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Thread: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions




  1. #1
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    Default 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    I'm trying to assess the UEFI implementation of this board please.

    I like the concept but:

    - can secure-boot be turned off by a user?

    - can the board be set to legacy BIOS mode?

    - If I can use EFI-Shell, what's to keep malware from doing so, perhaps by corrupting the shell file?

    - Does UEFI secure boot or other settings just do boot/driver control or does it participate in media DRM?

    - will my UEFI ever be updated without my okay?

    - can I back it up? Can I repair it if corrupted?

    - is it a full UEFI on this board? What version approximately?

    Thank you very much!

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    A year old and 650 views and no answers? I would like to hear answers for his questions also.

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    A year ago even fewer people were UEFI booting than now, which is still the exception.

    Then add (really subtract) those users that own this board, and the potential pool of users that could answer the questions is even smaller.

    Most of the questions are rather technically advanced in the details, so beyond what users will know with certainty, or care about.

    Since I don't own this board, I can only check every page of the UEFI description in the manual, to see if UEFI booting is even possible, since that is not a given with boards that use UEFI firmware. The appropriate options must be present to enable UEFI booting.

    I checked the manual, and did not find those options (CSM and Secure Boot.) But we all know manuals are not kept up to date.

    The latest 2.00 UEFI for this board looks like it adds those options, since the description states it supports Ultra Fast boot in Windows 8, and the need for a video source that supports GOP, the usual things that signal UEFI booting capability. But I can't examine the 2.00 UEFI directly, so I can only say it looks like UEFI booting is possible. The options to enable that could have been added in an earlier UEFI version.

    The questions were:

    Quote Originally Posted by levanjr View Post
    I'm trying to assess the UEFI implementation of this board please.

    I like the concept but:

    - can secure-boot be turned off by a user?

    - can the board be set to legacy BIOS mode?

    - If I can use EFI-Shell, what's to keep malware from doing so, perhaps by corrupting the shell file?

    - Does UEFI secure boot or other settings just do boot/driver control or does it participate in media DRM?

    - will my UEFI ever be updated without my okay?

    - can I back it up? Can I repair it if corrupted?

    - is it a full UEFI on this board? What version approximately?

    Thank you very much!
    Using Secure Boot should be an option, it is not required in the ASR UEFI's I've used.

    Yes you can switch from UEFI to legacy BIOS booting. A proper Windows 7 and 8 UEFI booting installation will boot in standard BIOS mode, really BIOS emulated via the CSM.

    Malware corrupting the EFI-Shell could be stopped by Secure Boot, but I don't know of all potential malware techniques.

    Auto UEFI update? Or done by someone else? Setting an Admin password in the UEFI will stop non-logged in users from changing UEFI settings, but does that include all UEFI update methods? I don't know.

    Back it up? Usually that can be done with dual firmware chips. Not available on this board. Back up UEFI settings? Setting Profiles are available on at least some ASR boards. Repair if corrupted? Re-flash or replacing firmware chip is possible.

    A full UEFI? This board has 32Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support. Some ASR boards have 64Mb UEFIs. I don't know the AMI version.

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    Yes you can switch from UEFI to legacy BIOS booting. A proper Windows 7 and 8 UEFI booting installation will boot in standard BIOS mode, really BIOS emulated via the CSM.
    How would one know this? These manuals only seem to focus on OC'ing which I could care less about.

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    Quote Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
    How would one know this? These manuals only seem to focus on OC'ing which I could care less about.
    Apparently by magic... and you're right, the manual provides zero information about this IMO. My board's manual is no better in this aspect.

    I figured it out by finding web sites that described UEFI booting and setting up the Windows installation media for that type of installation. Their method of enabling UEFI booting worked, but really did not explain why. To be fair, the guide had no way of knowing what every board's UEFI options were, and they can be different, so they went with the best compromise, enabling Secure Boot. I learned that works, but is not necessary or the only way to accomplish the switch.

    The magic option or switch is CSM, which you'll need to find in your board's UEFI. One board I use has it in the ACPI screen, another as an option in the Boot menu.

    CSM is enabled by default, which causes standard BIOS/legacy booting. Disable CSM, and UEFI booting is done, given Windows was installed for UEFI booting. The other main requirement for UEFI booting is the PC's video source must support "GOP", and most video cards do not support GOP. Recent Intel CPUs with onboard graphics, and an appropriate Vbios (Video chip/card's BIOS) supports GOP. I can't tell you which AMD onboard graphics support GOP. If you enable UEFI booting with a non-GOP video source, you'll either get an error message during POST, or a black screen.

    Enabling Secure Boot will also disable CSM automatically, since Secure Boot requires UEFI booting. Or it will in UEFIs with some sense. But you are not required to use Secure Boot to UEFI boot, Secure Boot is really an option or feature of UEFI booting. So you can just disable CSM to enable UEFI booting, and ignore Secure Boot, or use it later if you like.

