How to Access the BIOS on a Windows 8 Computer

Georgina Torbet Updated 06-01-2020

Windows 8 is may be a few years old now, but it’s still commonly used. And one change that you might not be aware of on newer Windows machines is a different method for accessing a computer’s BIOS. No longer do you press a certain key during the boot process to reveal the BIOS—instead, an option to access the BIOS is located in Windows 8’s boot options menu.


How Accessing BIOS Changed in Windows 8

Traditionally, computers displayed a message like “Press F2 to enter setup” at the beginning of the boot process. Pressing this key entered the computer’s BIOS.

However, machines that come with Windows 8 preinstalled use a modern update to BIOS called UEFI What Is UEFI And How Does It Keep You More Secure? If you've booted your PC recently you might have noticed the acronym "UEFI" instead of BIOS. But what is UEFI? Read More .

On some machines, especially those with solid state hard drives, the boot process can be so fast that you might not have time to see the message about entering BIOS. In these cases, you can opt to enter the BIOS from Windows itself.

Microsoft’s blog post about this on the Building Windows 8 blog describes how this new system came to be. With the increased boot speed, some systems had a less than a 200-millisecond window of opportunity to press a key. Even the best key-tappers at Microsoft could only press a key once every 250ms.

That meant to access the BIOS, frantic tapping, luck, and several computer reboots were all necessary.


The new system does away with this problem. It also brings some much-needed consistency to Windows 8 computers—they’ll all have a consistent way of accessing the BIOS.

Windows 8 Hardware vs. Old Computers With Windows 8

how to access bios on windows 8 - old method

Note that this new method only applies if you purchased a new computer with Windows 8 preinstalled. If, on the other hand, you’ve installed Windows 8 on an existing computer that uses the legacy BIOS system, you’ll access the BIOS in the same way as always by pressing the key that appears during your boot process.

This key is often F2 or Delete, but it can also be other keys.


The exact key depends on your computer—if you don’t see the appropriate key displayed on your screen during the boot-up process, consult your computer’s manual.

How to Enter Windows 8 BIOS

how to access bios on windows 8 - startup menu

In order to access the BIOS on Windows 8, you need to restart your computer into the boot options menu. There are several ways to do this.

The easiest one to find is in the PC Settings application. Press Windows key + C to reveal the Charms bar, click Settings, and select Change PC settings to access it.


In the PC Settings application, select the General category and click the Restart now button under Advanced startup. Your computer will restart and you’ll enter the Windows 8’s boot options menu. From here you can access the UEFI BIOS and change other settings.

You can also hold Shift while clicking Restart in the Shut Down menu to restart your computer into the boot options menu. This is a quick way to restart into the boot options menu, as you can access the Shut Down button from the Charms anywhere on your system.

Those who prefer to use the Windows command line to access the BIOS in Windows 8 can do so. There’s a shutdown command that’s one of the essential Windows command prompts you should know.

Here’s the command you need to use:


Shutdown.exe /r /o

Accessing UEFI BIOS

how to access bios on windows 8 - boot options menu

Once you’ve restarted and accessed the boot options menu, you can enter UEFI BIOS. To do this, click the Troubleshoot tile.

This will reveal an Advanced Options screen with a variety of tools. The UEFI Firmware Settings tile will take you to your computer’s BIOS.

If you don’t see the UEFI Firmware Settings tile here, your computer doesn’t use UEFI. That means you’ll need to access the BIOS in the traditional way, by pressing a specific key during the boot-up process. See the earlier section above for more information.

If there’s an error booting Windows, you won’t be locked out of the BIOS. The boot options screen will appear when you start your computer. From here, you can repair Windows or enter your BIOS.

Once you’ve entered the BIOS, you can perform the tasks you want. These could include tasks such as changing the boot device order, setting fan curves, overclocking your processor, or performing troubleshooting by detecting what hardware is being picked up by your system.

How to Access the BIOS on Windows 10

how to access bios on windows 8 - windows 10

If you have updated your operating system recently, you might wonder how to access BIOS from Windows 10 How to Enter the BIOS on Windows 10 (And Older Versions) To get into the BIOS, you usually press a specific key at the right time. Here's how to enter the BIOS on Windows 10. Read More . Once again, if you have installed Windows 10 onto older hardware, then you’ll access BIOS by pressing a designated key during the boot process. This is the same as older hardware running Windows 8.

However, if you bought a computer with Windows 10 preinstalled, you’ll need a different method to access BIOS. To do this, start by going to Windows settings. You can access this by pressing Windows key + I.

From the settings menu, choose Update & Security, then choose Recovery from the menu on the left. You’ll see a list of options on the right, including a title saying Advanced startup. Beneath this header is a button saying Restart now.

When you hit this button, your computer will restart. During the startup, you’ll see the boot options menu. Like the Windows 8 instructions, go to Troubleshooting and then to UEFI Firmware Settings, then click Restart. This will restart your computer once again, and it will boot into UEFI BIOS.


how to access bios on windows 8 - uefi

UEFI is rather different from traditional BIOS, even though they perform similar functions. BIOS tends to be in a limited color scheme and does not support the use of a mouse, so you need to navigate using your keyboard. The functions are somewhat limited too, with the ability to perform tasks like changing the boot device order or changing the system time and date.

UEFI is a more up to date version of BIOS. It is in full color, and you can navigate using a keyboard and mouse. It’s more like Windows, so it’s not so intimidating to new users. You can also do a lot more with UEFI. For example, you can set fan curves to adjust how fast the fans in your system spin at given temperatures. Or you can overclock your processor, using automatic overclocking wizards which set everything up for you based on your cooling solution.

Technically UEFI is a replacement for BIOS. But in practice, people use the terms interchangeably.

It’s Important to Secure Your BIOS

This shows you how to access BIOS from Windows 8, in case you need to make any changes to your system.

While you’re working on BIOS, it’s a good idea to set a password to keep your system more secure. If you have any problems with this process, then see our article on how to reset the BIOS password.

Spend some time on its screen and understand how the BIOS works The BIOS Explained: Boot Order, Video Memory, Saving, Resets & Optimum Defaults Need to change your PC's boot order or set a password? Here's how to access and use the BIOS, and some commonly modified settings. Read More and how it can help you optimize your computer.

Related topics: BIOS, Computer Maintenance, Troubleshooting, UEFI, Windows 8, Windows Tips.

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  1. Franco
    June 12, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you very much! I resolved with F10. In this notebook Lenovo B590 F10 is a W8 recovery function. This function has the "UEFI firmware settings". ESC key just goes to UEFI BIOS, boot options, and I could start the machine with the atapi cd, and the rescue boot cd I needed to use. Lots of respect helping us people striving to access this obvious maintenance tools.

  2. sprwjack
    December 18, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Windows is a bullshit operating system.

  3. FlyGuys
    December 5, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I rarely post comments, but this "article" is so ridiculous that I felt compelled. The last thing I want to do is to boot my customer's virus infected computer into Windows to fix it. So, now a 15 minute fix has turned into tearing the entire laptop apart to get the well-buries drive out, mount in another machine to clean, and then out it all back, THEN we can fix whatever was damaged in the process. Total time: 4:30 on a Saturday (read:overtime) morning, total cost: $410. We'll replace the machine before we'll allow that to happen; this si more than the COST of the machine. The author should be ashamed (I wonder how much MS BRIBED then to write this) and as a 34 year professional on the computer industry I am embarrassed that they are place in the same category as me. I understand these words are quite harsh; that is precisely how they were intended.

  4. Michael Taylor
    November 11, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    one more thing i had to go out an buy a new computer because it this problem. If i sent it back it would cost me $400.00 plus so i could just junk it or tear it up and send it to Microsoft or Toshiba in peices.

  5. Michael Taylor
    November 11, 2015 at 8:02 pm


  6. Anmol Gupta
    May 28, 2015 at 7:35 am

    It was the second issue with me. Solved it. Thanks a lot Man!

