FIX: Selected boot image did not authenticate

Windows has been making strides in the operating system world. With their flagship, Windows 10, they intend to offer the best. Something that was rear in the previous operating systems, has however emerged. The boot error “Selected boot image did not authenticate.” This error is associated with upgrades, updates hot fixes and driver updates. This message also seems to be related to HP computers only, according to user complaints.

Hewlett Packard (HP) makes one of the best computers, and like any other computer, it has a BIOS that loads devices and the system after checking for errors. Therefore, why would this error occur? It is worth noting that this error is not the same as “bootmngr missing” that appears when you are trying to load an operating system from a location it wasn’t installed to in the first place. This page will tell you what the error “Selected boot image did not authenticate” means, why it occurs on your HP computer and how to get rid of it so that you can continue with starting up your computer.

What does ‘selected boot image did not authenticate’ means and why it occurs?

This error appears written on a blue strip on a black background, soon after restarting or after pressing the power button to boot. Pressing enter will only shut down the computer, eventually returning you to the same screen. In simple terms, this error means that a security protocol has been violated after being checked against a firmware database, or the device you are loading the operating system from cannot provide the information needed by security in order to boot.

Secure Boot is a technology where the system firmware checks that the system boot loader is signed with a cryptographic key authorized by a database contained in the firmware. To protect you from system changes that might cause harm to your PC, your boot sequence is saved in this database. A violation of this protocol leads to an insecure boot, therefore displaying the message. Changes can happen due to installation of new devices, upgrade/changes on the operating system (which changes the boot loader information), change in device drivers or malware attacks.

This error can also mean that your boot loader information is missing therefore the operating system could not be loaded. The boot information is what is used to identify if there is an operating system on your drive. If the boot information cannot load, then the authentication process cannot occur or complete successfully. The boot image can become corrupt after an update or due to malware attack. There are viruses that can lodge themselves into the boot info thus preventing a secure boot, or even wipe this information out. Changes that occur from an update can also alter the boot info and prevent start up.

Here are the solutions that will clear the ‘selected boot image did not authenticate’ error and allow you to complete your HP computer boot.

Method 1: Change from secure boot to legacy boot in your BIOS settings

Changing to the legacy boot will ignore the operating system and hardware changes and continue the boot. If you are sure that your computer cannot complete the start due to a virus or malware attack, then this is not advisable; use method 3 instead. Here is how to disable secure boot and enable legacy support on a HP computer.

  1. Turn the computer off completely, wait a few seconds, then turn on the computer by pressing the Power Button and immediately press Esc repeatedly, about once every second, until the Startup menu opens.
  2. When the Startup Menu displays, press F10 to open BIOS Setup.
  3. Use the right arrow key to choose the System Configuration menu, use the down arrow key to select Boot Options, then press Enter.
  4. Use the down arrow key to select Legacy Support and press Enter, select enabled if it is disabled and press Enter.
  5. Use the up and down arrow keys to select Secure Boot and press Enter, then use the up and down arrow keys to select disabled and press Enter.
  6. Press F10 to accept the changes and use the left arrow key to select Yes and press Enter to Exit Saving Changes.
  7. The computer automatically reboots to Windows with Secure Boot disabled and legacy support enabled.

Method 2: Hard reset your computer

This will reset all the configurations on your BIOS (apart from passwords) and allow the new configurations OS changes and hardware changes on the next boot. This way, all conflicting configurations will be cleared. Here is how to hard reset in a HP computer.

  1. Power off your computer
  2. Unplug the AC adapter cable.
  3. Remove your battery
  4. Press and hold the power button for at least 20 seconds. This will reset the hardware
  5. As you power it back on tap the F2 key. This will load hardware diagnostics.
  6. Run the startup test. This will test all the hardware in the system and detect any problems.
  7. If the test comes out clean, restart your PC and boot normally.

If your computer still doesn’t boot, we will have to do a system repair.

Method 3: Repair Windows in your computer using system recovery

A system repair will fix the boot information and other Windows related problems on your device. Here is how to do a windows system repair for HP users.

  1. Turn the computer off completely, wait a few seconds, then turn on the computer by pressing the Power Button and immediately press Esc repeatedly, about once every second, until the Startup menu opens.
  2. When the Startup Menu displays, press F11 which takes you to recovery console.
  3. Choose Troubleshoot followed by Advance Options and click on start up Repair.
  4. Accept the repair process and wait for the repair to complete and restart your PC.

If your computer does not have the option of using F11 recovery console, you can use our guide from here to do the same if you are running on windows 10. If you are using windows 7, here is our guide on how to repair your operating system. For window 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 users, you can also use this guide here.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

FIX: Selected boot image did not authenticate

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