Setting up UEFI BIOS: step by step instructions

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Setting up UEFI BIOS: step by step instructions
Setting up UEFI BIOS: step by step instructions

Almost any modern PC user knows that sometimes, instead of the operating system, it is extremely necessary to change some parameters of the BIOS/UEFI primary input / output systems to configure the computer. Unfortunately, the default options do not always meet all the requirements in terms of the correct operation of the equipment, and very often, for example, when installing a new operating system from a removable drive, you can’t get around it at all without user intervention.

But BIOS/UEFI fine-tuning may seem a little complicated to many ordinary users, so it is worth considering some important points related to setting the required options. Absolutely all the parameters that can be found in primary systems will not be considered (and this is not necessary), but we will dwell only on the most important points, the knowledge and understanding of which will allow us to optimizecustom computer or laptop to the fullest.

What is BIOS and UEFI?

Before we get into the basic custom options, we need to define what these primary systems are. There are a lot of differences between BIOS and UEFI in terms of organizing work.

Difference between interfaces
Difference between interfaces

BIOS is a special chip built into the motherboard and equipped with its own software environment (firmware), made in the form of a DOS-like text interface, which is controlled exclusively from a computer keyboard. Arrow keys are used to navigate through sections and menu items, to enter the desired options or select a parameter value - the enter key, for some other operations - function keys or letter keys, which is most often used to exit the BIOS with confirmation save set options (F10 + Y).

On the contrary, UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is a kind of operating system with a graphical interface in which you can fine-tune the options you need for the user. Many of these systems are Russified, and they are controlled even with the help of a computer mouse. But in terms of configurable parameters, UEFI compares favorably in that the setting here looks more sophisticated, not to mention the fact that several important parameters have been added to UEFI that are missing in the BIOS. In particular, this concerns the provision of protection against malicious programs,which theoretically could start when you turn on the computer.

Primary Login

In order to perform BIOS/UEFI setup, you must first log into the primary system. But how? Everyone knows that on stationary PCs, the Del key is most often used to perform such actions.

Login keys
Login keys

But on laptops recently, manufacturers themselves have set the use of other keys or combinations based on function keys in combination, for example, with the Fn or Esc button. On some models, you can even find special buttons on the keyboard panel (like on Sony VAIO laptops) or additionally called boot menus.

Basic settings and appearance of BIOS/UEFI

Now let's go directly to the BIOS / UEFI setup. As a rule, it is usually not recommended to change the default options, but it is quite easy to reconfigure them to your liking.

Russified UEFI interface
Russified UEFI interface

As for the main sections and the parameters presented in them, UEFI does not differ very much from BIOS. True, some developers can find the placement of the main sections not horizontally, but vertically.

How to configure BIOS/UEFI to optimize CPU and RAM

As for the most important parameters, then, first of all, you need to pay attention to the optimization of the processor and RAM. How and what to change in BIOS / UEFI. In Windows 7, tweaking some options doesn't hurt either.

To startinstall some informative utility like CPU-Z or Prime95 and then look at the actual CPU clock speed. It is quite possible, if we compare it with the nominal value indicated in the technical documentation by the manufacturer, the discrepancy will be very significant. It is not always possible to increase the frequency directly in the operating system, since the restriction on such actions is just set in the primary system. As an example, let's look at how to configure the BIOS / UEFI on ASUS motherboards.

ASUS Extreme Tweaker Toolkit
ASUS Extreme Tweaker Toolkit

After logging into the primary system, find the Extreme Tweaker section there (in systems from other developers, this may be something like clock speed settings). This option is usually set to Auto. However, the maximum value is never used. Thus, you can simply set the increased frequency, save the settings, and check the performance of the computer after reboot.

But don't get carried away. The best thing to do is to immediately run the above utilities and check the threshold for increasing the temperature of the processor to a critical point. If it is exceeded, it is better to set a lower value or refuse to overclock at all. The same goes for RAM.

Hard disk controller settings in BIOS/UEFI: how to install Windows 7 and higher?

One of the most important parameters is setting the operating mode of the SATA hard disk controller. Unfortunately, this option is set correctly by default. Since the primary UEFI system is designed forwork in conjunction with 64-bit operating systems and hard disk partitions with the GPT style, when installing the same Windows 7 or systems of a higher rank, error messages are often generated.

