Can’t access BIOS after Windows 8.1 Pre-Release

Two days ago I decided to Upgrade my Windows 8 to the Windows 8.1 pre-release. A bad idea, if you’re using a dual-boot Windows 8/Ubuntu system. In my case a Lenovo E330.

I had suspected, that Windows will kill my grub and install it’s own bootloader. What I didn’t expect, was the fact, that I will not be able to go into my BIOS or change the boot-device options via F12. It’s seems, that Windows reduces the BIOS control time to 200ms, a little bit to short for intercepting. This is how you can solve this problem and restore your grub.

  1. Download the boot-repair disk iso for your architecture
  2. Load the iso to an USB-stick, e.g. with unetbootin (Win/Linux available) [optional: boot-repair stores your grub profile on, so this is a good point to save you wlan password on the stick, if you don’t want to search for a network cable]
  3. Boot Windows
  4. Make sure the stick with boot-repair is recognized by the system (if not put off and on)
  5. In metro search for “advanced startup options”/”Erweiterte Startup-Einstellung” [just type in metro tiles start screen] and start it.
  6. Select “Startup Settings”
  7. Select somewhat like “boot from” [detailed information and screenshots]
  8. Select your USB-stick (normally usb hdd) and restart
  9. Use boot-repair to re-install grub (needs network connection to store profile in, so get a wire or use the wlan password from point 2)

I’m sure there is a way to change the BIOS idle time, but I still didn’t found it.

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  1. November 22, 2013

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