secure-bootLet me just state from the start – as an IT tech I *loathe* Secure Boot. I understand the goal is to strengthen the security of boot time when rootkit viruses can really cause problems. But it is SUCH a hassle when trying to troubleshoot and debug systems that are having problems.

Obviously the thing to do is just disable it. Want to boot into a Rescue CD? Secure Boot won’t let you. I have a system in the shop now that passes all HW tests. But the operating system will NOT boot. Auto repair fails. Attempting a refresh fails immediately. So deeper debugging is warranted. All I needed to do was disable Secure Boot. Easy enough usually…

  1. Go into BIOS and find the Secure Boot and Legacy Boot settings.
  2. Disable Secure Boot/Enable Legacy Boot.
  3. Apply settings to BIOS and Reboot
  4. Hit ESC to bring up the HP Startup Menu and select the LiveCD

Simple enough, right?

The problem was every time I’d disable secure boot, it would re-enable itself. Finally about to lose my mind, I did a little searching and found the HP wants a confirmation code before it will really disable Secure Boot. On a screen that is canceled by, you guessed it, the ESC key. So in my rush to get this thing booted – I never saw the screen as I hammered away on ESC to bring up the Startup Menu.


Chalk up one more grey hair to Windows 8, Secure Boot, and all the other recent ‘improvements’. At least HP had a very detailed article outlining Secure Boot and turning it off