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ERLindeman

How would you explain UEFI to someone who only knows what BIOS "bye-aws" is?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Without just saying "It's a new, better version of BIOS". They want to know what's actually different about how it works and what is "better" about it.

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Native 64-bit firmware instead of 32-bit firmware that relies on hacks to boot 64-bit operating systems.

Support for larger storage devices.

Support for newer expansion cards.

Support for full system encryption in some cases.

Storage of your Windows activation information in the firmware.

Better security.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, lewdicrous said:

-snip-

 

I have. All I've seen is "it's newer and it looks better" which I know isn't all. I've walked this person through my Asus UEFI and her legacy BIOS to show her the interface and feature/versatility differences, but she wants to know how they're different "Under the Hood".

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I've actually had to explain what a BIOS vs UEFI to my dad since he's only ever seen legacy BIOS in his old Westmere system.

 

In essence, I said UEFI is a modern-day BIOS with cursor navigation and newer devices such as larger storage drives.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 minutes ago, KarathKasun said:

Native 64-bit firmware instead of 32-bit firmware that relies on hacks to boot 64-bit operating systems.

Support for larger storage devices.

Support for newer expansion cards.

Support for full system encryption in some cases.

Storage of your Windows activation information in the firmware.

Better security.

Thank you! Totally didn't think of hardware compatibility, I so stuck on finding out how the firmware worked that didn't even cross my mind. Wow, I feel like an idiot. 

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2 minutes ago, ERLindeman said:

I have. All I've seen is "it's newer and it looks better" which I know isn't all. I've walked this person through my Asus UEFI and her legacy BIOS to show her the interface and feature/versatility differences, but she wants to know how they're different "Under the Hood".

I don't mean to LMGTFY, but this might help

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Here's a small list of features it has over the old BIOS

  • Is able to use x86's other running modes. x86 has several modes it can run in to use either 16-bit, 32-bit, or 64-bit apps (this is a simplification). BIOS is stuck in the 16-bit  mode with only 1MB of RAM addressable.
  • UEFI is CPU architecture independent. BIOS was strictly designed for IBM PC based systems (so x86 systems)
  • UEFI can take advantage of more hardware. For example, you can connect to a network while in UEFI but not in BIOS, because BIOS has no idea what Ethernet is.
  • Allows for booting of drives larger than 2TB natively. I believe you can with BIOS, but it requires a bit of a hack.
  • Can run an actual graphical environment, whereas BIOS is stuck with ASCII art for any sort of GUI.

It's probably best to read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface though

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 minutes ago, lewdicrous said:

I don't mean to LMGTFY, but this might help

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It’s not just a BIOS replacement, either. UEFI is essentially a tiny operating system that runs on top of the PC’s firmware

 

Holy crap. There we go. That's what I needed.

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