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.