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UEFI Bios Settings for Windows 8


robert99

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#1
Hello,

I am really confused on what settings are required in the UEFI Bios to run recovery USB/ disks or Linux live CDs.
It all used to be so simple. The manufacturer helpdesk seems unaware that it supplies UEFI systems - so I am working blind. Have tried boot CDs and USBs but all have booted straight into Windows to date.
Perhaps there is a basic guide but I have not found one yet.
I don't wish to change settings I have no understanding of.

I have a Medion /Lenovo desktop with an AMI UEFI Bios (12 July 2012) and Aptio Setup.

The following seem relevant are supplied as enabled in "Bios":

Intel Rapid Startup Technology
Quiet Boot
Boot Select Mode [UEFI]
UEFI Hard Disk BBS Priorities - Boot Option #1 - Windows Boot Manager
Secure Boot - Secure Boot Mode [Standard]

What do these all mean and what effect do they have on how Windows 8 runs and how boot drives run?
 

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    Win 8

theog

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#2
To boot a DVD/CD/USB drive, the bootable software DVD/CD/USB disc need have full supports Windows 8, UEFI, GPT & Secure Boot & signed by Microsoft.

Boot the disc in UEFI mode from the One Time Boot Menu, check your manual for the F? key.

Windows 8 Downgrade-005 SB.PNG


Windows 8 Downgrade-006 SB for posting.PNG
 

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robert99

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#3
Unfortunately, my computer does not have a One Time Boot option.

I can get to the BIOS setup using F8 key, but that is it.

I presume I will have to set the BIOS manually in order to boot a USB / disk and that was what my question was asking about.

A live Linux distro signed by Microsoft?
 

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    Win 8

SIW2

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#4
General principle


  • Use a 64bit disk of Ubuntu
  • Support for EFI secureboot appeared in 12.10 ans 12.04.2
  • Set up your firmware (BIOS) to boot the disk in UEFI mode
 

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robert99

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#5
Thank you.

I have created a 64bit UEFI version of Ubuntu (Linux Secure Remix) as per their instructions below and created a bootable USB.
As my original post, Boot Select Mode is set to UEFI.

Unfortunately it only booted straight into Windows.

Is there any source to explain what all these AMI Bios settings do?

It seems to possibly be a case if the OEM has not built particular allowed Microsoft UEFI Signature keys into the BIOS then it is a matter of trial and error of what might work on one computer model and not on another - even with the same basic BIOS.

Ubuntu website instructions:
"Create a LiveDVD or LiveUSB
of Linux-Secure-Remix 64bit or of Ubuntu (>=12.04.2) 64bit.

The former is more convenient, as it already includes Boot-Repair"
 

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Coke Robot

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#6
Ok, I'll take a stab. :)

Intel Rapid Startup Technology is I believe equivalent to Fast Boot, meaning the POST startup of your PC is quicker obviously. Certain tests (not sure which ones) are skipped. This is ok to leave enabled.

Quite Boot just shows the OEM logo over the DOS like looking thing. Not too sure how it would look on a Windows 8 PC, as I've never changed it to the other option.

Boot Select Mode (UEFI) is how your PC boots, UEFI with GPT hard drive partitioning over BIOS with MBR hard drive partitioning. UEFI should stay enabled.

The boot priority of UEFI with the Windows Boot Manager is the new feature of Windows 8 (and UEFI PCs as well) where Windows can actually interact with the PC's firmware, where as before, the BIOS and Windows were two separate entities that didn't really interact with each other. Due to the very quick boot nature of UEFI as well as Windows 8, there isn't the F8 advanced boot mode settings like in 7 with an older BIOS based PC. For example, if you go to PC Settings, General, and Advanced Startup, you have an option to restart to the PC firmware settings. Windows manages that hand off, it interacts with the UEFI firmware to show that screen. With UEFI and Windows, those settings are there to unify things like that. If you do that with a BIOS based PC and hit the boot to firmware settings, it would just restart normally.

Secure Boot here is the more controversial thing with new Windows 8 PCs, as it's a requirement. This is here to prevent malware from being able to be passed onto Windows during boot, or if you have a USB drive plugged in, the UEFI firmware with Secure Boot will prevent that drive from being booted to as to prevent malware damage of course. This in turn basically makes booting to a Linux CD more difficult, as that default won't let you run such. If you need to boot into a drive that isn't your OS drive with Windows, this should be DISABLED.

