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UEFI or old style EFI on new MBP's (2011)

6973 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 30, 2011 5:50 PM by Christopher Murphy RSS
Albert Trub Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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Feb 28, 2011 12:13 PM
If anyone owns one of the new MacBook Pro's that just came out, can you check whether they have upgraded to UEFI 2.x?

The reason why I am asking is because I would like to see if it would be possible to dual-boot Windows with AHCI support. When using Boot Camp, Apple configures the BC partition to run in proprietary BIOS mode as well as shuts off AHCI support. Windows Vista supports EFI boot starting with SP1 as does Windows 7; however, it needs UEFI 2.x. Earlier MBP models only have EFI 1.x which do not allow this. There is a way to hack the boot sector to enable AHCI, but I would not rather go that route as it introduces some unpleasant side effects.

If Apple upgraded these new MBP's to UEFI 2.x, perhaps native AHCI support would finally be possible. I know most of the Sandy Bridge motherboards out there support UEFI now. Wonder if Apple followed the trend.
MacBook Pro (April 2010), Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • jbowcott Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2011 11:51 AM (in response to Albert Trub)
    I too would really like to know this.
    Installing and booting Windows 7 natively using EFI should allow me to choose which GPU I want to use, so I can take advantage of QuickSync (H264 encoder) in the Intel HD 3000.

    Is there a way to find out the EFI version on the system?
    If not, could I just pop in a Windows 7 disc, try the EFI boot option and hope for the best?
    MacBook Pro (Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.5.7), 15-inch 2.4Ghz
  • Side_Step_Society Level 2 Level 2 (310 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 23, 2011 9:23 PM (in response to Albert Trub)
    I'd also like to know if it's using UEFI. Would love to see Windows booting as fast as OS X, even though it's still pretty quick right now.
    MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.7), It likes to eat children.
  • jbowcott Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 24, 2011 12:40 AM (in response to Albert Trub)
    You are absolutely correct.

    Im sure if you ask nicely at the store (and hint that you may be buying) they wouldn't mind you trying the Windows disc. Just make sure if it does work you definitely cancel :P

    As you said, currently on all other Macs (including mine) doing the EFI boot on Windows 7 64-bit will freeze at the 'Loading files' stage (i.e. before the Windows logo). If it gets past that, then its definitely got EFI 2.0+, or the EFI has been updated with features required by Windows.

    I don't have one myself but I am considering buying one. It would be nice to know the EFI version though (so it can be an all-in-one replacement for my Windows desktop).

    P.S. I wouldn't get your hopes up though. If it had been updated I think we would of heard more about it (i.e. "Boot Camp no longer required by 2011 MBP" etc.)
    MacBook Pro (Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.5.7), 15-inch 2.4Ghz
  • jbowcott Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 24, 2011 5:22 AM (in response to Albert Trub)
    I tried it at my local Apple store and sure enough it looks like it doesnt have UEFI. EFI Boot wouldnt even work.

    I spoke to an Apple genius about it and he asked a tech person on the phone. Seems that UEFI isn't on Macs because the mac hardware does not conform to the UEFI standards, which were designed for PC's.

    I did some research and apparently Apple dont even use standard EFI 1.x, its EFI 1.10 plus some UEFI 2.0 bits.

    So we are stuck with BIOS under Boot Camp untill someone figures out a way to emulate UEFI in a rEFIt kind of way.
    MacBook Pro (Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.5.7), 15-inch 2.4Ghz
  • jbowcott Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2011 2:12 AM (in response to Albert Trub)
    Albert Trub wrote:
    Not sure what exactly you mean by "Mac hardware does not conform to UEFI standards".

    Well that's not what he said, but it was the gist of what he was trying to tell me.

    I do agree with what you said about it being standard Intel hardware.

    I guess Apple could do it, but only if it made sense for them to do so. If Windows 8 drops BIOS support, which seems unlikely, then they would do an update.

    Now AHCI, that is an issue, especially now many of us are using SSD's in our Macs.
    I dont know if the EFI now does AHCI natively for Boot Camp, but a quick Google search suggests that there are ways and workarounds to get it to work on older models.

    I appreciate that this is all guess work and not entirely helpful, but I plan on buying one this week so I will be posting my findings.
    MacBook Pro (Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.5.7), 15-inch 2.4Ghz
  • Fugitive Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
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    Mar 27, 2011 2:28 AM (in response to Albert Trub)
    I see discussion about Boot Camp but I should mention that you don't need Boot Camp to install Windows. You could walk into any Apple Store and pop a Windows CD/DVD into a machine and install Windows onto a machine natively. Later on you'd just need to find the drivers for full support of all the devices. For dual boot Boot Camp provides an interface to native OS X capabilities to re-partition the drive, and it also supplies the drivers to easily get all your devices to work in Windows.
    Mac Pro, Macbook Pro (2011) i7 2.3Ghz 8GB, Mac OS X (10.6.7), Mac Pro w/nVidia 8800 GT, 10TB SATA, 13GB RAM
  • Christopher Murphy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2011 10:20 PM (in response to jbowcott)
    rEFIt reports the following for a Macbook Pro 8,2. very disappointing. I could f'n care less about BIOS emulation or Windows. Could we please joint the modern era Apple? This EFI version is ancient and non-standard.

    EFI Revision 1.10
    Platform: x86_64 (64 bit)
    Firmware: Apple 1.10
    Screen Output: Graphics Output (UEFI), 1680 x 1050
    MacBook Pro 8,2, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Christopher Murphy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2011 5:50 PM (in response to Albert Trub)
    So the bottom line answer to this question is, the new MBPs use EFI 1.1, not UEFI 2.x. And this is a problem for EFI booting Windows 7 as well as (U)EFI booting pretty much any other OS out there other than Mac OS X.

    So EFI is for Apple, and BIOS is for everyone else. Which irks me because Apple would have better compatibility had they stuck with BIOS based hardware until they were ready/willing to go to UEFI. So all this talk about openness and extensibility and benefits of Apple's use of EFI in reality falls flat on its face.

    More:
    http://darobins.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/native-uefi-windows-7-boot-on-mac-mini/
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)

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