Windows 8 Disables BIOS Access

I installed Windows 8 Developers Preview on my Toshiba Satellite L355-S7905 laptop by itself on a clean install. Windows 8 blocked access to my BIOS. This also means that I cannot boot my system from the DVD drive or any other external source.  Pressing the F12 key to access the boot drive selection menu did nothing.

I removed the Windows 8 hard drive and rebooted. Still no BIOS access. My system displayed the customary error message. I rebooted again. Access to the BIOS has now been restored.

Microsoft has intentionally embedded code into Windows 8 to block users from installing or booting a Linux or other operating system disk.

This is not FUD.  This is fact.

I’m done with Windows 8.


15 Responses to “Windows 8 Disables BIOS Access”

  1. bullet Says:

    i have the same problem… pease help me…

    • The Doctor Says:

      Disconnect the hard drive and reboot. You will receive an error message. You may need to reboot several times to restore BIOS access. Never use Windows 8 again.

  2. Joshua Says:

    Just power off and power on a few times, it’ll think your windows installation is broken and give you the option to go into bios. You never should put windows 8 on a computer, ever. Windows 7 is and might just be the only half-decent OS they have produced.

    • The Doctor Says:

      I ran with Win 8 installed for about a month. Turning it on and off several dozen times did nothing to change the blockade of the BIOS.

      I even demonstrated the problem to my local Linux users groups and they were stumped. And these are guys who work on computers for a living. But as noted above, this problem may be only the result of using a specific laptop. We never attempted to recreate the situation on another system, although I have read of similar occurrences on various forums.

      I absolutely agree with your recommendation of Win 7. It’s a much better choice right now if you must use Windows.

      Microsoft recently extended the the sales cut-off date for Win 7:

      Microsoft Removes Retailer Deadline to Stop Selling Windows 7 PCs

      Win 7 is scheduled to reach its End of Life (EOF) in April of 2020.

      See also:
      Tech Note: How To Install Linux On A Laptop With UEFI

    • Free-Will Says:

      The only real and sensible solution is to allow the end-users to turn the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) secure boot off.

      Let us decide for ourselves whether we want the added security or not. They need to stop cramming this crap down the throats of consumers under the guise of enhanced security. We are the ones paying good money for this new hardware and we should be the ones in control of it, not the other way around.

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    • Ryan Says:

      I am not sure why they see this is a good idea. I have an Asus notebook that uses optimus (dual video cards) and I couldn’t even access the BIOS to enable it for windows.

      Security? this would prevent someone from taking your computer and trying to load a different operating system. Is that what they are securing that doesn’t happen?

      • The Doctor Says:

        The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, as it is now called, was implemented as a counter-measure to the threat of BIOS infections by a new class of computer firmware rootkit viruses.

        It’s an attempt to keep these viruses from infecting the BIOS by blocking access to key firmware systems. It does this so well, however, that even the user can be blocked from accessing their own computer. It would be the equivalent of Homeland Security checking you in and out of your own home.

        In our quest to be secure, we are surrendering our liberties. And that’s just plain wrong.

    • ranmakei Says:

      This is called Secure Boot and prevents unauthorized access or tampering with the computers BIOS while you have a Windows installed hard drive in your system (just like a password encrypted harddrive, only better). I have run into a similar issue as you but the fix is usually restarting several times. Its not so much as a problem with Secure Boot (unless the OEM forces it on somehow) since it is not enabled until after the windows setup is complete. What you are are experiencing is probaly not Secure Boot, but the BIOS booting directly to the OS and the OS rebooting (you can look up more info on the UEFI specification for system states that will explain how the reboots are different in UEFI aware OS’). Essentially being stuck in a loop.

      If you can’t disable secure boot in your BIOS before installing windows, then you should get mad at your OEM.

      • The Doctor Says:

        No. This is called “hijacking my computer without my permission.”

        I think you missed one key element. My BIOS and hardware is not UEFI enabled. The laptop pre-dates the implementation of such security measures. There is no secure boot in the BIOS. And yet Windows 8 was still able to block access to the BIOS.

        That’s not a hardware issue. It’s all being done by software (Win 8).

        But to easy your mind, I don’t run Windows. The laptop in question is now loaded with Linux Mint 13 and I have full access into the BIOS. Thank you for your concern.

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