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I have not yet owned a computer with UEFI support. From unreliable source I heard that Windows 8 may boot by BIOS.

However I conducted an experiment on a friend's PC, I turned UEFI off and Windows 8 did not boot.

Does it mean Windows 8 has to boot by UEFI?

Thank you!

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Windows 8 must be installed on a computer using BIOS rather than UEFI for it to be able to boot from BIOS. Moving from one to the other without a reinstall will not work. – Mokubai Mar 26 '13 at 22:43
It's actually possible to switch from BIOS to EFI booting; see… for details (ignore the stuff about DUET). Doing the opposite is presumably also possible, but I don't have a URL handy with instructions. As a practical matter, re-installing may be easier, especially for novices. – Rod Smith Mar 27 '13 at 16:38
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, Windows 8 will boot using BIOS. (Source: I am running Windows 8 on a motherboard that does not have UEFI capabilities.)

If Windows 8 was installed using UEFI, it may only boot using UEFI (though, I can not guarantee the accuracy of this).

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Ditto. +1 (extra characters to make this allowed). – nerdwaller Mar 26 '13 at 22:04
I see, so the laptop did not boot because Windows 8 was pre-installed when UEFI was enabled. Thank you. – Howard Mar 27 '13 at 0:14

Yes of course it can be installed on non-UEFI systems, as long as all requirements are met. It would be silly of Microsoft if they relied on only new PC buyers or those with UEFI-based systems to drive sales of their latest OS. Only the Secure Boot feature and booting from GPT partitioned disks requires UEFI (well technically GPT booting doesn't require UEFI, but 32-bit versions of Windows simply don't support it).

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