Windows 8 with Secure Boot enabled may no longer boot after installing new hardware

Applies to: Windows 8Windows 8 ProWindows RT

Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:

  • You have a certified Windows 8 or Windows RT UEFI-based computer and Secure Boot has been enabled in the computer's BIOS.
  • You make changes to the computer's hardware. Examples would include adding a new graphics, networking or storage controller adapter.

In this scenario, Windows may no longer boot after the changes are made. You may encounter behaviors such as hanging at a black screen, Windows crashing with a blue screen, or BIOS error messages to change your settings.

Cause


This behavior may occur when Secure Boot has been enabled in your computer's BIOS. Secure Boot protects the integrity of the operating system and prevents unauthorized firmware, operating systems or UEFI drivers from interfering with the boot process.

Resolution


To work around this issue, Secure Boot must first be disabled before installing new hardware. For more information on disabling Secure Boot in your computer's BIOS, reference the manual that came with your motherboard or contact your motherboard manufacturer. If you are in an enterprise environment, contact your system administrator.

More Information


If the computer is running Windows RT, Secure Boot cannot be disabled. For Windows 8 systems, in some instances the system BIOS may incorporate a feature called compatibility boot. These systems have the capability to detect newly inserted hardware, such as a graphics adapter, and will allow the user to disable secure boot when asked during the boot process.

For more information on Secure Boot, select one of the following links below:

Secure Boot Overview
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824987.aspx

Secure boot feature signing requirements for kernel-mode drivers (Windows)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/hh848062(v=vs.85).aspx

Protecting the pre-OS environment with UEFI
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/22/protecting-the-pre-os-environment-with-uefi.aspx