Every time you turn on your computer, you are sometimes greeted by a screen that displays the manufacturer’s information. This is called the BIOS, and there are two main types; Legacy BIOS and UEFI. Older motherboards have legacy BIOS firmware while modern computers come with UEFI BIOS.

It’s possible to completely replace the BIOS on your computer, but do so with caution: if you don’t know what you’re doing, it could cause irreversible damage. We’ve put together this guide to help you upgrade from legacy BIOS to UEFI. let’s get started!

Why Should You Convert Legacy BIOS to UEFI?

Whenever you turn on your computer, you are actually activating the BIOS, which loads the rest of your computer’s hardware. A computer’s BIOS determines how the PC will start up, which drives it will boot from, and how it will perform basic functions.

Additionally, it is used to identify and configure items such as hard drives, floppy drives, optical drives, CPUs, memory, and other equipment in a computer.

Older computers come with a legacy BIOS, which manages data flow between your operating system and connected devices. However, it has some limitations. For example, it can’t recognize drives larger than 2.1TB, and the setup program is text-only.

On the other hand, modern PCs come with UEFI BIOS, which is widely customizable and does the same job better. UEFI can support drives of 2.2TB or more thanks to the use of GUID Partition Tables (GPT) instead of the older Master Boot Record (MBR). UEFI stores all information about initialization and startup in an EFI file called .efi, which resides on the EFI system partition called ESP. The ESP partition also contains a boot loader program for the operating system installed on the computer.

Additionally, UEFI is more secure than legacy BIOS. The Secure Boot feature of UEFI ensures that only approved operating systems can be installed on your computer. However, UEFI can still be vulnerable to some security attacks.

How to Check If You’re Using a Legacy BIOS

In the Disk Management tool, right-click the Windows installation disk (Disk 0) and select Properties from the context menu.

Your Windows version must be Windows 10 v1703 or higher. If you don’t know which operating system version you’re on, press the Win + R keys on your keyboard simultaneously. Type winver in the text field of the dialog box and press Enter. In the About Windows box, you should see your current Windows version.

Your target disk should not have more than three partitions. If more than three partitions exist on the Windows 10 installation drive, you can merge or delete them.

BitLocker does not allow Windows to convert your drive from legacy BIOS to UEFI. This is why we suggest disabling or suspending BitLocker before you proceed, if you’re using it.

Once the conversion process is complete, you may need to change your firmware settings from legacy BIOS to UEFI. Since the process for switching from one to the other will vary depending on your motherboard manufacturer, make sure you have your manual with you.

You will not lose your data during the conversion process. However, we recommend that you back up your data to be safe.

This command should validate the target disk. If the verification completed successfully message is displayed, continue with the next step. If an error is displayed, it means that the disk or system may not have the capacity to handle the conversion.

Windows should now begin the conversion process. Wait patiently for the process to complete and then reboot your PC.

Upon rebooting, launch the firmware settings screen for your motherboard and switch it from legacy BIOS to UEFI. Since the steps for this vary depending on your motherboard, consult your manual for the exact procedure.

Once done, verify if you have converted from legacy BIOS to UEFI by following the steps we mentioned above.

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