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Linux and Windows 8 Fast Startup


16 posts in this topic

Posted

I thought this would be worth linking here, since it might be relevant to some Neowinians:

The new Fast Startup feature of Windows 8 puts the filesystem's integrity at risk if other operating systems are used to write to Windows partitions. Data loss is particularly likely with dual-boot configurations that involve Linux and Windows 8.

Full Article.

TL;DR If you're using the Windows 8 Fast Startup option and dual boot with another OS, consider the Windows 8 partition(s) to be read-only and/or disable fast startup. Writing to a Win8 partition from Linux can cause the files to go missing on Win8 and/or be corrupted due to the way that fast startup works. The NTFS-3G driver has not yet been updated to detect fast-boot, so will mount as read/write on many distros (including Debian and Ubuntu). Apparently a fix is in Debian testing, but this means that Stable users won't see it for a while yet.

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Posted

Thanks! That article has good technical detail and is very informative. Its so much more useful than most of the nonsense that makes it onto the front page.

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Posted

Of course, if you've disabled Hibernation, this need not apply. Still, a good article for the people that use this option.

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Posted

I disabled fast boot when I was running 8 anyway, with an OS as young as 8 there is always going to be bugs that need a reboot to fix, fast boot means you have to reboot on top of normally powering on in the morning, where normally a shutdown and power on would have done the same job without fast boot

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Posted

Of course, if you've disabled Hibernation, this need not apply. Still, a good article for the people that use this option.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't fast startup and hibernation different things? I mean they accomplish similar goals, but they're not the same thing. Disabling hibernation != disabling fast startup. NTFS-3G already detects hibernation and only mounts an NTFS partition as read-only if Windows is hibernating, but the issue is that it doesn't do the same thing for fast startup (yet), which means that there's a risk.

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Posted

Thanks for the heads up, I just added Ubuntu to my laptop yesterday.

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Posted

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't fast startup and hibernation different things? I mean they accomplish similar goals, but they're not the same thing. Disabling hibernation != disabling fast startup. NTFS-3G already detects hibernation and only mounts an NTFS partition as read-only if Windows is hibernating, but the issue is that it doesn't do the same thing for fast startup (yet), which means that there's a risk.

The Fast Startup option uses Hibernation, or its own form of it. Disabling hibernation completely disables the fast startup option in Windows 8. I think the Fast Startup option is using the same hiberfile.sys that hibernation is using. Running the command "powercfg -h off" in the command prompt removes this option and deletes the hiberfile.sys. Fast Startup no longer becomes an option. You can achieve the same results this way of disabling Fast Startup (and saving space now that you no longer have a hiberfile.sys).

"The Fast Startup feature creates an issue because it doesn't shut Windows 8 down completely but switches it to a special hibernation state instead

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Posted

I have an SSD, I disabled hibernation anyway.

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Posted

The Fast Startup option uses Hibernation, or its own form of it. Disabling hibernation completely disables the fast startup option in Windows 8. I think the Fast Startup option is using the same hiberfile.sys that hibernation is using. Running the command "powercfg -h off" in the command prompt removes this option and deletes the hiberfile.sys. Fast Startup no longer becomes an option. You can achieve the same results this way of disabling Fast Startup (and saving space now that you no longer have a hiberfile.sys).

"The Fast Startup feature creates an issue because it doesn't shut Windows 8 down completely but switches it to a special hibernation state instead

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Posted

Ah okay, interesting. Thanks for the info :)

You're welcome. Still, a great find! :D

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Posted

Is anyone able to verify this? If so, will pass the word along on the front page.

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Posted

Is anyone able to verify this? If so, will pass the word along on the front page.

h-online.com is the English site of heise.de. Their magazines have a good reputation for actually researching what they're writing about.

That said independent confirmation could be good. Surely someone here has a Windows 8/Linux dual-boot config.

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Posted

Is anyone able to verify this? If so, will pass the word along on the front page.

I'm not sure if files don't get lost or corrupted reliably, but I was not able to reproduce this with Windows 8 and Debian 7 dual-booting in VirtualBox. (I don't run Windows natively, but I don't see how a native installation would make any difference.) My log of commands I ran in Windows and Debian to try to reproduce this problem, as well as their output, is below.


