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Windows 8 Hardware Has Another Problem For Linux

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  • Windows 8 Hardware Has Another Problem For Linux

    Phoronix: Windows 8 Hardware Has Another Problem For Linux

    With a brand new PC certified for Microsoft Windows 8 and shipping the OS, even if you don't plan to use the operating system, it can be difficult to bypass the Windows license agreement before wiping it to install your favorite Linux distribution...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM4MDY

  • #2
    Hardly anyone installs Linux from a USB thumb drive anyway so it's not really a problem except on Ultrabooks/Ultra portables, which don't have optical drives to begin with, and those aren't very popular amongst Linux users as it is.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
      Hardly anyone installs Linux from a USB thumb drive anyway so it's not really a problem except on Ultrabooks/Ultra portables, which don't have optical drives to begin with, and those aren't very popular amongst Linux users as it is.
      Huh? Nobody wastes money on burning optical disks when its easier, cheaper, and faster, to dd the iso to an sdcard or usb stick and go. Looks like the new trick will be to pull the disk and fix it first.

      Oh, also, if it is impossible to bypass the EULA, then it isn't legally binding. I don't think that it is legally binding to begin with, in any case, since it isn't actually an agreement, its just a stupid button you need to press.

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      • #4
        So that's the secret to Windows 8's 5s boot up time...

        Makes sense in some way; most people don't use the keyboard until after the operating system is initialized.

        My own experiments with Windows 8 has also led me to confirm with certainty that is there is a way to force the system into entering the advanced boot menu without triggering it from within Windows, but it actually involves breaking Windows to the point where it is no longer bootable. After 5 failed attempts Windows will automatically load the advanced boot menu. But it's silly and should not be attempted.
        Last edited by Sonadow; 05-29-2013, 09:06 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
          Huh? Nobody wastes money on burning optical disks when its easier, cheaper, and faster, to dd the iso to an sdcard or usb stick and go. Looks like the new trick will be to pull the disk and fix it first.

          Oh, also, if it is impossible to bypass the EULA, then it isn't legally binding. I don't think that it is legally binding to begin with, in any case, since it isn't actually an agreement, its just a stupid button you need to press.
          Both very valid points.

          Seems to me this is a flaw in a Windows perspective too, because what if you need to reinstall Windows? How are you supposed to get to a repair disc before Windows boots up?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
            Huh? Nobody wastes money on burning optical disks when its easier, cheaper, and faster, to dd the iso to an sdcard or usb stick and go. Looks like the new trick will be to pull the disk and fix it first.
            Unless it's a soldered-down SSD.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
              Both very valid points.

              Seems to me this is a flaw in a Windows perspective too, because what if you need to reinstall Windows? How are you supposed to get to a repair disc before Windows boots up?
              I posted it earlier, but i'll post it again:

              if a critical issue is stopping Windows 8 from booting, Windows will attempt to load itself a number of times before giving up. When that happens, it automatically sets a flag to force the firmware to initialize all the hardware prior to boot and immediately takes the user to the Windows advanced boot menu where they can choose from a variety of advanced boot options (eg: Safe Mode, Driver signature enforcement disabled, etc etc), or 1 of two available restore options:

              - Restore to factory state, or
              - Restore system files only.

              I tested this on my own Win 8 machines. So it is not an oversight on their part.

              As for the restore disc, there is no need for one. Having tested a fresh Win 8 install from the install DVD, i can confirm that the second you install Windows 8, Windows automatically creates a hidden restore partition that can be used to reformat the computer and reinstall itself if the need arises. Really, the installer DVD is quite redundant after the install process is completed. In the event that the restore/refresh process requires you to provide the install DVD, it will have automatically configured the firmware to allow booting from optical media prior to the reboot.
              Last edited by Sonadow; 05-29-2013, 09:22 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
                Hardly anyone installs Linux from a USB thumb drive anyway so it's not really a problem except on Ultrabooks/Ultra portables, which don't have optical drives to begin with, and those aren't very popular amongst Linux users as it is.
                And what makes you think that those machines will boot from CD/DVD by default?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                  Oh, also, if it is impossible to bypass the EULA, then it isn't legally binding. I don't think that it is legally binding to begin with, in any case, since it isn't actually an agreement, its just a stupid button you need to press.
                  On the blog comments people are stating that accepting the EULA means that you can't redeem money for returning the OS to the seller any more. Wherever that was available, anyway.

