Supermicro and UEFI BIOS?

lunadesign

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Aug 7, 2013
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Please forgive me for the possibly dumb question.

I have an X9SRE-F mobo with the latest BIOS and want to experiment with UEFI. Per the Supermicro website, this board supports UEFI. However, I don't see any setting to change it from legacy BIOS mode to UEFI mode. I do see that I can boot into the UEFI Shell but that's apparently not the same thing.

Can someone please explain what I'm doing wrong / misunderstanding?

Thanks!
 

Biren78

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Jan 16, 2013
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What are you wanting to experiment with? UEFI mode OS install? Just select UEFI as the installation media boot mode. UEFI firmware update? Insert USB with files and select UEFI boot.
 

lunadesign

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Aug 7, 2013
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What are you wanting to experiment with? UEFI mode OS install? Just select UEFI as the installation media boot mode. UEFI firmware update? Insert USB with files and select UEFI boot.
Thanks for the info but I may need more specifics on what you mean by "select UEFI as the installation media boot mode" and "select UEFI boot" as I haven't been able to find settings like those in my Supermicro BIOS. All I have found so far is an option to boot into the UEFI Shell. The Supermicro manual has instructions for how to recover the UEFI BIOS but nothing on how to get it.

I'm curious about UEFI because I've heard that the MegaRAID Windows drivers apparently enable SCSI pass-through in UEFI mode. I'm interested in this because this apparently may allow Smartmontools to get SMART data from the drives connected to my MegaRAID card.
 

wbo

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Aug 4, 2015
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You need UEFI installation media for whatever OS you want to install. If you are trying to install Windows, if your installation media is setup correctly it should boot and install in UEFI mode by default. Installation ISOs provided by Microsoft are typically configured to support both UEFI and MBR so they should work immediately.

If you are installation from a flash drive, you need to make sure the flash drive has the appropriate partition format and boot files for UEFI boot. Rufus available at Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way handles this correctly by default when creating a flash drive from a Microsoft provided ISO image. Just make sure you set the partition format on the flash drive to FAT32 since most UEFI implementations don't support NTFS natively.
 

lunadesign

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Aug 7, 2013
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You need UEFI installation media for whatever OS you want to install. If you are trying to install Windows, if your installation media is setup correctly it should boot and install in UEFI mode by default. Installation ISOs provided by Microsoft are typically configured to support both UEFI and MBR so they should work immediately.
I installed Windows 8.1 on this test box using a DVD created from a MSDN ISO and it still defaulted to Legacy BIOS mode as reported by the MSINFO32 tool.

However, I did some more poking around based on what you and Biren78 said and found a buried BIOS setting under "PCIe/PCI/PnP Configuration" called "Launch Storage OpROM Policy". It is currently set to "Legacy only" (the default) and its only other value is "UEFI only". The BIOS help only says "Controls the execution of UEFI and Legacy Storage OpROM" so I'm not exactly sure what it does but I'm guessing this is why Win 8.1 got installed in Legacy mode.

What's really confusing is when I read all these articles about UEFI (example: HTG Explains: Learn How UEFI Will Replace Your PC’s BIOS), I see images of a graphics-rich pre-boot environment that apparently supposed to *replace* the legacy BIOS. I'm not seeing anything like this but maybe not since Supermicro is a server mobo vendor, not an end-user/gamer mobo vendor.

If you are installation from a flash drive, you need to make sure the flash drive has the appropriate partition format and boot files for UEFI boot. Rufus available at Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way handles this correctly by default when creating a flash drive from a Microsoft provided ISO image. Just make sure you set the partition format on the flash drive to FAT32 since most UEFI implementations don't support NTFS natively.
I'm familiar with Rufus but wasn't aware of this tip, so thanks!
 

T_Minus

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You need to install it UEFI mode, the install media can boot UEFI or Legacy, so in BIOS select the DVD/CD UEFI not legacy/nothing then boot to it that way, and it should install in UEFI mode.
 

lunadesign

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Aug 7, 2013
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You need to install it UEFI mode, the install media can boot UEFI or Legacy, so in BIOS select the DVD/CD UEFI not legacy/nothing then boot to it that way, and it should install in UEFI mode.
Thanks! Are you saying there's a separate UEFI/Legacy setting for the CD/DVD drive? If so, I haven't found it.

Also, is there any way to tell the OS is installing in UEFI mode *during* installation? I'm guessing I could look post-installation for the presence or absence of an MBR with a disk examination tool but it would be nice to catch any issues much earlier.
 

T_Minus

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You have to go into BIOS and click "UEFI WIN7DVD" or whatever it says, and it will boot in UEFI mode for the install, and then it will be installed in UEFI mode.
 

lunadesign

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Aug 7, 2013
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You have to go into BIOS and click "UEFI WIN7DVD" or whatever it says, and it will boot in UEFI mode for the install, and then it will be installed in UEFI mode.
Ah, you mean the BIOS boot menu. I just tried booting a Win 8.1 install DVD and see the option there. Thanks!

Do you happen to know if I need to change the "Launch Storage OpROM Policy" BIOS setting or any others?
 

T_Minus

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Yep, that's it.

