Friday, 11 November 2011

Windows 8 May Not Allow Dual Boot Operations

bios outdated uefi 400x300 Windows 8 May Not Allow Dual Boot Operations

How is that possible? Well, Windows 8 logo guidelines require that systems have Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot enabled. When this is in place, it would block Linux, or any other operating system, from booting on it.

The Windows Logo Program addresses the current and future market needs of customers using the Windows platform. Vendors and OEM’s receiving the Windows logo signifies that there is compatibility and reliability of systems and devices to the Windows operating system. It purports to give customers confidence that the product satisfies the conditions of a well-rounded software or hardware product. In order to meet those conditions the software and hardware must meet UEFI specifications.

What is UEFI?

UIEF Windows 8 May Not Allow Dual Boot Operations

UEFI is part of recent specification releases. It installs one or more signing keys into the system firmware. Then once the system enables the keys, secure boot prevents executables or drivers from being loaded unless one of these keys signs them. But that is not all. Another set of keys, Pkek, permits communication to occur between an OS and the firmware. An OS with a Pkek that matches the installed binaries in the firmware may add additional keys to the whitelist. Alternatively, it may add keys to a blacklist. The end result is that binaries signed with a blacklisted key will not load. That is where Linux is currently standing.

But the real thing about UEFI is that it will allow faster boot up, taking no more than two seconds to boot up the PC.

UEFI firmware BIOSA 8 231056 13 400x268 Windows 8 May Not Allow Dual Boot Operations

Final Standing?

How does this bode for Linux and other hardware OEM’s? That is still up in the air. Windows 8 still has to jump many hurdles, not the least is that many companies have done significant upgrades to their software or hardware on Windows 7, and may not be willing to spend another amount of time and dollars to perform something that they do not actually need. With Windows 7 flying high, why should companies drop that OS and start the upgrade path all over again? Then again…two seconds. Hmm.

Source: Microsoft UEFI

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