Acronis promises to fix Windows 8 Secure Boot bug

Failure to recover Windows 8 PCs with Acronis True Image 2013 will be fixed by March, company claims

Barry Collins
18 Jan 2013

Acronis has promised to fix a problem that prevents customers restoring their Windows 8 PCs in the next couple of months.

Users attempting to restore PCs using Acronis True Image 2013 are being blocked by Windows 8's Secure Boot facility - even though the software is sold as fully Windows 8 compatible.

Secure Boot is a new anti-rootkit feature introduced with Windows 8, which is designed to prevent the PC from booting an unrecognised operating system. However, it has the unfortunate side effect of also blocking Linux-based recovery environments, such as Acronis' Start Up manager.

In a statement sent to PC Pro, Acronis' senior vice president of research and development claimed "it’s a problem that’s affected several vendors that use custom unsigned loaders including ourselves".

"The good news is that we already have a solution that we are testing internally. We plan to release it [at] the beginning of February and roll it up in a general update on the beginning of March," he added.

Disable Secure Boot

PC Pro reader Brian Taylor contacted Acronis when he couldn't recover his Windows 8 Ultrabook. In an email from the company's support desk, he was told: "I can understand your concern and I would like to inform you that the reason why you are getting the error message, that is because of Windows 8 certification. As a workaround it is necessary to disable the Secure Boot."

A subsequent email from Acronis support said the company's engineers were working on the issue, and urged Mr Taylor to "wait for the newest build of Acronis".

Nevertheless, the company sells compatibility with Windows 8 as one of the core new features of Acronis True Image 2013 on its website. It makes no mention of having to disable a core security feature in the UEFI BIOS to perform a system recovery. "In my view, this is clearly a misrepresentation, under the UK Sales of Goods Act," Mr Taylor said in his emails to the company's support desk.

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