Are you one of the many Windows 8.1 upgraders who ended up
with the SecureBoot isn’t configured
correctly
watermark on your desktop, as shown in Figure A? If so, you know that changing the wallpaper doesn’t make
it go away. It’s a watermark that is embedded on the desktop and there is only
one way to make it go away. However, there are several reasons why it could be
appearing there. And, until you know why it is appearing on your computer’s
desktop, you’re better off not attempting the solution to remove it.
Fortunately, there are a pair of very simple PowerShell commands that you can
use to determine why the SecureBoot isn’t configured correctly watermark is
appearing on your desktop.

Figure A

The SecureBoot isn’t configured correctly watermark is
embedded on the desktop.

In this article, I’ll show you how to use those PowerShell
commands and how to interpret the results. Then, I’ll show you how to remove
the watermark by changing a setting in your computer’s BIOS.

The cause

The Windows SecureBoot feature
is designed to increase the security of your Windows 8.1 system by preventing
unauthorized, malicious software from running on your system at boot time. More
specifically, SecureBoot is designed to make sure that your computer only boots
using the firmware that is trusted by the computer’s manufacturer. If you see a
SecureBoot isn’t configured correctly watermark on your desktop, that means
that Secure Boot has either been turned off or hasn’t been correctly configured
on your computer.

The PowerShell commands

As I mentioned, there are a pair of very simple PowerShell
commands that you can use to determine why the SecureBoot isn’t configured
correctly watermark is appearing on your desktop. To begin, launch File
Explorer and navigate to the root folder of drive C. Then, pull down the File
menu in File Explorer and select Open Windows PowerShell | Open Windows
PowerShell as administrator, as shown in Figure
B. Of course, you’ll have to deal with the UAC prompt.

Figure B

You’ll need to open PowerShell as an administrator.

Once you are at the PowerShell prompt, you can enter the commands.
To see if SecureBoot is disabled, use the PowerShell command:


‰ßŠ¹’yË«x(µA

If SecureBoot is disabled, the result of the command will be
False, as shown in Figure C. (Just
so you know, If SecureBoot is enabled, the result of the command will be True.)

Figure C

If SecureBoot is disabled, the command’s result will be
False.

Now of course, you know by now that the watermark is
appearing on the desktop because SecureBoot is disabled, but why is it
disabled? Well, there are two possibilities: First the SecureBoot setting was
never enabled or inadvertently disabled. Second, the computer could have
inadvertently shipped with firmware that has a non-production SecureBoot
Policy. To check for the latter possibility, you will use the PowerShell command:

ëRyË«x(´ú%‰Ì

If the correct SecureBoot policy is present, the result will
be the following GUID

ï·Úõ¦ÝÓ~}áÝömÞ´ÛÇø{¿ïÎ

This is shown in Figure
D. Now, if you receive anything other than that specific GUID, then a
non-production SecureBoot policy is present.

Figure D

If you see this specific GUID, then the correct SecureBoot
policy is present.

Fixing the problem

If you discover that a non-production SecureBoot policy is
present on your system, then you will need to contact your computer
manufacturer and ask about their system specific solution, which will typically
be a firmware update. If so, it will be imperative that you follow the
manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.

If you discover that SecureBoot is disabled, you can enable
it. To do so, you have to first discover what special keystroke you use to
access the firmware Setup Utility on your particular system. Sometimes a
keystroke prompt will appear on the screen when you first turn on the computer.
However, on some systems, a splash screen will appear and you won’t see the
keystroke prompt.

For instance, on my example Dell system, a splash screen
appears, but a trip to the Dell web site and a little research revealed that
you hold down the F2 key as soon as you see the splash screen, which will
reveal the Setup Utility. On this Dell laptop, I found the SecureBoot setting
on the Boot tab, as shown in Figure E.
To enable/disable the SecureBoot setting was simply a matter of selecting the
setting and pressing F5.

Figure E

On my Dell laptop, I found the SecureBoot setting on the
Boot tab.

Keep in mind that every computer’s firmware Setup Utility
will be different and the location of the SecureBoot setting and how you go
about enabling it will be different. To find out how and where you change the
SecureBoot setting on your particular computer, just visit your computer
manufacturer’s Web site. Alternatively, you can turn to Google and use the
search phrase:

Changing the SecureBoot setting on {your computer brand/model}

What’s your take?

Have you
encountered the SecureBoot isn’t configured correctly watermark on your desktop
after you upgraded to Windows 8.1? Were you able to fix it? As always, if
you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a
moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.


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