  7. Chris Gillies
    May 25, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    I'm sorry but I find your comment that the new method to acces the BIOS is necessary and well implemented to be incredulous. I have worked as a PC tech since the days of DOS and Windows 3.1 and I can say with authority that ALL Windows OS are temperamental, with Windows 8/8.1 being one of the worst. Not only have Microsoft removed offline access to the BIOS, they have also removed the ability to directly (ie. Without having to access the OS) boot off any other media (USB,DVD). So what are u supposed to do when one of MS updates fail (again) and the system hangs at the swirling circle? To remove a fundamental method of troubleshooting a 'broken' pc is at best bad practice and at worst I medically criminal

    • Chris Gillies
      May 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Oops typo... Commercially...

  8. XRAY
    May 9, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks so much it works now

  9. Mark t
    April 10, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    After reading that it was a "necessary update" I wondered how much of the article was credible. ...!

  10. Silent Majority
    April 10, 2015 at 12:01 am

    The purpose of uefi and tpm 2.0 is none other than Microsoft (and the U.S. govt) to get in your machine anytime they want. Giving exclusive access to bios from the os ? Lol

    If you think I'm stupid why the uefi tpm encryption keys cannot be changed? Because they keep lists with every machines keys!

    You can remove or reinstall the encryption keys but you can't change them

  11. Angela
    March 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Can I go in through here and change my password? I cant get in!? The cat laid on my laptop and now the Pin is changed to a password?????!!!!!!

    • Alex Owusu
      March 11, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      thanks, really helpful!

  12. Pushpender Meena
    February 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    i want to dual os in my pc i have preinstalled windows 8.1 which option i can choose to install windows 10 technical preview

    • Joseph King
      March 26, 2015 at 12:32 am

      To save yourself a lot of work later, add Hyper-V to Windows 8.1 and run Windows 10 Technical Preview in a Virtual Machine. This will avoid any issues that may arise with both O/Ses sharing the same HDD. It also makes it easier to wipe the Win10 when a new build is released. Takes about 12 minutes to install the VM Windows 10 on a 4 year old i5 with 8GB RAM.

  13. dlb
    January 27, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Ok, if you want to get away from win8, and go straight to win10, will it even be possible with an oem? This is why I build my own. I am making a fortune converting lappys, and pc's to win7 pro. It's not easy, and some of the 8 junk in the "bios"wipes out the win7 key every 3 months, but that's even more money for me. Please keep it up Microsoft, will be able to retire early if you keep this up. Bios can be hacked and rewritten, just have a little patience. that's what hackers live for. Remember, like anything in life, anything that can be done.... can be undone.

  14. Pirindolo Verde
    January 23, 2015 at 2:15 am

    How much buff Microsoft makes about fast boot times, and it is false!
    Just type shutdown on any Windows 8.1 computer to find out that the default shutdown is an hybrid one.
    The trick to "fast" start-up is not to shutdown the machine but to hibernate the operating system and not the applications or the rest of the software. Also "telling" the BIOS not to show at start-up.
    There are several articles on Microsoft Technet explaining the approach to fake a faster boot-up. Search and read.
    A real shutdown (shutdown /s) or a re-start takes longer and gives the real boot-up timing.
    EFI is not Microsoft's, but Microsoft's implementation of EFI is the big problem.
    It is a tricky way to put Linux out of the equation after the W8 fiasco.
    The real motif for EFI should be to enhance and/or eliminate the limitations of the classic MBR on a HDD.
    Computer hardware needs firmware to start (BIOS or what else you name it) and the fastest HDD (even SSDs) is slower than the motherboard.
    I have been using computers without HDD for a long time.
    No part of the EFI specs says that you should have a HDD to boot a computer.
    I can not tell about Apple computers which use EFI since some time.

  15. Lia
    January 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    hi there.i've got a laptop, it is an Compaq CQ58-241SA, my intern memory is 6 gb and somehow my video memory is not even 512 mb i want to add some more video memory.Can i do it from Bios? if so, how? I got an win 8 on it. Please help a human in need, thanks a lot! :)

  16. lsattle
    January 5, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    The below writeup about the bios and windows 8.1 shares what I have learned in the last few weeks about windows 8.1. These are my observations, they could be wrong.

    With windows 8.1 preinstalled on a L55-B Toshiba laptop, to get into bios when the pc is powered off, need to have done a shift+shutdown with windows 8.1 up so does not use fast boot during the next boot.
    (can likely accomplish this also by making the permanent changes using the windows 8.1 screens regarding fast boot, I don't know the screen names at this time)
    This allows the standard function keys to be active during the boot. That is the old routine of selecting the power button then repeatedley selecting a function key.
    Apparently fast boot causes the bios to ignore f2 (get into bios change screens) or f12 (get into boot order screens) during power up.
    (or you can shift+restart instead of shift+shutdown to deactivate fast boot to get the function keys to work on next boot)
    On this Toshiba, to make bios changes to allow a non uefi boot to work (for instance to boot ubuntu off a usb stick, (non uefi) need to make 2 changes in the bios
    (must do in this order on this Toshiba)
    1, disable secure boot on one screen.
    2, then must change from uefi boot to csm boot on another screen (to use old bios boot)
    Then you can boot off a ubuntu usb stick if you change the boot order in the bios permanently or catch the boot using f12 to change the boot order for this 1 time.
    I am still not sure how to get into the bios with a broken hard drive if the last shutdown was using fast boot, removing hard drive would likely work?
    Maybe booting off something else would allow bios changes on next power up. (like a recovery cd).
    I just learned that if my machine has no power to the bios for a few minutes (this Toshiba only has a laptop battery, not a bios and a laptop battery) it will startup up and come to the bios screen right away to have you enter the date and time.

  17. Robert
    December 30, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    This is so helpful! Thanks.

  18. Irfan
    February 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I have Asus K56 cm notebook.
    I typed "shutdown" in run yesterday and a cmd prompt kind of black window popped up and disappeared.
    Nothing happened to the laptop except that the fan is running continuously.
    I believe the fan is running from that time when I did that shutdown thing in run.
    Do you have any suggestion?

    • Chris Hoffman
      February 28, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      I don't think that should cause any problems, but I suppose you might want to try rebooting it.

  19. Brian Amesse
    February 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Sooo frustrating!!! My buddy has an Asus S56C that came with widows 8... I would love to get 7 on it since all this BIOS bs alone is the lamest shit ever let alone that installing linux dual boot is not simple...I do the restarting of the computer but I do not get the troubleshooting option! I tried restarting the GUI way and the cmd way but nothing.... anyone know what the hell is going on? Maybe my buddies laptop can't use anything but 8 lol

  20. Rubis Song
    February 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I have always see the UEFI in my pc but never really pay attention to it. Now i know what is its use. Thank you

  21. Shreya
    February 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I can't see the UEFI button or use a device button, so I guess my system is'nt UEFI. I have tried F1 , F2,...F12, all the keys, but I still can't access BIOS. Any help would be appreciated.

  22. Symondymond
    February 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Its a disaster for me. Windows 8 wont allow me internet passthrough on virtually any clients network or mine at the 2 regional offices I have been to so far. Several of the apps I use dont work in Win8 and even the games I sometimes play when away dont run.

    The only thing less productive for me than using it is trying to uninstall windows 8. Toshiba in particular have made it as difficult as possible and removing it actually invalidates your hardware warranty (yep makes no sense to me either). They have actually done everything they can to lock down the laptop I brought last week and breaking it is a nightmare.

    This was commercial suicide for MS. I now wish I had brought a Mac. If I am going to have something inflexible and locked down I might as well go all the way.

