How to enter UEFI on computer startup (what did Windows change)?

I'm having a hard time entering UEFI on startup. I used to be able to enter UEFI with a key press during boot. The computer is an ASUS Q500A with American Megatrends firmware (aptio, http://www.ami.com/Products/BIOSandEFIFirmware/Aptio/).

I've tried the following on a cold boot, but I cannot enter the firmware. Holding [ESC] used to work on cold boot, but its stopped working since re-installing Windows 8 Pro:
  • press and hold [ESC], press power
  • press and hold [DELETE], press power
  • press and hold [F1], press power
  • press and hold [F2], press power
  • press and hold [F9], press power
  • press and hold [F10], press power
  • press and hold [F12], press power
  • press and hold [LEFT SHIFT], press power
Its like the computer no longer honors my requests since re-installing Windows 8 Pro.

I've tried booting into Windows, then show Chime Bar, then chose Power, then hold SHIFT and choose Shutdown. But I can't get that screen to display that used to show advanced boot options.

I've tried booting to known bootable CDs and DVDs. For example, I cannot boot the Gparted even though I could before the Windows 8 Pro re-install. The drive spins up but I'm not given a boot option.

I even went to the Aptio BIOS manual for Text Setup Environment (TSE), which tells me to use the [DELETE] key. It also mentions other keys may work, like [F1] and [F2]. None of them work either.

The keyboard does appear to work because I can enter my Windows password and log onto the system.

A few questions:
  • What has Windows done to lock me out?
  • Why has Windows decided I should not have access to the firmware?
  • Why has Windows decided I should not have access to other boot devices?
  • How do I undo whatever Windows has done?
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Hi Jeffrey,

Since the keyboard does not respond only when you try to boot to BIOS and it fails to enter BIOS, I would suggest you to contact Asus for help.

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Thanks Anannya.

It was Microsoft. The computer had updates to install. Until I installed the updates, Microsoft locked me out of the firmware.

I wasted about 2 hours trying to boot into Linux, and another 4 hours patching the machine. Every time the Shutdown menu changed to "Update and Shutdown", I was locked out of the firmware.

All that time was wasted because one OS had updates to install. If the updates were that important, why did Microsoft send me a disc with an old operating system?

Microsoft may lease me the OS for $500, but I can tell you for certain I own that hardware. And I don't take kindly to being denied use of my own property. I'll be filling a complaint with the FTC.

Thanks again for your help.

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Hi Jeffrey,

 

You are welcome!

 

Windows has nothing to do with accessing firmware.

OEM is responsible for firmware issues, hence contact them for assistance.

You may update BIOS and remove and reinsert CMOS.

Important: Modifying BIOS (Basic input output system)/complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings incorrectly can cause serious problems that may prevent your computer from booting properly. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the configuring of BIOS/CMOS settings can be solved. Modifications of the settings are at your own risk.

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Hi Jeffrey,

Windows 8 changed the process of accessing your Advanced Startup Options. No more restarting & pressing a key.

Just go to the start screen & type UEFI

On the right side click on Settings

Advanced Startup Options

PC Settings screen

Under General, scroll to bottom & click Restart Now under Advanced Startup

click Troubleshoot

Under Advanced Options, click UEFI Firmware Settings

Click restart

I used this method effortlessly after trying the old way. Then I looked it up. It worked great. Please note that this procedure only works if your PC came with Windows 8 pre-installed. It WILL NOT work on a Windows 7 PC which has been upgraded to Windows 8.

Jim

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Last updated September 25, 2020 Views 2,856 Applies to: