A friend of mine picked up a Samsung notebook from Future Shop on Boxing Day and asked if I would help him clean it up, get rid of the bloatware that comes preloaded. Then, upon discovery that this was a Windows 8 machine, despite his request for Windows 7 to be installed, he asked that I help him go back to Windows 7. Like me, he’d read the reviews of Windows 8, tried out the OS and knew what a confusing mess it is. Just watch this animated review for an idea of how frustrating an experience Windows 8 can be:

I just so happen to have a Windows 7 recovery USB drive, and I thought it would be really easy for me to pop it in, tell the BIOS to boot from the drive and be on my way with installing Windows 7. Not so fast, says Samsung.

By default, the BIOS on this Samsung notebook doesn’t give you the option to set boot device priority. It has some kind of proprietary boot method that, despite my best efforts, would not allow anything but booting into Windows 8. So, off to Samsung I go for information on how to solve this problem. What if I wanted to run Ubuntu on this machine? It has to be possible to do so. This is what Samsung’s product manual for the laptop told me about installing another OS:

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I guess Samsung thought if they send users on a wild goose chase for this information, they’d eventually give up and use Windows 8. Not me. So, off to their website I go to follow their instructions and find my answer. And when you follow the instructions, and bring up the knowledgebase article on the relevant issue, you get this:

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I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It’s the exact same thing I saw in the product manual. An infinite loop of useless information. Thanks, Samsung.

After searching in some forums, it appears in order to get access to the boot priority menu in the BIOS, you first have to disable some feature called Fast Boot. So I do that, and now I have the ability to press F10 when the system first starts to get to the boot device selection menu. But still, it doesn’t detect my bootable USB drive, and I’m stuck with that same Windows 8 bootloader. Useless. I want to throw this machine against the wall. I haven’t given up yet, but damn, Samsung and Microsoft. You REALLY REALLY want me to use Windows 8, don’t you?

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