When I get a new board I make sure it boots, then update the BIOS, setup IPMI, and then mess with the BIOS Boot Menu deleting everything I can, and starting 'clean' with a fresh UEFI install. I also go through all pages of BIOS real quick to get familiar if it's a new board/company or a new BIOS version that introduces NVME, UEFI, etc... some boards have options others just show "info" that wasn't shown before. (I like to check for HT, VT-d, etc, and sometimes I disable lower power-states depending on the usage, testing, etc... make sure RAM is right etc...., check RAM errors)

Once you get it installed it should auto become boot priority #1 (UEFI SSD/WIN8) if not set it to that.
 

lunadesign

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Yep, that's it.
Just to make sure I'm parsing this correctly, you're saying that booting in UEFI mode is all I have to do and I do not have to change "Launch Storage OpROM Policy"?

When I get a new board I make sure it boots, then update the BIOS, setup IPMI, and then mess with the BIOS Boot Menu deleting everything I can, and starting 'clean' with a fresh UEFI install. I also go through all pages of BIOS real quick to get familiar if it's a new board/company or a new BIOS version that introduces NVME, UEFI, etc... some boards have options others just show "info" that wasn't shown before. (I like to check for HT, VT-d, etc, and sometimes I disable lower power-states depending on the usage, testing, etc... make sure RAM is right etc...., check RAM errors
Good to know. I do something very similar. I also keep a spreadsheet where I document all the settings in case something should become unset or in case I have to reproduce the setup on another board.

Once you get it installed it should auto become boot priority #1 (UEFI SSD/WIN8) if not set it to that.
Makes sense. I'll watch for that.
 

lunadesign

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I believe you want "UEFI only" for that option.
I did a bit more digging on this setting (it's amazing how little documentation there is on this) and per a few obscure references, the "Launch Storage OpROM Policy" apparently instructs the Option ROM on add-in cards (like MegaRAID) to run in UEFI mode.

I've also just discovered that the MegaRAID cards have a different pre-boot utility in UEFI mode that looks better than WebBIOS.
 
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William

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I don't think SM has any plans on doing a fancy UI for the BIOS like we see on enthusiast boards, in fact I do not see any servers that do this except for the new line of Lenovo servers. I don't know but maybe DELL or HP has this.
 

lunadesign

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I don't think SM has any plans on doing a fancy UI for the BIOS like we see on enthusiast boards, in fact I do not see any servers that do this except for the new line of Lenovo servers. I don't know but maybe DELL or HP has this.
That makes sense and fits with Supermicro's "no frills" style.

The part I'm still confused about is why the motherboard manual has an appendix about how to recover "the UEFI BIOS image". This makes it sound like it's something separate from the Legacy (AMI) BIOS. But what I've seen so far seems more like a single BIOS that looks and works like a Legacy BIOS but has some UEFI functionality and settings.
 

William

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UEFI BIOS and the fancy UI are two different things, You do not need to have a fancy UI to get the features that UEFI offer, just an OS that supports UEFI and the install method.
 

Submariner

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Just remember if you have something like the Intel 750 PCIe SSD, and want to boot from it ( and you will when you see it load windows in 7 secs. ) to get into the Bios and change the boot to UEFI USB, AND then go to The PCIe tsb and set that to UEFI and EFI .... If you don't, mine won't load Windows on the Intel 750 as a bootable UEFI disc.

Other weird non-documented thing I found, was to pull off the SATA data cable on all other drives. If not although mine loaded Windows on the Intel PCIe SSD it must have also loaded some part of Win 10 on the Samsung EVO. ( discovered this by removing the Samsung and the workstation would not boot )
I had to pull the sata cables , then reload Windows, then it was fine.
Strangely disabling the other drives in the Bios was not good enough, the drives had to be phyically disconnected?
I didnt bother undo the Sata Power cables.
That bit confused the hell out of me. If its disabled in the Bios how come it loaded some parts of Windows on these technically disabled drives ??

Note the negative bit of this is, when you do connect the Sata data cables later, you get the hard drive letters duplicated in Win 10. Checked with MS and they say thats normal as they are now effectively treated as removable drives like a USB stick.
 
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Todd

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Please forgive me for the possibly dumb question.

I have an X9SRE-F mobo with the latest BIOS and want to experiment with UEFI. Per the Supermicro website, this board supports UEFI. However, I don't see any setting to change it from legacy BIOS mode to UEFI mode. I do see that I can boot into the UEFI Shell but that's apparently not the same thing.

Can someone please explain what I'm doing wrong / misunderstanding?

Thanks!
I have a Supermicro X8SIE motherboard located at a hosted facility, so I don't have direct physical access to it. Have been trying to figure out if it supports UEFI. Can't find anything on the Supermicro website. Can someone tell me if it is UEFI capable and or where to find out?
 

vanfawx

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I have a Supermicro X8SIE motherboard located at a hosted facility, so I don't have direct physical access to it. Have been trying to figure out if it supports UEFI. Can't find anything on the Supermicro website. Can someone tell me if it is UEFI capable and or where to find out?
Supermicro lists this information on their product information pages for their boards. Your boards page is here - And it looks like it doesn't support it. It's listed under the "BIOS Features" section.

Hope that helps!