your BIOS to the latest available.
    - Check if BIOS is UEFI capable. Set Secure boot and fast boot to disabled. (you can set to enable after you succeed to boot in UEFI-GPT mode). See if you there is a option to boot a Win 10 installation drive in UEFI.
    - Boot from the Win 10 installation drive in UEFI mode, launch a CMD window and convert your drive from Legacy-MBR to UEFI-GPT. Convert Windows 10 from Legacy BIOS to UEFI without Data Loss
    - Set BIOS to Win 10 mode.

    All BIOS are different from one computer to another and some have features others don't.
    If you not comfortable setting BIOS, take the computer to someone that can analyze and set it properly
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 44
    Windows 10 Pro (Version 20H2, Build 19042.867 )
    Thread Starter
       #10

    This is great information thank you very much.

    "Check if BIOS is UEFI capable"
    I downloaded the HWiNFO tool and it showed that my BIOS is UEFI capable.

    "Update your BIOS to the latest available"
    I am getting a bit confused here because I have Dell BIOS A04 which is supposedly the latest BIOS version (June 23, 2020) but in the Windows 10 "System Information" screen and in the HWiNFO tool it says the date of that BIOS firmware is Aug 13, 2012?
    There are other Dell BIOS firmware versions, I guess I could try the A14 version which is dated Nov 20th, 2018. But I'm not sure if that is an older or a newer firmware than A04?

    "See if you there is a option to boot a Win 10 installation drive in UEFI."
    I guess the USB installation drive will need to be created (in something like Rufus) such that it supports UEFI in the first place? I think when I clean installed Win 10 recently I made a setting in Rufus to create USB installation media with Legacy Mode BIOS which, I guess, is why my system is now using Legacy BIOS.

    Cheers,
      My Computer


 

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