  23. Steven Davis
    February 13, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    "If you don’t see the UEFI Firmware Settings tile here, your computer doesn’t use UEFI." But, that isn't true. The hard drive (& hence the installation) comes from a computer that used a traditional bios, but my new one uses UEFI. Is windows able to communicate w/ my uefi settings, or do I need to re-install?

    • Chris Hoffman
      February 16, 2013 at 5:44 am

      I'm not sure Windows has ever properly supported moving OSes between machines like that. You generally have to reinstall Windows. So I'm not sure.

  24. Paul
    January 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I don't think of it as necessary. I just think it's annoying, because in the previous versions (btw they just worked fine) you could access the BIOS in 2-3 seconds. Now you have to wait for the computer to start, then to shut down, and finally to start again just to navigate through menus that dont belong here.

  25. G.Harrington
    January 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    ...except that it is not consistent.

    I am banging my head against a wall. I am attempting to boot from anything other than the hard drive on a Lenovo G580.

    I can access the BIOS during startup regardless whether boot mode is set to 'legacy' or 'UEFI', but no UEFI settings show on the boot options screen at all (no troubleshooting tile).

    What I can't do is get it to boot from a CD or USB unless I set both boot and SATA controller to legacy mode... whereupon I can no longer access the hard drive at all - not even as an emulated IDE device.

    While this highlights the lack of consistency, the boot issues I'm having are most likely as a result of flaky UEFI/BIOS on this model... but that doesn't stop me getting extremely frustrated with Windows 8 right now.

    The suggestion that the machine boots too quickly to allow for hot-key presses during boot is ridiculous, by the way. It would be simple enough to pause/delay for a second just to allow for this, and I refuse to believe that anyone thought adding a full second to the boot time would make such a feature worthless. It's not a big problem to provide a way to switch such a feature on or off for those who find that extra second intolerable.

    You may as well suggest that fuel stations are pointless because cars travel too fast to stop at them.

    • Chris Hoffman
      January 28, 2013 at 2:13 am

      That's really weird. Is there a special boot menu that you can access by pressing a key, perhaps? Maybe check out the PC's manual -- or contact the manufacturer, because that seems really flaky.

      The idea that the computer boots too fast is Microsoft's official rationale. They want to compete with tablets like the iPad and power on as fast as possible, no adding additional delays. It is a bit silly because it should be possible to hold down a key or something, in my opinion.

      • G.Harrington
        January 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        It is possible to enter the BIOS regardless of the boot mode setting (and regardless of Microsoft's claims), though it won't actually *display* the key options during POST unless set to BIOS (non-UEFI) boot mode.

        I have since managed to get it to recognise a USB key, and even boot from it while the SATA controller is set to AHCI mode... but that optical drive is still invisible.

        I have no idea why the troubleshooting/UEFI option is not available in Windows 8 on this model, but there appears to be no other way to access any UEFI options either, so I'm chalking this up to a poor/flaky UEFI implementation by Lenovo.

        Windows 8 is making me consider a change of career though. I might give up computers and take up gardening.


      • G.Harrington
        January 28, 2013 at 3:42 pm

        I should clarify that I also had to disable 'secure boot' to boot to the USB drive. I'm going to get into the habit of disabling and re-enabling these options either side of imaging the machines in order to provide the full and genuine environment and features expected by clients who request that version of Windows... but I'll e downgrading these to Windows 7 once I've formed a comprehensive plan (from what I've read, many have been having trouble - though the procedure doesn't seem too daunting) - at which point, I'll just leave these options set to legacy and unsecure boot for the sake of convenience (and, oddly, consistency with procedures currently in place for the rest of our machines).

        It seems that someone always has to make things "easier" by screwing with them... *sigh*

  26. Kaleb Bryant
    January 22, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I did everything listed and when I clicked on "UEFI Firmware settings" it said I needed to restart my computer to access it, so I clicked "Restart" but when it restarted, it just sent me to the normal lock-out screen, not the UEFI settings page. Please help D:

    • Chris Hoffman
      January 28, 2013 at 2:11 am

      That's really weird. If the button is there, your computer has UEFI instead of the traditional BIOS, and that should access it. Maybe try looking in your PC's manual or contacting the manufacturer? (Maybe there's another key or something really weird?) This is how it's supposed to work.