    The guide that got me started with UEFI booting is: UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    FWIW, my KFA2 770GTX EX OC apparently supports 'GOP', as I recently switched from Windows 7 to 8, and went for a fresh install while at it.

    Hooked up my SSD in another PC, did a destructive firmware update to clean up my (old) SSD which could only be done from Windows in IDE mode. Then booted my PC (with no UEFI boot enabled) and hit F8 for the boot menu. Chose the UEFI option for my flash drive with the Windows 8 installer on it, choosing this option basically tells the system to get ready for UEFI booting. During install I chose the now empty SSD for installation (my RAID array was also still connected, and not touched). Once Windows 8 was installed I went back to UEFI and enabled Ultra fast boot without problems, at which point I became aware my 770 supports it just fine as well. :)

    I've not attempted to enable secure boot ... it seems it isn't all that secure though: Researchers Demo Exploits Bypassing UEFI Secure Boot - Slashdot

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    The magic option or switch is CSM
    Ok, which one of these is CSM??:

    Computers and information technology[edit source | editbeta]
    Cascaded Shadow Maps, a form of shadow mapping in computer graphics design
    Certified Scrum Master, a certification for Scrum (development)
    Certified Software Manager, a certification for Software Licensing and Compliance subject matter experts by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA)
    Client/Service Manager, the intermediary between a company's designers and/or programmers and the client itself
    Communications Support Module (CSM) An IBM term for the support of Single Sign On SSO in its Informix Database.
    Compatibility Support Module, a part of the Intel Platform Innovation Framework for EFI providing the capability to support legacy BIOS interfaces
    Computational Science Modeling, constructing models and quantitative analysis techniques and using computers to analyze and solve scientific problems.
    Computational Solid Mechanics, computer modeling of solid matter, typically with finite elements
    Content storage management, an audio, video and rich media archiving technology originally conceived by Front Porch Digital
    Cisco Content Switching Module, an add-on to the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switch or the Cisco 7600 Series Router
    Counter-Strike Manager, a Counter-Strike based browser game
    Council of Stellar Management, an Eve Online player-elected council to represent the views of the players to CCP Games. See Eve Online#Council of Stellar Management
    IBM Cluster Systems Management, management for IBM Power Systems servers running AIX or Linux operating system, as well as Linux on x64 rack and blade servers. (Superseded by IBM Systems Director)
    What was wrong with simple Award BIOS??

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    Quote Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
    Ok, which one of these is CSM??:
    Sorry, it's this:

    Compatibility Support Module, a part of the Intel Platform Innovation Framework for EFI providing the capability to support legacy BIOS interfaces

    Unified Extensible Firmware Interface - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Quote Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
    What was wrong with simple Award BIOS??
    If you mean the standard BIOS type firmware, many things. The link above discusses the differences between BIOS and UEFI firmware. That link will bring you directly to the CSM section, which is just a part of the UEFI firmware page, at the top of the page.

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiari View Post
    FWIW, my KFA2 770GTX EX OC apparently supports 'GOP', as I recently switched from Windows 7 to 8, and went for a fresh install while at it.

    Hooked up my SSD in another PC, did a destructive firmware update to clean up my (old) SSD which could only be done from Windows in IDE mode. Then booted my PC (with no UEFI boot enabled) and hit F8 for the boot menu. Chose the UEFI option for my flash drive with the Windows 8 installer on it, choosing this option basically tells the system to get ready for UEFI booting. During install I chose the now empty SSD for installation (my RAID array was also still connected, and not touched). Once Windows 8 was installed I went back to UEFI and enabled Ultra fast boot without problems, at which point I became aware my 770 supports it just fine as well. :)

    I've not attempted to enable secure boot ... it seems it isn't all that secure though: Researchers Demo Exploits Bypassing UEFI Secure Boot - Slashdot
    Great, you are right about how simple it is to install Windows 8 in UEFI booting mode.

    I have one question, have you disabled CSM in your board's UEFI? If not, you really aren't UEFI booting. Your installation may be UEFI booting compatible, but that does not happen until you disable CSM. Try that and see what happens, it won't hurt anything. The worst you'll see is an error message if your 770 is not GOP compatible.

    Fast boot is a feature of Windows 8, a modification of Windows Hibernate. A small hibernate file is created and stored on the OS drive, that just has basic CPU start up data (hard to explain, I don't know the details) among other things, which reduces start up time.

    I don't use Secure Boot either, although I have. You can enable it, and install the keys which provide the security, but otherwise you notice nothing about it.

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    Default Re: 990FX Extreme4 and UEFI questions

    Well, I can't find a CSM setting to dis- or enable : ... maybe my system knows it isn't needed? ... oh and the UEFI startup screen with the ASRock logo changed to a higher resolution when I enabled (ultra?) fast boot, which is really what I think reveals the compatibility of the 770.

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