Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Linux

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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:28 pm

One of my systems has both BIU and BIBM installed. BIBM sees the NVMe drives (M.2 and PCIe) as does Linux Mint booted in Legacy (MBR) mode from BIBM. It may vary from system to system, but I think most current operating systems should see the drives okay as non-booting/data drives (assuming appropriate drivers are installed, if necessary).
Paul Purviance
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby TeraByte Support » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:54 pm

That's not true, that's just the effects of marketing. The truth is that it
may or may not be, it all depends on how the BIOS interface to the device is
implemented and how much data is read.

If you use plain old Int 13h interface that is limited to real mode memory
addresses and say 64K (older ones are 127 sectors) then you may have to
issue multiple read commands and copy memory from one location to the other
(or you may not if the loader handles everything in real mode memory until
switching over OR the BIOS EDD interface handles flat memory in the DAP (the
DAP itself would would still have to exist in real mode - DAP is used for
Int13 Extensions)).

Under UEFI you can always load directly to anywhere in the memory with a
larger chunk (although there may be limits in the implementation of popular
BIOSes which means practically you're still having to limit IO size).

The actually process of reading the disk drive is the same in both
interfaces (same commands to the drive with transfers through the same bus),
they could use high speed methods or not.

With most implementations, you're looking at some extra overhead using BIOS
method. UEFI IO is not some great new achievement that is so much faster,
there is just slightly less overhead with UEFI loading to protected memory
areas. If you're able to read one large chunk you also save the overhead
of the extra command requests and drive continuous reading (although the
drive read ahead caching may make that last part negligible).

In general, it's not something to worry about.


"Gary Seven" wrote in message news:16226@public.bootitbm...

they said it's better and boots faster than legacy

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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby CyberSimian » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:27 am

Some points:

(1) Do you think that you will want to update the motherboard BIOS at any time in the future? If the answer is "yes", will the motherboard manufacturer's BIOS-update tool work in MBR mode, or does it require Windows 10 working in UEFI mode?

Example: the tool for Lenovo works only on Windows 10 in UEFI mode. This is very annoying for Linux users (they have to install Windows 10 in another partition), and for MBR users (they have to have a separate disk with a GPT partition containing Windows 10 booting in UEFI mode).

(2) M.2 slots can be either SATA, PCI-E, or both. If a PCI-E M.2 SSD does not boot in MBR mode, a SATA M.2 SSD might boot successfully in MBR mode. I have not tried this, so this is just a suggestion. But it might be worth checking the capabilities of the M.2 slot in your motherboard.

(3) PCI-E M.2 SSDs require an additional driver. Windows 10 already includes this driver, but Windows 7 does not. The manufacturer of the SSD should provide a driver for Windows 7. Samsung do, but check other SSD manufacturers if Windows 7 support is important to you.

(4) Some timings for an Intel i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, booting from a 2TB SATA SSD in MBR mode, mains powered:

Time from pressing power button to BIOS password screen: 9 seconds
Time from BIOS password screen to BIBM boot screen: 10 seconds
Time from BIBM boot screen to Windows 10 logon screen: 12 seconds

-- from CyberSimian in the UK
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby DrTeeth » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:49 pm

On Mon, 7 Jan 2019 10:11:35 PST, just as I was about to take a herb,
Gary Seven disturbed my reverie and wrote:

> So now I just don't know what the hell to do

I will be getting a regular 2½" SATA drive. I have used a SATA SSD in
the past and the increase in performance was great.

What is a concern is that none of this stuff was mentioned in my
motherboard manual. I used to buy Asus, but they lost me as a
customer. My current motherboard is a Gigabyte Z390 offering and the
support is miles better than Asus'!
--
Cheers,

DrT

** Amateurs built the Ark, but professionals built the Titanic.**
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:57 am

TeraByte Support(PP) wrote:
> One of my systems has both BIU and BIBM installed. BIBM sees the NVMe
> drives (M.2 and PCIe) as does Linux Mint booted in Legacy (MBR) mode from
> BIBM. It may vary from system to system, but I think most current operating
> systems should see the drives okay as non-booting/data drives (assuming
> appropriate drivers are installed, if necessary).

Ok, thank you for that.
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:02 am

TeraByte Support wrote:
> That's not true, that's just the effects of marketing. The truth is that
> it may or may not be, it all depends on how the BIOS interface to the device
> is implemented and how much data is read.
>
[snipped for brevity]
This sounds like David posting here. Thank you for taking the time to post that explanation. I understood about 80% but I get 100% of what you're trying to say. Maybe I'm just making a big deal out of this and worrying about nothing. Guess I won't know until I have the hardware in my hands later this month for the build (see other post below).
G7


> "Gary Seven" wrote in message news:16226@public.bootitbm...
>
> they said it's better and boots faster than legacy
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:04 am

CyberSimian wrote:
> Some points:

Hey CyberSim. See replies spliced in below.

> (1) Do you think that you will want to update the motherboard BIOS at any
> time in the future? If the answer is "yes", will the motherboard
> manufacturer's BIOS-update tool work in MBR mode, or does it require
> Windows 10 working in UEFI mode?

I'm doing a standard "vanilla" new desktop build using modern components. Motherboard will be an Asus Crosshair VII x470 with 32GB RAM and AMD Ryzen 2700. This particular board is rather easy to update, even included a feature to plug in a USB pendrive into the back and update that way...no OS involvement. Originally wanted to use a Samsung 970 1TB NVMe SSD as the primary boot drive which would hold my BING boot/partition manager, plus my Linux Mint OS (primary driver). As in my OP, also wanted to mount other SATA SSD's to handle a WIN10 install (get's it's own, dedicated ssd) and then another SATA ssd which would be solely dedicated to experimenting with multiple Linux distros. Will also have one old style HDD (1 or 2 TB) for other file storage.

