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Old 11-27-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
serpretetsky
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Default Questionare: windows 8 advanced startup , secure boot , uefi

I'm a computer tech, and I've recently been very confused by new computers. I was hoping the anandtech crowd could help me. I want everyone who is using windows 8 to reply to these questions. If you can't answer the question, just put a quick reason why ("too lazy" is good enough for me, i wont judge you ), DO NOT LEAVE QUESTIONS BLANK UNLESS THEY DONT APPLY TO YOU. I'm trying to gauge how to do general repairs in windows 8, and how differrent manufacturers have integrated with windows 8. I tried to researching these questions but the answers aren't as specific as i want them to be. I would do this research myself but i dont have enought time or computers unfortunetly.

After each question i put a comment as to why i'm asking the question in case you think you know something i don't and that my question is stupid.

Thank you in advance.

1) Did you install/upgrade windows 8 yourself, or did you buy a device with windows8 already preloaded. If it was preloaded which manufacturer and is it a laptop, desktop, all in one?
//I need to know if there's any functional difference in boot between the two, probably related to secure boot.

2) Can you interrupt regular windows 8 boot and get to advanced options using any key combination during boot (I believe shift-f8 should do something, although if you have a windows8 preloaded device you might be out of luck), or can you only get to windows 8 advanced options via the general settings once you've loaded windows 8?
//I need to know the easiest ways to get into safe mode in windows 8. I'm also not sure if there is a difference here between a computer with uefi and secureboot vs other machines.



The rest of the questions are only for people who have bought a computer with win8 preloaded on it

DO NOT ANSWER THESE QUESTIONs IF YOU DO NOT HAVE WINDOWS 8 PRELOADED FROM FACTORY.

3) If you had windows 8 preloaded when you bought your computer, can you boot into any windows xp pe, linux, unix, or any OS other than win8, win7, and vista without changing any firmware settings? Live usb drives and live cd's is fine for this. (if you can't find a boot menu, just load into windows 8, goto the settings, goto general, and click "restart now" under "advanced startup", you will get an option to boot from foreign media after restart.)
// I need to know if by default the preloaded machines are setup with secure boot, and if they by default will not boot to any weird OS no matter what you do. Even if you manually select it as a boot device.

4) If you had windows 8 preloaded when you bought your computer, are you able to interrupt the POST sequence with ANY key combination to get to your UEFI firmware (what used to be the BIOS) or do you have to load into windows 8 and go to general settings -> advanced startup.
// I need to know if most of the machines out there have a quick way of getting to the firmware uefi. I failed to get into a sony laptop's uefi screen without first booting into windows 8.

5) If you had windows 8 preloaded when you bought your computer, and if you failed to boot anything in part 3), can you get into your UEFI firmware and disable secure boot, and now attempt to boot the foreign OS? (if you can't find a boot menu or firmware, just load into windows 8, goto the settings, goto general, and click "restart now" under "advanced startup", you will get an option to boot from foreign media or go into your firmware after restart.) You might also need to disable UEFI boot in the firmware and enable legacy boot. Does windows 8 still boot the same?
// I want to make sure it's a simple fix to boot from a different device and that windows 8 still boots the same.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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2) You can try, but the handover is so quick on newer systems that you'll almost never catch it. Your best bet is to do a shift-restart, which will have Windows boot into the boot options menu. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2...er-before.aspx
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
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1) I did a fresh install on my desktop when I got a larger SSD, replacing Win7. I also got an MS Surface from my boss

2) you can get to the advanced menu on bootup (don't remember the key sequence at the moment, just did it at work a few hours ago)

3, 4 and 5 don't apply for me, as the Surface is WinRT, and thus pretty locked down and not x86 OS compatible.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RU482 View Post

2) you can get to the advanced menu on bootup (don't remember the key sequence at the moment, just did it at work a few hours ago)
.
did you by any chance remember what the key combination is? I can't find it anywhere online. shift-f8 seems to automatically bring you to auto-repair. Although other sources seems to say it gets you to safe-mode. I'm not sure why there is an inconsistency.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:38 PM   #5
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1) I have done a clean install on an Asus G73 laptop that originally ran Windows 7 Ultimate. All partitions were deleted and created and formatted fresh during the install.

2) Have been trying to find the answer to this myself. My computer seems to randomly open some kind of startup repair by repeatadly pressing F8 during boot. This presents a list of different options like refresh PC, advanced startup (which safe mode is then chosen), etc. When arriving at the safe mode selection screen, you are presented with a numbered list of different options like boot logging, safe mode, disable signed drivers or something, etc. The problem is that it doesn't always work... Sometimes I get the automatic repair interface and others it just ignores my key presses all together and continues with the system boot? Strange...
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:37 AM   #6
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I have done a little more research regarding question 2.

I have found the trick to getting to the Startup Options menu (in which safe mode can be selected) is to hold down the SHIFT key and keep on pressing F8. I have yet to not be able to enter the menu selection with this method.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:37 AM   #7
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We bought some laptops with Win8 which required Server 2008 R2 on them and I was able to get into the firmware, disable secure boot (or more aptly leave it enabled but allow booting from other devices) and install Server 2008 R2. However, it was a PITA to find the right combination of settings and wasn't consistent in that sometimes my USB stick would be in the boot menu and sometimes not and I didn't have time to find any rhyme or reason to it.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:59 AM   #8
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thx guys, keep the info flowing. I tried shift-f8 on some of the laptops and i thought it just kept bring me to automatic repair, i'll try it again.
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