  27. Martyn Birzys
    January 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Last week I started getting black screen on startup. I was able to boot after hard reset. Then it got worse, I had to do couple of hard restarts to boot. Since couple days ago I am no longer able to boot at all. Once I push start button, the black screen stays all the time - no Windows logo, no manufacturer logo, no beep, nothing.
    I can't get into BIOS, can't change boot sequence, can't boot into safe mode.
    Here is a 'simple' question - is this OS or hardware problem?

  28. Damian
    January 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I dont have option use a devic...

    December 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    This is a disaster.

    December 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    After running the Upgrade Advisor from MS (my older pc passed the tests), I upgraded to Win8 Pro. Now I have no BIOS access at all. Just a black screen.

    Wonderful. Win8 is a disaster.

    • martyn
      January 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      I'm in the same boat!

    • Pirindolo
      January 14, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      I know it is a bit late. But anyway just at the command prompt (cmd.exe) type: shutdown /s and then when you start you machine again you will have access to your BIOS.
      It is way worse in case of EFI, so you are lucky...

  31. JC
    December 26, 2012 at 2:33 am

    BIOS is used to allocated resource and initialize most of hardware devices, such as CPU, chipset, VGA, RAM and HDD.

    Actually, legacy BIOS (Not EFI) will take you about 8 to 10 seconds and OS starting will take you above 20 seconds.

    If no BIOS, OS may show yellow mark or no device.
    So user should ask the question to OS and driver Engineers why boot slowly.

  32. Rod Smith
    December 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    If I ever buy a computer that requires me to boot Windows to get to the firmware setup utility, it's going back to the store and the manufacturer is going to get a very nasty letter. This is the most idiotic idea imaginable -- the whole idea of a firmware setup utility is to set options INDEPENDENT OF THE OS -- indeed, BEFORE the OS boots! This sort of thing locks the computer into using a single OS.

    The stated reason (that the window for key-pressing is too short) is bogus. Simply do what Apple does: Have the user hold down a key CONTINUOUSLY during boot, rather than require a discrete keypress during a given period. Alternatively, place a brief delay in the boot process during which a keypress can be given.

    I sincerely hope your description is wrong or incomplete. If not, I couldn't disagree more with your concluding paragraph that this design decision is one that nobody will dislike. I've heard of (and seen) many bad things in Windows 8, but as described in this article, this feature tops the list. Of course, it's not really a Windows 8 feature; it's a firmware issue. That just makes it worse. (To be clear: Providing an interface to the firmware in Windows is OK; but forcing users to boot to Windows to adjust the firmware is definitely NOT acceptable.)

    • Angry Man
      February 26, 2013 at 8:38 am

      This is definately the work of a malware corporation. I am unable to boot into a cd. I wonder why? I imagine it's because a certain company didn't want me to boot into a cd that would provide me with an operating system that doesn't have their name on it.

      My system does use UEFI. However, I have not found any clues on how to boot into my cd. This does not help.

  33. Falkon
    December 7, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Hi Guys. Just a bought an ASUS with windows 8- Now the windows dont even allow me to go further than the sign in local... have tried reset password from other windows 8 from a friend. Does not work ( there was an error.....) have tried to restart with my finger glued to F2 or F12 or any other Fs there are. Just nothing.

    Please help. Need to start the projects and need this system to start.

    God Bless All. Waiting for an answer.

  34. Will
    December 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    The part where it says "If you don’t see the UEFI Firmware Settings tile here, your computer doesn’t use UEFI. " annoys me. My computer DOES use UEFI and I don't see that option at all.

    • G.Harrington
      January 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Same here. Such is the problem with stating (multiple) ill-informed absolutes. *stares pointedly at the article's author*

  35. az
    December 1, 2012 at 10:44 am

    And Bios key isn't working of course. So I'm screwed.

