Win8’s Secure Boot enhances system security, but it can also interfere with booting non-Windows operating systems on your PC.
Plus: SSDs and data security, running 32-bit software on 64-bit Windows, and ways to keep XP-era software running in a non-XP world.
Win8 PC refuses to boot from DVDs and CDs
Reader Herb Hickman ran afoul of Win8’s Secure Boot function.
- “I’ve tried four new Windows 8 laptops, and they all fail to boot [non-Windows software] from a CD/DVD. It appears that Win8’s Secure Boot is the problem.
“Is this hassle common to all Win8 setups?”
Yes, Secure Boot is enabled by default in Windows 8. But some workarounds will let you boot and run alternate software. I’ll get to those in a minute. But first, here’s what’s going on:
New PCs are almost always based on Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI; more info) hardware architectures. UEFI began replacing the classic desktop PC BIOS around 2005 or so.
BIOS, as I’m sure you know, stands for Basic Input/Output System (more info), the key word being basic — as in, it doesn’t do much. The typical BIOS is a small chunk of software contained in a chip on the mainboard. At system startup, the BIOS activates the PC’s various hardware subsystems; when it’s all up and running, the BIOS then passes system control to the main operating system — e.g., Windows, Linux, etc.