SafeGuard Enterprise “no init” error

We’ve got T440s laptops at work and they give a “no init” error once SafeGuard Enterprise is installed on them.

The fix is to reboot the machine when you get this error. Then press the “Shift” key at this screen:


You will get a message: “Shift key has been pressed. Waiting for a Hotkey …”

When this happens press “Shift” and “F6” together (on some laptops you will have to press “Fn” and “F6” for the key to work as “F6”).


This will toggle an ATA compatibility mode and the laptop will boot.

Not sure why this happens though! The SafeGuard page talks about this being because the Power on Authentication (POA) system now using FreeBSD and apparently FreeBSD having an issue with the Intel Haswell micro-architecture. The “no init” error sure looks like the FreeBSD bootloader is unable to find the init program to continue operating but I couldn’t find any mention of this on the FreeBSD forums or anywhere.

Also, I don’t think it affects all Intel Haswell laptops. The T440s laptops have a caching SSD disk; if we physically remove this disk then booting continues normally. So it looks like the boot loader is looking for FreeBSD on the caching disk whereas the POA system is installed on the regular hard disk. Pressing “Shift+F6” is supposed to switch from ATA mode to INT13 (I don’t understand how ATA and INT13 can be compared and I’ve given up searching to find an explanation!) – so maybe what happens is that the new mode looks to other disks too if it can’t find FreeBSD on the caching disk.

It’s possible to install the SafeGuard package with ATA compatibility turned on:

I would have expected the noata parameter must be in caps but that doesn’t seem to matter.

The MSI package itself can be modified via an MST file by modifying the NOATA property in the “Property” table of the package.