UEFI - Is it a new type of BIOS or is it an additional set of layers to the old standard?
Ever wonder why one motherboard will respond to changes you want to make and another one will not?
I bought an Intel DP43BF motherboard and tried to load Windows Server 2003, this upgrade failed in so many ways that I bought a Gigabit P43T-ES3G motherboard to finish my server upgrade.
Now I think I know why the legacy Server Operating System would not install on the Intel DP43BF motherboard. Intel may be using a different BIOS configuration called EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) along with the older style BIOS (which is not dead by the way).
This EFI is an additional layer of interface between the Operating System (OS) and the hardware thus the confusion for most of the legacy add on cards and IDE drives that were in the computer failed when I did the motherboard upgrade then tried to get the Server OS to load and run.
Here is what the industry is tying to do with the hardware to Operating System interface normally known as the
table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....
BIOS - Basic Input Output System
UEFI - Unified Extensible Firmware Interface
Now don't get me wrong on this one but I have seen this type of interface before.
Back when IBM introduced the PS/2 line of personal computers they also introduced a new type of server, the IBM RS/6000. The company I worked for at the time bought four of these servers. The BIOS setup came on a CD (Compaq was doing the same thing but the hardware to OS interface was still a BIOS) for the EFI from Intel. This was in the mid 1990's when IBM and Intel teamed up to test the EFI vs. the original BIOS type of hardware to Operating System interface.
The first IBM RS/6000 servers came with a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) processor, this is not a Intel x86 processor but a completely different processor. (IBM will dump the RISC processor and use XENON processors for their servers). To run programs that are written for the Intel x86 processor the processor has an emulator built in to it. It gets complicated, the main user of RISC processors are the Spark Workstation and Server along with some older Video cards. The RISC processor for Video cards were the predecessors to the MDAC processor now used by Video card manufactures.
Those IBM servers were a pain to get configured and if you had a hardware failure or change you had to go back in to the EFI and reset the tables for the hardware even if the replacement was an identical part.
When you go in to a newer BIOS ( I would suspect starting in late 2009 or early 2010) you have more configuration options you can set. Most have to do with the Processor and the onboard chip sets. Some of the options will tell you what the settings are but are not changeable in that you can set the interrupt that some devices use but not others such as:
Troubleshoot, repair, maintain, upgrade & secure...
- Serial ports are on interrupts 3,4, or 9
- Parallel ports are on 7 or 9
However now that most parallel and serial devices are USB changing the interrupt is a mute point and you can use those interrupts for other devices.
Most newer devices also have a BIOS chip that the parameters are permanently set when the chip is written by the manufacture, these would be the settings you see that are not changeable through the motherboard BIOS interface.
UEFI is still a BIOS, just the program has changed, the function is still the same: Basic Input Output System to help the computer start! I plan on experimenting with the Intel DP43BF motherboard in the near future to see if my theory is correct and if Intel is indeed using the new UEFI interface once I have it in a computer case.