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Is there something like a BIOS in Windows 8? How can I set up the boot device priority? My problem occurs when switching on my computer. It immediately goes to Windows 8 loading screen without showing any BIOS messages; what's happening there?

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closed as not a real question by Tom Wijsman, Sirex, bwDraco, Simon Sheehan, soandos Sep 28 '12 at 0:32

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

A bios is in hardware, and is unrelated to the operating system the bios is the thing that loads the OS bootloader, which in turns loads the OS. The only requirement is the bios and OS must be compatible. – Paul Sep 12 '12 at 12:26
If you edit your question with more information about your computer, someone may be able to give you a detailed answer. – CharlieRB Sep 12 '12 at 12:26
What's the make/model of the system? – LawrenceC Sep 12 '12 at 13:07
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Machines that have the Windows 8 compatibility logo come with Secure Boot: with restrictions that by default stop the user deciding how they want to boot their computer, however on a PC (x86) you have the ability to use Custom Mode which allows you to boot into other OSes, if you are physically present and know the procedure for your particular hardware; Any answer to the question “how do I disable secure boot?” will depend on the hardware you have, because the standard does not document how this is done.

If you are unlucky, I suggest to take it back to the shop and demand an equivalent machine that does not have this restriction.

See Will your computer's "Secure Boot" turn out to be "Restricted Boot"? by Josh Gay for more.


I don't think they make it compulsory that a user can not disable Secure Boot, but I think some manufacturers won't bother, or won't notice that they are allowed to add a disable option.

This is not the place to go to far in to how UEFI is replacing the BIOS. But, it is good to note that what has been said here is about the first stage boot loader. A first stage boot loader, BIOS and its UEFI replacement are part of the computers firmware. They are built-in and not part of the operating system; so, they do not depend on the operating system. However, with Secure Boot the hardware vendor is having an undue influence on the BIOS.

It has been suspected that this is not the answer to the questioners problem, as windows 8 is not shipping pre-installed yet. So we don't think there are any machines with secure boot yet either.

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Its only required if the manufactor wants the Windows 8 compatibility logo and can be disabled. Why was this incorrect answer even accepted? Secure Boot is a feature of the UEFI Bios. Microsoft requirement to recieve the logo is to enable it by default. I would like to point out Restricted Boot is a made up term. Furthermore this article is over a year old, many of its complaints have been proven to be 100% false, it will be possible to use Secure Boot and Linux together on a Windows 8 machine. – Ramhound Sep 12 '12 at 13:45
I'm not sure why this answer has been accepted over the other response , as this does not answer is there something like BIOS in Windows 8? – SpellingD Sep 24 '12 at 20:05
This answer has a lot of snark. Sure, it is restrictive, but it's not "Restrictive Boot". It's "Secure Boot". Also, there's reasons why they chose it, and they do make exceptions. Like @Ramhound stated, it's only necessary for getting a sticker on the box. It's good to note that mainboard manufacturers also sometimes have a setting that lets you protect your BIOS settings, essentially making them read-only, until you turn it back off. For instance, MSI. Microsoft is only encouraging use of this feature, which for most users, doesn't impact them at all. – Ben Richards Sep 27 '12 at 21:02
Please base your post on actual facts and use references to them, otherwise this may risk deletion. – Tom Wijsman Sep 27 '12 at 21:16
@richard We suspect that he chose the wrong answer because the answer was probably wrong and not the real reason he can't boot. I suspect since you can't buy a Windows 8 logo'd box yet, he's not even running into the Secure Boot situation you described. – Ben Richards Sep 27 '12 at 21:58

The BIOS is independent from your OS. You have a BIOS on your computer, whatever Operating System(s) you install on it.

To answer your question more precisely, yes you have a BIOS. To set the boot device priority, you first have to access it, which is generally done by pressing a key just after powering up your computer (or rebooting). The key depends on your BIOS manufacturer, it could be any of your Fx keys (usually F5, F10, F11 or F12), or the Del key... You should look in the doc of your computer to find which bios it uses, and look on the manufacturer's website how to access it.

Edit: I can see two reasons for the fact that you don't see any BIOS messages:

  • Your computer is never really shut down, and just hibernating/suspended, in which case it's also not fully booting up when you switch it on, but merely resuming it's previous state. In this case you should really either shut it down or reboot it using the Windows start menu (or start screen), and press the relevant key during the boot,
  • Your BIOS displays a fancy "bootup screen" which hides its normal display. In this case, you can still access it by pressing the relevant key during boot-up (but you still have to find out which one it is).
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Win8 has an option to hibernate the kernel only as a fast restart option.… I think they intended to make this the default 'shutdown' option but don't have a citation for it. – Dan Neely Sep 12 '12 at 15:43
You forgot HP bios its F10 – Moab Sep 12 '12 at 21:06

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