PS C:\Users\xorangekiller> mkdir Desktop\rar



	Directory: C:\Users\xorangekiller\Desktop



Mode				LastWriteTime	 Length Name

----				-------------	 ------ ----

d----		 1/14/2013   2:51 PM			rar



PS C:\Users\xorangekiller> echo rar > Desktop\rar.txt

xorangekiller@pigeonhole:~$ sudo mkdir /mnt/rar

xorangekiller@pigeonhole:~$ sudo parted -l

Model: ATA VBOX HARDDISK (scsi)

Disk /dev/sda: 8590MB

Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B

Partition Table: msdos


Number  Start   End	 Size	Type	  File system	 Flags

1	  1049kB  8186MB  8185MB  primary   ext4			boot

2	  8187MB  8589MB  402MB   extended

5	  8187MB  8589MB  402MB   logical   linux-swap(v1)



Model: ATA VBOX HARDDISK (scsi)

Disk /dev/sdb: 32.2GB

Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B

Partition Table: msdos


Number  Start   End	 Size	Type	 File system  Flags

1	  1049kB  368MB   367MB   primary  ntfs		 boot

2	  368MB   32.2GB  31.8GB  primary  ntfs



xorangekiller@pigeonhole:~$ sudo mount -t ntfs /dev/sdb2 /mnt/rar

xorangekiller@pigeonhole:~$ mkdir /mnt/rar/rar

xorangekiller@pigeonhole:~$ echo rar > /mnt/rar/rar.txt

xorangekiller@pigeonhole:~$ ls -l /mnt/rar/ /mnt/rar/Users/xorangekiller/Desktop/

/mnt/rar/:

total 2359737

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root	 398156 Jul 25 23:44 bootmgr

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root		  1 Jun  2  2012 BOOTNXT

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   4096 Jan  4 00:53 Config.Msi

lrwxrwxrwx 2 root root		 60 Jul 26 03:22 Documents and Settings -> /mnt/rar/Users

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 2147483648 Jan 14 14:30 pagefile.sys

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root		  0 Jul 26 03:33 PerfLogs

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   4096 Oct 27 11:45 ProgramData

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   4096 Nov  2 17:46 Program Files

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   4096 Dec 12 21:11 Program Files (x86)

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root		  0 Jan 14 14:38 rar

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root		  0 Jan 14 14:38 rar.txt

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root		  0 Sep  6 21:44 $Recycle.Bin

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root  268435456 Jan 14 14:30 swapfile.sys

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   4096 Oct 27 11:38 System Volume Information

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root	   4096 Oct 15 00:37 Users

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root	  24576 Jan  4 00:52 Windows


/mnt/rar/Users/xorangekiller/Desktop/:

total 1

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 282 Dec 12 21:55 desktop.ini

drwxrwxrwx 1 root root   0 Jan 14 14:39 rar

-rwxrwxrwx 1 root root   0 Jan 14 14:39 rar.txt


xorangekiller@pigeonhole:~$ sudo umount /mnt/rar

PS C:\Users\xorangekiller> ls Desktop



	Directory: C:\Users\xorangekiller\Desktop



Mode				LastWriteTime	 Length Name

----				-------------	 ------ ----

d----		 1/14/2013   2:51 PM			rar

-a---		 1/14/2013   2:56 PM		 12 rar.txt



PS C:\Users\xorangekiller> ls C:\



	Directory: C:\



Mode				LastWriteTime	 Length Name

----				-------------	 ------ ----

d----		 7/26/2012   3:33 AM			PerfLogs

d-r--		 11/2/2012   5:46 PM			Program Files

d-r--		12/12/2012   9:11 PM			Program Files (x86)

da---		 1/14/2013   3:01 PM			rar

d-r--		10/15/2012  12:37 AM			Users

d----		  1/4/2013  12:52 AM			Windows

-a---		 1/14/2013   3:01 PM		  4 rar.txt



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Posted

Pretty useful. Thanks

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Posted

Run Linux in a VM.

Oracle Virtual Box is decent.

No need to dual boot.

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Posted

VirtualBox is OK for trying out new OS's w/o risk, but it's not quite like the real deal. Remember those anti-Windows 8 You Tube videos? Many were using VBox for those propaganda videos, making Windows 8 CP & RP look poorly, to turn users against 8. Looking at some of the videos closely revealed this.

I have dual boot, & I also have 4 working computers, so actually I can have Windows 8 & Zorin OS on at the same time, in real life speed. Plus on my main two computers, I have SSD's (a 180GB Intel 330 & 128GB M4), so all of that fast boot gimmick stuff isn't needed. I have Windows 8 Pro on two computers, one a "fast boot", on a WD RE4 & the other on the Intel 330, it's pointless to state which is the fastest.

However, I've yet to try dual boot Windows 8 & Zorin OS, now I have a reason to, to see which boots fastest on the same hardware. That in itself doesn't make either better than the other, though. Thing is, all one has to do is place their OS in hibernation, which is what is happening with 8, & see which is the fastest. It may or may not be Windows 8 that's truly the fastest starter.

Cat

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