How Does FixMeStick Boot on Windows 8

How Does FixMeStick Boot on Windows 8

Even Microsoft’s rescue disk won’t boot on Windows 8, so how does FixMeStick do it?

By Marty Algire for

As the co-founder of FixMeStick, I appreciated the Pit Crew’s article on Windows 8 Secure Boot last week. As the Pit Crew’s article mentions, even Microsoft’s own Offline Defender won’t boot on Windows 8 PCs with Secure Boot on. Neither will Norton’s Bootable Recovery Tool. We received a lot of questions about how we do it so here’s how we’ve architected our latest FixMeStick (a computer virus removal device):

1. It’s got a Master Boot Record.

In other words, it boots on BIOS-based PCs, essentially all PCs prior to Windows 8.

2. And it’s got UEFI boot partition.

It’s also got a UEFI boot partition, so it will boot on PCs with the latest UEFI firmware too.

3. It’s 32 bit.

There’s a 32 bit operating system on the stick so it will work with 32 bit microprocessors. Most rescue ISOs\disks are 32 bit only, so by default they work on 32 bit processors and 64 bit processors.

4. And it’s 64 bit.

All new Windows 8 PCs use UEFI, and will only boot 64 bit operating systems (unless UEFI firmware settings are changed). So, there’s also a 64 bit operating system on the stick. The user doesn’t have to know if their processor is 32 or 64 bit, the FixMeStick figures it out and loads the right operating system.

5. It supports Secure Boot.

Its boot loader and operating system kernel are signed with the Verisign\Microsoft key and the signature is stored in the UEFI Key Enrollment Key database, so it will boot on PCs that ship with Windows 8 without requiring the user to fiddle with UEFI and Secure Boot settings. No other virus removal solution can do this.

6. And the USB storage device is under 1024 MB.

There is a generation of PCs that won’t boot external drives greater than 1024 MBs. To work on the most different types of PCs, we have to use a USB flash drive with under 1024 MBs of storage.

As you can see, there’s quite a bit going on under the hood of the FixMeStick. Of course the vast majority of our customers don’t care about the boot architecture, they just want it to work so they can get back to using their PC as they please. This is how we make that happen 😉

Learn More Here

This excerpt appears with permission from

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