Also, keynote here, a UEFI based PC DOES NOT boot with a NTFS formatted drive. This kind of confuses me, as the GPT partitioning style uses NTFS.... Not sure what's going on there. But to boot outside of your hard drive, you need to have that drive/disk? formatted in FAT32. I haven't made a Linux live CD in years since the 16 gig USB drive being dirt cheap, so I can't really help there. I'd suggest using a USB drive formatted in FAT32 if that can work.

Generally from what I've seen with new Windows PCs is that the traditional F2, F12, F and on keys being hit at startup DOES NOT APPLY HERE WHATSOEVER. It only applies if you have UEFI disable only. With UEFI, that is a useless piece of advice. I THINK on such a PC with Aptio firmware, you have to press the Escape key with the PC off, THEN hit the power button. I don't remember if that brings up the boot menu for UEFI or disable something. I know on an ASUS laptop with Windows 8, it had the Aptio BIOS Setup Utility, and doing that method worked for me to boot to the USB drive to reinstall Windows 8....
 

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robert99

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#8
Coke Robot,

Thank you so much for clarifying these settings.
It all used to be so easy before W8 and UEFI.
My current fear is that I make all these sensible backups and then when needed nothing boots up to make a repair.
The OEM manufacturers and image restore software companies seem also at a loss to provide much information or confidence.

I think that boot disks have always needed FAT32 for the DOS type language to run.
There do not seem to be any obvious warnings you have given that an external USB hard drive in NFTS will not boot. The Windows 8 own backup writes restore images to my NTFS disk and gives no warning that it cannot boot from it to restore - another FAT32 boot disk or USB would be required to be loaded first in event of a system failure.
I can get to the AMI Bios by dabbing F8 during start-up.

Best wishes,
Robert
 

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theog

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#9

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SIW2

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#10
EFI spec is loose, so they are a number of different implementations - which adds to the complexity.

It is not well understood, even by the more geeky types. It has been around a long while ( which might explain the FAT requirement ).

It is only coming into use now because of the availability of drives above 2tb.
 

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Saltgrass

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#11
I just finished installing Ubuntu on a Windows Secure Boot system. I noticed during the install, a black screen with "Binary Whitelisted" written on it. The normal 12.10 version was used on a Flash drive.

But right now, it looks like you need to get into the boot devices menu. There should be a key option for your machine. How those keys work might depend if you are starting from a cold boot, or a restart. But I did see one thread that said hitting F1 repeadly during the splash screen would get you into the bios. Possibly there you will see a boot device option, or be able to set the Flash drive as primary boot device.

What model Lenovo do you have? I saw the medion reference, but we probably need a full model number.

Edit: I also found this thread which is very recent and might help.

bios - LENOVO desktop computer only boot with F12 - Super User
 

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robert99

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#12
Thank you.

I will try F1 and perhaps F12 and so on.

F8 gets me to the Apios Bios software which is where I learned that new to me UEFI settings are required.

The manual gives F11 to get to the OEM PowerRecover of Windows and [Del] to get to the UEFI Firmware Configuration settings. I have not gone there yet until I know a bit more about what I should be doing.

The Medion is a Medion Akoya P5316F

Details at
MEDIONshop UK | MEDION® AKOYA® P5316 F

The link you gave seems to indicate even savvy users are getting into nightmare situations with UEFI issues.
 

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Saltgrass

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#13
You might refer back to the post by SIW2 about why UEFI can create problems for users. To add to the fact the OEMs seem to do everything differently, in many cases, the user is not even aware their systems have a UEFI configuration, until something goes wrong.

But if your USB flash drive is not booting, it is either not seen as being a UEFI device, or you need to select it in the boot device menu.

I have now used the Boot Repair utility demonstrated in the Link Theog provided and have a boot menu for either Windows 8 or Ubuntu. I have noticed, however, that after I select Windows 8, it does seem to take a longer than normal time to boot.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Home Grown
    CPU
    i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z77 -v Pro, Z87-Expert
    Memory
    16 G
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GTX 680 Classified (2)
    Hard Drives
    Kingston SSD 240 GB

SIW2

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#14
You can install a great grub gui in ubuntu


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
gksu grub-customizer
 

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