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Just bought a new HP pavilion desktop with Windows 8.

I wish to totally remove Windows 8 and all data on the hard drive, remove any windows partitions, delete all data, and then install a fresh Linux.

Problem is I can seem to get to boot from USB or boot from CD.

It appears that Windows 8 added the following two "features":

  1. UEFI which substitutes what we have known as the BIOS
  2. Secure Boot which prevents anything but the installed operating system

How do I completely and totally erase all traces of Windows 8? Is it still possible to reformat the hard drive? I don't want a duel boot, I don't want to go back to Windows 7, I just want anything Windows gone.

share|improve this question
If you use a fedora live disc it's been signed with microsofts certificate so it should be able to boot up and wipe the drive. – user88311 Jun 29 '13 at 15:42
@user88311. I have an old Centos Live CD, but don't think it is signed. I have a new Centos install on a USB, but when I do Boot Menu/UEFI:MyUSB, I get "Invalid signature detected. Check secure boot policy in setup". Can then go to settings/security/secure boot configuration, and disable secure boot. Maybe also clear boot keys? Bad idea? – user1032531 Jun 29 '13 at 15:55
If you disable secure boot then centos will work, you can clear the keys if you want, secure boot and UEFI are just extra security features that get in the way more than anything else. – user88311 Jun 29 '13 at 15:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You have at least three options to wipe those partitions:

  1. Turn off secure boot in the BIOS UEFI. After that you can boot from CD's/DVDs/USB.
  2. Boot from a disk with a valid safe boot signature. (E.g. user88311's Fedora live disc or a windows 8 DVD)
  3. Remove the drive, connect it to another computer and wipe it from there.
share|improve this answer
Thanks Hennes, I just discovered the secure boot option. Is there any reason to clear the secure boot keys, or will the go by by when I delete partitions and install linux? – user1032531 Jun 29 '13 at 15:57
I am not sure what clearing the keys does. Hopefully someone else can answer that part. – Hennes Jun 29 '13 at 16:02
From what I understand the keys are more or less the certificates that list what software/OS's can run on boot. – user88311 Jun 29 '13 at 16:07
Okay, so for so good. I am able to access my usb with a centos install iso, but it doesn't run, but opens grup. I am not a grub expert, but guess I need to learn. Any quick pointers would be appreciated. – user1032531 Jun 29 '13 at 16:26

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