                  Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                  So that's the secret to Windows 8's 5s boot up time...

                  Makes sense in some way; most people don't use the keyboard until after the operating system is initialized.
                  Yeah. Such an implementation has been around since 1999, by the way, and it's called coreboot. But nice to see Microsoft acknowledging that UEFI is stupid and coreboot is the way to go, although it's promoting the use of some strange hybrid that is going to cause yet more issues than pure UEFI does...

                  Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                  I posted it earlier, but i'll post it again:

                  if a critical issue is stopping Windows 8 from booting, Windows will attempt to load itself a number of times before giving up. When that happens, it automatically sets a flag to force the firmware to initialize all the hardware prior to boot and immediately takes the user to the Windows advanced boot menu where they can choose from a variety of advanced boot options (eg: Safe Mode, Driver signature enforcement disabled, etc etc), or 1 of two available restore options:

                  - Restore to factory state, or
                  - Restore system files only.

                  I tested this on my own Win 8 machines. So it is not an oversight on their part.
                  Depends on how it's implemented. If the firmware assumes that every unclean shutdown is a critical issue stopping Windows from booting, then it's not too bad. But if it isn't, then there will be problems. I remember one system running Windows XP that BSOD'ed around 30 seconds after booting to the desktop, so if it used fast boot and booting to desktop was regarded as sufficiently good, then it would be a major issue.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post

                    Depends on how it's implemented. If the firmware assumes that every unclean shutdown is a critical issue stopping Windows from booting, then it's not too bad. But if it isn't, then there will be problems. I remember one system running Windows XP that BSOD'ed around 30 seconds after booting to the desktop, so if it used fast boot and booting to desktop was regarded as sufficiently good, then it would be a major issue.
                    Unfortunately unclean shutdowns do not appear to be logged as critical issues. I remembered messing around with Win 8's SATA drivers before which resulted in the machine always getting that new sad smiley face BSOD on shutdown but somehow managed to boot up properly.

                    And yet on another machine which I purposely mucked up the SATA driver Windows 8 always performed a clean shutdown but consistently had issues booting to the operating system, which ended up automatically triggering the Advanced Boot Menu as mentioned. Based on this experience i'd make the assumption that the Advanced Boot Menu is automatically triggered only if issues impede normal booting, and not unclean shutdowns.

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                    • #11
                      I wonder if PS/2 keyboards work; then 'f8' atleast works?

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                      • #12
                        European Union

                        The EU courts really need to hit Microsoft with some antitrust lawsuit.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oliver View Post
                          I wonder if PS/2 keyboards work; then 'f8' atleast works?
                          F8 doesn't work. In fact, the bootup is so fast that as soon as you press the power button all you see is a black screen for about 2 seconds and then the Windows bootsplash immediately comes on. In fact, for some high end machines the Windows bootsplash comes on almost immediately after the power button is pressed. That is how fast Fast Boot is; it makes sense if you think about it: have the firmware initialize only the barest of essentials and offload everything else to the operating system.

                          The only way to access the Advanced Boot Menu is to boot into Windows, select Advanced Reboot and reboot the computer. Upon reboot Windows automatically brings up the Advanced Boot Menu which, for Microsoft's own Surface hardware, allows entry to the UEFI menus. I don't know how it works for the different OEMs of Windows 8 notebooks though.
                          Last edited by Sonadow; 05-29-2013, 10:18 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                            The EU courts really need to hit Microsoft with some antitrust lawsuit.
                            Well, do it, they aren't reading Phoronix forums all day.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                              Unless it's a soldered-down SSD.
                              What you are referring to are flash chips soldered onto the board and those are only found in a handful of those older Ultra-portables and Apple's stuff. Neither of which are overly popular with Linux users and mSATA is likely going to kick those to the curb now that more companies are making mSATA SSDs which are going into the new Ultrabooks. It's really not a problem except for those who make it their problem by poor decision making when it comes to hardware purchases.

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