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