  36. az
    December 1, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I don't have Troubleshoot and Use a device options, so I can't install another system! Help!

  37. Papoos
    November 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I don't have the 'Use a device' and 'Use another Operating System' options in the menu. Help??

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Do you have a new computer with UEFI, or an older computer with the traditional BIOS?

      In other words: Did your computer come with Windows 8? If you upgraded an older computer, you won't see these options.

  38. Kayhan Tanriseven
    November 8, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Ok, We cannot see UEFI Firmware settings under Troubleshoot or either boot keys while restarting... now what? can you guys help?

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      If you can't see the UEFI option, your computer probably uses the standard BIOS so you'll need to press a key while booting (often Delete, F2, etc.)

      If you don't know the key, try looking in your computer's manual. If you don't have the manual on-hand, try Googling for it.

  39. Arthur Johansen
    November 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    This is totally Bullcrap. I mean, it took me an Hour to figure out how to get it to boot a Vista DVD, & even then i have no idea wat happened to make it finally work.
    Windows should have done more like Linux or some other tech makers *Cough cough* Apple. WHo implemented things MUCH slower. @ least then it wuld make more time for each feature, if u can call it that, more accepted & gotten used 2.
    Can't wait 2 c how this all plays out, since the only reason I use WIndows anymore is for the software that isnt on Linux (not Office, I use OpenOffice anyway). Linux needs to build up its software stuff & u might c more ppl moving towards that OS

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Yeah, the OS (Windows especially) is just a platform for applications. I just want Windows to get our of my way and run my software, PC games, etc.

  40. Nikhil Gupta
    September 11, 2012 at 6:26 am

    just simply restart the computer and press delete key or key which is open bios.
    key will be written on start up screen...
    finally we can access our BIOS.

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 3:13 am

      Not with Windows 8 hardware!

  41. Adjei Kofi
    September 8, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Oh I see why I couldn't get my windows 7 showing up on start up. Anyway, that's a 'cool' move by Microsoft. So what if you can't boot in to windows in the first place. Just wondering.

  42. muotechguy
    September 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Presumably, you'll also get this feature if you build your own system with a modern motherboard (with UEFI)?

    Also, doesnt allowing the operating system access to UEFI config pose a severe security risk? I mean, if malware can subjugate the OS, then it will also be able to access the UEFI, no?

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 3:13 am

      Yup, assuming you get UEFI on your motherboard.

      Well, clicking the button reboots your system into UEFI. So malware would be able to reboot you into UEFI, but that's about it, as far as I know.

  43. Usman Mubashir
    September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Win 8 makes a lot of things quite interesting

  44. Ahmed Khalil
    September 6, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Windows 8 is looks like a new operating system but actually the core is the same of win 7

  45. Richard Steven Hack
    September 6, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Oh, and Microsoft's explanation about how the timing issue was the problem is so much nonsense. There's no reason BIOS manufacturers couldn't put a BIOS-adjustable timing loop in the boot process to enable more time to use F8. They would have done so if asked by Microsoft.

    This IS a VERY questionable design decision and we're going to see OEMs and tech support hackers working frantically to get around it over the next six months... Trust me.

    • GrrGrrr
      September 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      agree with you, but that in 6 months Win8 will become slow enough to allow sufficient time to press

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 3:12 am

      Well, they could do that, but it would make boot-up times take longer. Most people won't use the BIOS regularly, so that would be silly and waste people's times.

      • Rod Smith
        December 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm

        I don't accept that a 2-second delay would be all that terrible.

    • Koszyk
      November 8, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Set the “displaybootmenu” option on the Boot Manager BCD entry
      Bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
      And use F8 before acces startup options :)

      You're welcome

  46. Richard Steven Hack
    September 6, 2012 at 2:10 am

    I can't wait to see what a disaster this will be for us PC tech support people!

    Windows 7 on occasion hoses its boot loader completely, making it impossible to boot without going into the "repair" subsystem - which ALSO frequently screws up and makes it impossible to either fix the system OR enter the command line options.