> Example: the tool for Lenovo works only on Windows 10 in UEFI mode. This
> is very annoying for Linux users (they have to install Windows 10 in
> another partition), and for MBR users (they have to have a separate disk
> with a GPT partition containing Windows 10 booting in UEFI mode).

That's extremely useful information as I have a couple of 2-3 year old Lenovos lying around the house here that my kids were using. Was thinking about trying to convert one of them to Linux for my own use. But now...?

> (2) M.2 slots can be either SATA, PCI-E, or both. If a PCI-E M.2 SSD does
> not boot in MBR mode, a SATA M.2 SSD might boot successfully in MBR mode.
> I have not tried this, so this is just a suggestion. But it might be worth
> checking the capabilities of the M.2 slot in your motherboard.

I'm aware of this. The Crosshair VII has two M.2's, one dedicated solely to NVMe but unfortunately shares PCIe lanes with the GPU, and another which will work NVMe or SATA but doesn't share with GPU. I only plan to populate that one M.2 NVMe and leave the rest of my storage requirements to SATA ssd's. Truth is my heart was set on PCIe because it's freakin SO MUCH faster then SATA. I guess I will only find out about my BIOS and boot concerns when I sit down and put the thing together later this month. Should be interesting.

> (3) PCI-E M.2 SSDs require an additional driver. Windows 10 already
> includes this driver, but Windows 7 does not. The manufacturer of the SSD
> should provide a driver for Windows 7. Samsung do, but check other SSD
> manufacturers if Windows 7 support is important to you.

As I previously mentioned I am indeed using the Samsung brand for both my M.2 and 2.5" SATA needs. Windows 7 is near EOL and no need to install it now that I discovered I can run a critical program I need under a VM in Linux. I do need to install Win10 however just to handle a few esoteric programs and a game or two that (AFAICT) won't run on Linux (but hopefully that will change this year!).

> (4) Some timings for an Intel i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, booting from a 2TB SATA
> SSD in MBR mode, mains powered:
>
> Time from pressing power button to BIOS password screen: 9 seconds
> Time from BIOS password screen to BIBM boot screen: 10 seconds
> Time from BIBM boot screen to Windows 10 logon screen: 12 seconds

Heh heh, that's about what I get on my current system I built way back in 2011: Intel i7 Sandy Bridge, 2600k on some old MSI Z68A-GD65 board with 16GB ram. But now I've got a cap or two starting to fail and a warp core explosion is imminent, Captain! ;-)
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:15 am

DrTeeth wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Jan 2019 10:11:35 PST, just as I was about to take a herb,
> Gary Seven disturbed my reverie and wrote:
>
> > So now I just don't know what the hell to do
>
> I will be getting a regular 2½" SATA drive. I have used a SATA SSD in the past and the increase in performance was great.

I hear you. Been using SSD as my boot/OS drive since way back when I paid upwards of 300€ for an Intel 520 (120GB). My oh my have things changed! I wanted to do my new build with NVMe SSD as my primary boot drive because the technology is at least an order of magnitude faster than SATA. So I will just have to see what happens when I sit down to do my build at the end of the month.
>
> What is a concern is that none of this stuff was mentioned in my motherboard manual. I used to buy Asus, but they lost me as a customer. My current motherboard is a Gigabyte Z390 offering and the support is miles better than Asus'!

Mine is a little unclear as well. I'm just the opposite of you on motherboards: had so many problems with Gigabyte models (and BIOS's) over the years when I was building for friends and family I finally swore them off. I've only used Asus once or twice, but am buying the Crosshair VII x470 SPECIFICALLY for it's overspeced VRM's. I need a board that will last years and for some reason Asus just overkilled the quality of the chokes, VRM's, caps, mosfets etc. Plus the I/O on the back is outstanding. But now you spooked me! :(
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby Gary Seven » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:23 am

DrTeeth wrote:
<snip>
> I have just had built a new PC (i7> 9900K and Z390) and am using Win 10, Win 8.1 (with hack to re-enable windows updates that were disabled when a new CPU type is detected,
> and about 8 Distros on one hard drive. They are all in primary partitions and the drives are MBR.

DrTeeth, could you elaborate on the eight or so distros you say you installed to one drive? Assuming they were all installed with Grub2, did you just make eight separate distro partitions, installing the grub/distro to each one, and then have eight corresponding boot items? Or did you create one "master" /boot partition which each distro "installed" grub2 into, and then separate root (/) and home (/home) partitions for each distro? Thank you!
G7
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Re: Looking for guidance using BIU with mult Windows and Lin

Postby DrTeeth » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:18 pm

On Sun, 13 Jan 2019 05:23:28 PST, just as I was about to take a herb,
Gary Seven disturbed my reverie and wrote:

>DrTeeth, could you elaborate on the eight or so distros you say you installed to one drive? Assuming they were all installed with Grub2, did you just make eight separate distro partitions, installing the grub/distro to each one, and then have eight corresponding boot items?

That is how I did it. Each in its own primary partition with grub
installed in the partition. I also use the same swap partition for all
the distros. The only distro that *forces* you to make a new swap
partition is Debian, which I do not use anyway.

Got my new SSD sitting here. Been to busy to install it. I also
purchased a SATA to USB3 converter which should make things easier,
plus it is a useful bit of kit to have around.

A useful place to go for updated, and usually beta drivers is
https://www.station-drivers.com/index.php?lang=en.
--
Cheers

DrT
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