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Old January 9th, 2013, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bios is out, how to boot into UEFI

I am thinking about getting a lower spec windows 8 laptop, mostly to install linux on and one hurdle is the secure boot. Since most of these machines use the UEFI (I assume, because f2, f10, f12 will not load a bios) so this means to load linux I will need to check to see if it it using secure boot and if so, see if it can be turned off and to do that, I need to boot into the UEFI settings. Preferably on the store model so I can see if it can be done before I buy the device. I hate making returns and I am sure the store employees will be unable to answer this question.

If not, the very least would be to run a live USB stick with linux on it.

Anyone know how to get into the UEFI to check if secure boot is enabled or if it can be turned off?

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Old January 9th, 2013, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure that MS and PC manufacturers haven't implemented it, or at least it can always be turned off. Can imagine the uproar about it, if PCs were nobbled so that they could only boot Windows 8 and nothing else.

If it did happen, you can bet your bottom dollar that the FTC, the EU, etc would be onto MS like a ton of bricks.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure that MS and PC manufacturers haven't implemented it, or at least it can always be turned off. Can imagine the uproar about it, if PCs were nobbled so that they could only boot Windows 8 and nothing else.
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If it did happen, you can bet your bottom dollar that the FTC, the EU, etc would be onto MS like a ton of bricks.


We knew something like this would or could happen. It has been all over the web and it sounds like the OP likely knew there could be a problem before he bought the computer.

Not sure that MS is breaking any laws or rules that would concern the FTC and/or the EU. About the only thing I can think of is this: if every new PC is "locked" and the only OS you can run is Windows, this means you must take what they give you and some could argue that is not fair. Reminds me of Apple.

Manufacturers might not have any choice, either. They either dance to Microsoft's tunes or they will not be able to offer Windows, period. There might be a case there. This might be considered unfair because these days, it can be argued that you likely need a computer. Not sure if it applies but I do not know if it does not apply, either.

If your new PC works as intended, can you really go after MS or Dell or Gateway for not creating a way to use the machine in ways it was not designed to be used? I say no. You bought a machine that does what it is supposed to do and if you wanted Linux, you can buy a Linux machine ready to go. No manufacturer (or MS for that matter) should be sued because they did not make it possible to install Linux.

It is possible for MS and computer manufacturers to get sued in this day and age, I suppose. Not sure it is a good idea to go after MS for something like this.

That said, if all new computers are "nobbled" there might be a case against MS, but should there be a case against the manufacturer as well? Perhaps the best thing to do is make your displeasure known. Tell Gateway or Dell to pound sand . . . you are going Apple.

Then enjoy joust one more hobbled piece of technology that also offers you zero choices.

The iPad and Android tablets will not let you install other operating systems like Linux and as far as Apple is concerned, you have almost no choices for customizing or installing the apps you want to install from sources other than Apple. Unless you JB, which most people will never do.

Locked systems from Gateway, Dell and Microsoft . . . welcome to Apple.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 03:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks like I'll be building my own systems for a long time to come. I don't mind buying a PC with a copy of Windows pre-installed, but I draw the line at Windows-locked motherboards.

UEFI is a bit like IPv6 in that there's a lot of talk about it, and very little visible implementation. None of my newer PCs have EFI or UEFI.

Many Linux distribution maintainers have said that they are working on bootloaders that will work with the Windows (in)security key. So it may end up being a non-issue. Companies like Dell that make large profits on data center class machines (that often run Linux) aren't likely to just walk away from half or more of their income base just to appease Microsoft. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds though.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Currently there should be an option for 'UEFI BOOT' and 'Legacy Boot' You just want to enable the lecgacy boot option and you're good to go (Worked on my HP laptop, now dual booting with linux).
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Old January 10th, 2013, 01:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Actually, you CAN run other OSes on Apple hardware. In fact, you can just opt to not use OS X all the way. Heck, you can even run Android on a MAC! Linux too, but you need a VM to do the last two.

You can install Linux on your android devices (some of them)
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Old January 10th, 2013, 10:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My theory is most users will not care because they will for always be Windows or Mac types and installing an alternative OS is not something most users will likely do.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 11:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You can install Linux on your android devices (some of them)
Even better, Android comes with Linux already.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 12:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My theory is most users will not care because they will for always be Windows or Mac types and installing an alternative OS is not something most users will likely do.
Yeah. I figure most people buying off the shelf computers are going to use them pretty much "as is"
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Old January 16th, 2013, 12:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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my Toshiba was initially a EFI-equipped 'safe boot' Windows 8 PC. it's now an all Ubuntu PC. it was a PAIN to ditch all that crap to get the live CD to boot but i found a trick online. when in Win8, go to the 'charm bar' as it is called, click 'settings' (gear on bottom) and where it says 'power', hold down your shift key, and while holding click 'power' and 'restart'. keep holding shift until you see a screen of choices, and click on the second option on the left side, it mentions something about booting a DVD, USB stick on it. it will reboot the machine. but the BIOS trick is the hard part. depending on the manufacturer it could be any number of the F keys or the delete button. i just randomly hit all of them and then a boot menu with the last option being edit system settings popped up. that got me into the BIOS, where i easily disabled both safe boot and EFI boot. when in the Ubuntu installer, i found out the EFI isn't the BIOS, but a separate hard disk partition with the volume label being EFI. blew all of them away and it was easy after that.
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