Windows 8 Breaks Rescue Disks

Windows 8 Breaks Rescue Disks

Removing computer viruses ranges between painfully frustrating to impossible, and an external rescue or boot disk is frequently required to clean viruses that are resisting removal.

In fact, the practice of cleaning an infected device from an independent, external, known clean device is recommended by government cyber security departments and computer security leaders around the world.

Windows 8 PCs contain a new technology called Secure Boot that only boots devices that have been verified by Microsoft. Many popular rescue disks won’t boot on PCs that ship with Windows 8 without modification to the BIOS (called UEFI on Windows 8 PCs) system firmware. Even Microsoft’s own Windows Defender Offline won’t boot.

PC manufacturers must include a technology called Secure Boot in order to ship PCs with Windows 8. Secure Boot uses a public-key infrastructure to verify the integrity of the operating system and prevent unauthorized programs such as bootkits from infecting the device. One consequence of Secure Boot is bootable removable media (rescue disks, Live CDs, Live USBs) will no longer work on PCs that ship with Windows 8 unless they’re upgraded to include the necessary signed components. So far it looks like only our friends at FixMeStick have upgraded.

We’ll keep you up to date as more rescue disks support this new Secure Boot architecture and please let us know if you know of any that do already.

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24 thoughts on “Windows 8 Breaks Rescue Disks

  1. why not turn off secure boot when using rescue disks, it is part of the spec, I know Dells will allow it.

  2. Bought a samsung desabled secure boot amd all that finaly it found the external DVD player.
    Got the question “Boot from CD/DVD presss a key. (original Win7 disk 64bit))
    Saw the thing loading files and that was it. I left the Samsung on for a couple of hours but nothing more happend. Anybody knows why?
    I want my windows 7 back or even XP

  3. Alexander, as Henk says, Linux, and there are places that ship pcs with Linux preinstalled (do they get much bigger than Dell?), just because you don’t know about them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Anyway it’s very easy to install most distros now and if you are not up for the job (and if you are worried about not being able to boot other device with W8 I can see why you shouldn’t have the ability to install a popular Linux distro), you probably know someone who can do it with ease or get your local pc shop to do it for a very small charge.

    On another note, these changes do show that Microsoft are at least trying to secure the boot process which although can potentially cause problems for unsigned environments it is in principle a good thing.

  4. Surely now that Win8 has been available for 6 months or so, is it not about time that rescue disk protocols were changed to allow the desired boot capability.
    It’s hardly MS’s fault when they attempt to improve security that third parties lag behind.
    For other reasons I would not contemplate at this juncture installing win8 on my desktop PC.

  5. My daughter bought an Asus Aspire A150L from Tesco a while ago which had a Linux operating system. I was also cheaper than a windows version.

  6. Walmart sells some PC’s with either Ubuntu or other Linux OS on them. check their website.

    I think there is other websites (like manufactures websites)that sell PC’s with a Linux OS on them, just do a search for it.

    there is also the chrome book from Google.

  7. I had to upgrade my HP DMZ4 laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 8. I was able to, but I had to upgrade the drive externally. The secure boot is mostly enabled in the UEFI only a handful of companies have the option to disable/enable.

  8. So I'll assume that means that click free C6 will not work with Windows 8? I guess that I'll stick with my Windows 7 operating system rather than switch and have to buy all new.

  9. Someone needs to come up with a competitive operating system that isn't as jacked up as Windows, and isn't as expensive as Apple Computers. We've had enough of these two idiot companies dominating the computer world!

    • Alexander Remington, the reason why retail stores and reputable websites don't give you the option of Linux is because they have contracts with Apple and Microsoft to sell computers with their pre-installed O.S.'s. Every time they sell computers, Microsoft, Apple, and the seller make money. There is no money in selling Linux, because it is open source and can be downloaded for free from the internet, so most Linux operating systems can be used for free. It's all about what brings in the most $$$

    • Alexander Remington There are some shops that give the option to buy a PC or Laptop with Linux already pre-installed and ready to go out of the box, Not many but they do exist. https://www.system76.com/ for example, everything they sell is 100% Linux compatible and working 🙂 I believe Dell once gave you the option when customising the computer you wanted to buy online, not so sure if they still do though as I havent checked their site in a while. Also here in the UK I have seen netbooks for sale in actual Computer shops with Linux pre-installed. There are some reputable stores and websites to buy Linux computers from just not as many as some of us would like 🙁

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