Operating mode selection
Operating mode selection

For correct installation of the system, in the Advanced section, you need to find the SATA controller parameters and set the AHCI mode instead of IDE.

Features of Secure Boot mode

This option is relatively new to primary systems. Its main purpose is to block all third-party processes in order to increase the level of security. Because of this, it may not even be possible to boot from removable media.

Disable Secure Boot
Disable Secure Boot

To deactivate secure boot, you must use either the Security section, which can be found in the main menu (Main), or find an item like Launch CSM. In the first case, Secure Boot is set to Disabled or Off. In the second, the Launch CSM (Enabled) mode is activated.

Note! You can disable secure boot mode not on all devices and not in all UEFI modifications. Even resetting the parameters does not help, since this option is active by default (and even paired with the TPM module). In this situation, the safest solution is to change the firmware, which will be discussed later.

Setting up a start from removable media and requirements for flash drives

Another important parameter is setting the download order. Apparently, many remember that in the BIOSthese were options like Boot Sequence or Boot Device Priority, in which the required media was installed first in the queue (1st Boot Device).

Priority device selection
Priority device selection

BIOS/UEFI setup is not much different in this regard, and the main partition is usually called simply Boot or Boot Order. However, if there are two distributions on the same flash drive (for 32-bit and 64-bit modifications of the same system), then two media can be shown among the boot devices, one of which is marked with the EFI prefix.

How to install Windows 7? UEFI / BIOS, as is already clear, gives a hint for choosing a boot device. In the case of a 32-bit system, a drive with a common name is selected, and for a 64-bit OS, the media marked with the above prefix is used. But today's latest generation primary systems usually recognize the right device on their own, so the user doesn't have to worry about it too much.

But it is better to take care of the correct creation of a bootable USB flash drive with the necessary distribution kit in advance. In order not to install the necessary options when writing an image of a future OS to the media, it is recommended to use automated applications like Rufus. In this program, it is enough just to select the desired image file and the connected media, after which the necessary parameters (including those related to the file system used during formatting) will be set automatically. The user needs to pay attention only to the volume of the flash drive (for Windows 7, the capacity should be about 4 GB, for systemshigher rank - minimum 8 GB).

Note! Keep in mind that if you install Windows from under UEFI, the file system on the flash drive must be FAT32 (UEFI does not work at all with NTFS).

The nuances of turning on equipment components

Finally, let's briefly dwell on the activation of the equipment installed on the computer. Have you ever had a component not working, and when viewing information in the Task Manager, a notification was displayed that the device was disabled, but it was simply impossible to turn it on via RMB?

The reason is simple! The equipment is disabled in the primary system. To enable it, you will have to enter the settings of the primary system, then find the hardware section in the UEFI interface (it can be presented in the Advanced settings or in the form of the Onboard Devices submenu), find the disabled component there and activate it using the setting of the Enabled or On parameter (more often in general, such actions apply to enabling the USB ports built into camera laptops, to change sound cards if there are several installed, etc.).

Reset, update and flash BIOS/UEFI

Finally, let's look at issues related to updating the firmware of primary BIOS / UEFI systems and resetting the parameters to factory settings. Resetting is performed almost exactly the same as in the BIOS (similar sections like Load Setup Defaults are used for this). But installing a new firmware in UEFI, if we compare such actions with similar procedures in the BIOS, is generally elementary.

It's in BIOSit was necessary to look for the update section, write the firmware to a USB flash drive, then perform a lot more operations to select the desired software, etc. You can update the UEFI software environment directly from under Windows. After downloading the firmware file, you just need to run it as an administrator, and all other operations will be performed when the computer device is rebooted without user intervention. But you need to download the firmware exactly corresponding to your modification, otherwise you can only achieve that the entire computer system will stop working.

To search, the easiest way is to go directly to the official website of the manufacturer of the motherboard or a specific laptop model. You can determine the marking of the motherboard and the current version of the BIOS / UEFI firmware either through system information, or through the command line, or through the DirectX dialog, or using special informative utilities like Speecy, AIDA64, SSU and the like. Some developers add their own proprietary utilities to UEFI, allowing you to upgrade directly on the primary system.

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