    If this happens in Windows 8 - and I bet you it will because Microsoft ALWAYS gets this stuff wrong - it will make it impossible to access your BIOS no matter how bad you need to get to it.

    Also, this may make it incredibly difficult to use third-party "live CDs" to repair Windows if they don't support the new boot methods... I assume that part will be fixed at some point, however - hackers never give up! :-)

  47. Aleks
    September 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    What about powering on the system while holding down F2? (Like OEMs do to access recovery partitions).

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 3:11 am

      Nope, don't think this will work on UEFI hardware.

      • Rod Smith
        December 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

        The UEFI spec has no user interface requirements. If a manufacturer wanted to implement this, they could. (My ASUS motherboard has UEFI firmware and uses Del to access its setup utility, for instance.)

  48. Frederick Doe
    September 5, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Hopefully there will be a backup way to enter into the UEFI in case something goes really wrong with Windows 8. A small "reset" pinhole somewhere would be sufficient

  49. Terry
    September 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Good to know how to do since I am bound to work on these.

    As for myself Windows 8, no thanks. UEFI, traditional BIOS isn't/wasn't much of a security hole. I think the whole UEFI thing is more of an attempt to install gatekeeping into hardware after all it's not really security if the owner of the equipment is the one untrusted and a conglomeration of companies are the trusted ones. Toll bridge ahead!

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 3:11 am

      UEFI has a lot of advantages, like faster boot times, etc. Macs have been using it for a long time.

      I'm not a huge fan of Windows 8 but UEFI is an upgrade.

  50. ArrGH!
    September 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Is it just me or does the Win 8 Metro screen look like a pre-school toy? I keep waiting for to tell "the cow says MOOOOOO!"

  51. Gideon Pioneer
    September 5, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    So you can't access the BIOS/UEFI without going through Windows 8? In that case what if I wanted to get rid of Windows 8 and install another OS? A little suspect.

    I remember there was talk way back about something along the lines of if you get a PC preloaded with W8 you won't be able to install other operating systems but that was refuted or something (I believe it came to be "it's up to the manufacturer").

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 3:11 am

      I imagine you can get to the BIOS if no OS can boot.

      That restriction only applies to Windows RT on ARM -- standard Intel/AMD x86 systems will allow you to install any OS you like.

      • aLmAnZo
        February 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm

        No, you can't!

        My wife got a new windows 8 computer, and after a while the hard drive failed. It was covered by the warranty, but when the computer arrived back from service, windows wasn't properly installed. On boot, the computer simply stated that the windows installation had an error, and requested that the installation process should be restarted. No information on how to boot from any other drive.

        I contacted the workshop asking for them to send me windows on a stick, but they wouldn't. I tried quite a while to enter BIOS with no sucess. Tapping that key during those 200 ms seems to be the only way.

  52. Pax
    September 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Very useful information, thanks - saved! I'm wondering about the possibility of getting alternate OSes installed on some of these new EFI hybrids that are coming out. I'm already reading about issues with GRUB and GPT (vs MBR) formatted drives. This sounds like a legacy issue that will be circumvented given a little time, however (hopefully). Dual-booting Win8 and Linux seems like the biggest issue - where it's either one OS or the other.

    At the very least, it would make an interesting future article here at MUO;-)

  53. IamAshMcLean
    September 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    My Question is... This can be more difficult to Re-install the system in case of severe crashes?

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 3:09 am

      I would hope that the BIOS would be an option if an OS can't boot. If Windows can't boot properly, but still boots partially, you can select the BIOS in the boot options menu.

      • Symondymond
        February 15, 2013 at 10:51 pm

        Found I can get into the BIOS of the Toshiba Win8 laptop I brought last week. But it gets stuck trying to install windows 7 because part of the hidden parition that Win8 installs blocks it. Plugged in a 1000 Euro laptop. Unplugged a 10 piece of junk. Trying to uninstall windows invalidates the warranty. No warning of any of this on the box when you buy it of course.