Managing all of: BIOS => UEFI; SSD upgrade; Windows upgrade; dual-boot

I am running Win7 and Win8.1 in a dual-boot configuration.  Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 motherboard which I'd like to upgrade to UEFI [U1C(UEFI BIOS)].  First drive is SSD (OCZ Agility 3 64Gb) with Win7; Win8.1 is on HDD (Western Digital, 2Tb; partitioned for Win8.1 boot 500Gb, remainder for Win7 data).  I plan to replace the OCZ SSD with a Samsung 250Gb SSD (850 EVO).

Once all that is done I would upgrade the Win8.1 to Win10.

What's needed to manage the UEFI upgrade where I have two bootable Windows disks?  (Can the existing dual-boot setup be preserved or will it need to be replaced?)

I assume both disks would have to be reformatted. etc.

Thanks.
phl6halAsked:
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rindiCommented:
What do you mean with "Upgrading to UEFI"? Your board already supports UEFI, so there is nothing to upgrade.
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phl6halAuthor Commented:
I mean flashing the BIOS.  Still using pre-UEFI BIOS version.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Only the first disk in the boot order has the boot (bcd) entries.  Changing your bios to UEFI via an upgrade will probably reset the bios to default values and you will have to configure your boot order again.
Clone your small SSD to the larger SSD with all probability you will have to fix the startup since the disk id (guid) will have changed.  so boot from your recovery media. go to a command prompt
first run 'diskpart' from diskpart do a 'list vol' make note of the current drive letters. Don't worry about the fact that they are different than from within the O/S.  Type exit to exit diskpart.
Optional: from bcdedit you can remove the existing boot entries bcdedit to get the boot entries copy the ID and do a bcdedit /delete {id} for both entries  end of optional (you can use msconfig to fix this)
bcdboot x:\windows  (remember from diskpart list vol the exact drive letter) for 2nd entry) and again bcdboot Y:\windows
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phl6halAuthor Commented:
Many thanks.  Sounds good!  I shall report shortly.
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nobusCommented:
i would use the migrate os to ssd from paragon, to put the win8.1 on the new SSD drive -  then upgrade to win 10 : https://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/migrate-OS-to-SSD/
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
If you are going to use UEFI then you have the only way to go - reinstall both Windows from scratch. If you have now MBR HDD with two Windows OS on it and plan to have an UEFI BIOS (with UEFI enabled) then these systems will not boot as soon as you turn UEFI on. The ways Windows boot is organized on Legacy BIOS and UEFI is different.
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rindiCommented:
Flashing the BIOS doesn't change anything with your installation. You can still boot normally. You probably just have to make sure you are using the correct settings in the BIOS, so you aren't forcing it to only boot UEFI OS's, and that Secureboot is set to "off". Look for settings like "CSM" in the BIOS, and if your OS's don't boot anymore after the upgrade, play around with those settings.

UEFI BIOS's can still be set to normal mode.

There is no advantage to set the system to boot to UEFI mode, except that you can boot to disks larger than 2TB. But your SSD's of 250 and 500 GB are way below 2TB, so there is no reason to change them to GPT disks.
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phl6halAuthor Commented:
> UEFI BIOS's can still be set to normal mode.

Thanks...I did understand about the large boot disk, was not sure if there were any other advantages.  I thought it wise (all the same) to be using the latest version of the motherboard firmware (even tho' Gigabyte has left it as a 'beta' for two years now).

Just to be sure I have got your point: I can update the BIOS, then go in and check it's using normal/legacy settings, and carry on as if nothing had happened down there?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Just to be sure I have got your point: I can update the BIOS, then go in and check it's using normal/legacy settings, and carry on as if nothing had happened down there?
Correct. You will notice it even without going to BIOS. If your system after BIOS update fails to start then first thing to check if the BIOS has UEFI enabled.
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nobusCommented:
any reason for the bios update?  if not - just leave it as is
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phl6halAuthor Commented:
> any reason for the bios update?

OK...when I look at Gigabyte's declared changes:

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3855#bios

they mention only providing UEFI as the change in the most recent update.  But as with OS updates, may they not have bundled other changes that improve performance even if legacy settings are used?
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rindiCommented:
It depends from what version you are upgrading. If you currently have F10 installed, then it appears that only UEFI is added. but if you are currently using an older version than F10, the other fixes/options that were included up to F10 will also be added.

But the new UEFI version also says "BETA", so I'd suggest waiting until the BETA is removed.

If you read the bottom of the page it also says that you can brick your board if the upgrade fails. I don't know whether that is just a general disclaimer, or whether it actually applies to your board. Many modern mainboards have a 2nd BIOS chip onboard from which you can do a recovery from if a BIOS upgrade fails. But I don't know whether your board has that. If it does that should be explained somewhere in the manual. So before upgrading go through the manual, and if it does have such a BIOS fallback option included, it is safe to upgrade.
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phl6halAuthor Commented:
> I don't know whether your board has that

Apparently it does.  From the motherboard description:

Featuring 2 physical BIOS ROMs integrated onboard, GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ allows quick and seamless recovery from BIOS damage or failure due to viruses or improper BIOS updating.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
In theory yes. What happens in practice? :)
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phl6halAuthor Commented:
>  What happens in practice? :)

(a) yes a necessary question!
(b) I am not about to test it, indeed I'm not sure how I could (first corrupt BIOS 1...)
(c) such discussion as I could find suggests that there were problems with this facility c. 2009 but I could not pick up seriously recent complaints.  But also I imagine it's little used in practice, and if it works as advertised users might not even know (as it's supposed to operate automatically).

I'm going to close this thread now.  All responses have been helpful.  

I have previously done two successful BIOS upgrades (on this motherboard) but today I came across advice from Gigabyte to the effect that even they advise leaving things alone unless they are broken (because of the bricking risk).

As far as I can tell the only (theoretical) advantage to me of UEFI would be Windows Secure Boot (following OS upgrade) but the downside to that is that installing multiple-boot with non-Windows OSs is trickier and I'd like to keep that door open.
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phl6halAuthor Commented:
Many helpful responses here.
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