How to disable secure boot: a play in 14 acts with two intermissions

I have just got a new laptop: it comes with Windows 8, but it does not have a touch screen. So, naturally, I am throwing out Windows 8 and replacing it with Windows 7. Unfortunately, Windows 8 won’t give up easily: you need to disable Secure Boot first. Fortunately, I already did it for a friend, so it took me only 20 minutes instead of 2 hours.

If you google for “how to disable uefi windows 8”, plenty of links come up, but not all of them are accurate. I recorded the sequence of steps required to disable secure (UEFI) boot on my particular laptop, which happens to be Toshiba Satellite 50xx series. Here are the “easy” steps:

1. Boot into Windows 8
2. Press Window+C
3. Click “Settings”
4. Click “Change PC Settings”
5. Click “General”
6. On the right scroll down to find “Advanced Startup”
7. Click “Restart Now”

[Intermission one: Wait for about a minute until advance startup menu appears]

8. Choose “Troubleshoot”
9. Choose “Advanced Options”
10. Choose “UEFI Firmware Settings”
11. Click “Restart”.

[Intermission two. After a couple of seconds you’ll get a traditional text-based BIOS screen.]

12. Choose Security->Secure Boot and change it from [Enabled] to [Disabled]
13. Choose Advanced->System Configuration->”Boot Mode” and change it from [UEFI boot] to [CHM boot]
14. Choose “Save changes and exit”.

That’s it! Secure boot is now disabled and your computer is ready to install Windows 7, Linux or whatever.

It was a piece of cake, wasn’t it? Like a walk in the park. I especially love step #6, “scroll down to find Advanced Startup”. There is no scrollbar on screen: it appears only when you hover over the right side. Initially you may not even suspect that “Advanced Startup” option exists. The “CHM boot” setting is another gem, but this might be Toshiba specific. If you disable secure boot, but keep boot mode at UEFI, the laptop will boot from “insecure” media, and then hang at some relatively advanced point. Brilliant, eh?

If you plan to install new operating system from CD/DVD, you may want to do one more thing while you are in the BIOS screen:

15. Go to “Boot” menu and make your DVD drive first in the boot order.

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