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SBS 2011 - UEFI or Legacy BIOS?

Posted on 2013-05-23
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Doing a new SBS 2011 install for a client. Last one was about 6 months ago and I recall having problems with UEFI (backups, restores, etc.) so went with legacy BIOS mode.

Their new Dell T620 came set in UEFI mode. Thinking of blowing it away and reinstalling in Legacy BIOS mode.

My goal is STABILITY and RELIABLE backups / restores.

The question is - what, if any, benefits are there to using UEFI on an SBS 2011 Server? To me it just seems to complicate things, but maybe I'm missing something. Once the BIOS hands off to the OS, it's out of the way - unless UEFI brings some big benefit to the party - why bother?

What's your opinion - UEFI or Legacy BIOS? And why?
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Question by:scion111
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by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 500 total points
ID: 39193030
SBS 2011 Standard should be installed on a RAID array.

As a rule we set up an array at 120GB + 5GB/User that will connect to the system. This will allow room for the OS and its suite of server products to grow over the life of the server.

We then set up a partition of RAM * 1.5 for the swap file.

We then set up a primary partition consisting of the balance of the available space for all working data on the server (we use the MOVE wizards to accomplish this).

Specifically: BIOS is the way to go.

Delete any array/logical disk that may have come from the factory.

Start fresh with one RAID 6 (6-8 disks or more) array with one Logical Disk (if under 2TB for total storage).

If total storage for the RAID array is over 2TB then configure the following:

Logical Disk 0 (BOOT): 120GB + 5GB per user on the system (lifetime)
Logical Disk 1 (DATA): Balance of array

Then boot to your SBS 2011 Standard USB flash drive and set your OS to install on LD0. You can use an Answer File (generator is in TOOLS on DVD) and drop the file on the USB flash drive to speed things up.

Dell/HP/IBM prep disk can be run to prep the setup with drivers but preferably NOT the RAID setup as OEM partitions can break the built-in backup.

We have an excellent SBS Setup Guide here: http://bit.ly/p3YbXO

Philip

Philip
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Author Comment

by:scion111
ID: 39194252
Philip, you mention that "BIOS is the way to go". I assume you mean Legacy BIOS and not UEFI?
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LVL 38

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Philip Elder earned 500 total points
ID: 39195500
Yes. Many backup systems today are not ready for UEFI setups.

Philip
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Author Closing Comment

by:scion111
ID: 39195923
Thanks to Philip. Will totally redo the RAID 10 array at my client and do a fresh install of SBS 2011 using legacy BIOS. I don't see any added value to UEFI BIOS at this point - only potential problems - especially when it comes to backup and restore.
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