Windows 8: Boot Manager gets the Metro treatment

With the unveiling of Windows 8, there have been many new features that were not initially shown off when introduced. One small, but unannounced feature, was a new boot manager.

The image above shows off Microsoft’s new Boot Manager which, unsurprisingly, is designed to use the Metro design language. The new interface, while simple and clean in its design, offers the basic functionality that you would expect from a Boot manager.

Microsoft really did work to bring Metro to every aspect of the new platform. Considering that the Boot Manager is not used by many when compared to other features, they did take the time to update the look and feel of the Boot Manager.

This is just one of the many new features that will be uncovered over the coming days. We have exhaustively been covering Windows 8 and you can find a helpful guide to the news we have covered here.

Thanks for the tip M.F.D.K

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I love it, it looks a lot nicer. There are a few other things I like too including the new task manager and the file transfer menu. All of them got some big overhauls and they look amazing.

The boot manager should "learn" not to overwrite any Linux boot managers you have installed such as GRUB and add itself to it instead of overwriting it.

xpclient said,
The boot manager should "learn" not to overwrite any Linux boot managers you have installed such as GRUB and add itself to it instead of overwriting it.

Last install wins!

Why not have the user specify the default interface format--Metro or traditional--that gets displayed on booting up? Have the user specify the initial format during installation, then, if wanted, a user can change a Control Panel element to change the default to the other format. Neat, easy, and the correct way to do it. (Microsoft, please take notice and act accordingly.)

To be fair I don't think this is a proper boot manager, as it seems to boot the entire OS and then show this screen. I understand for touch devices this is necessary due to the lack of a keyboard, but I hope Microsoft offers a basic text-based boot manager for, oh let's see, 99% of today's Windows computers.

They could be working on a very stripped down boot in time for the public beta. Hopefully they are as it takes ~25 seconds for this 'boot manager' to appear. Upon selecting Windows 7, it reboots the laptop before invoking the Windows 7 boot process.

The next problem I see with making the boot manager load after the OS loads is simple - what if a on-boot driver fails to load properly and triggers a blue screen? Or what if I need to access safe mode? There is no clear way to do that in the current DP.

So to clarify, how long does the system take (approximately) after posting to display this boot menu?

I recall that the old Win9x, 2k, XP boot menu would appear in under a second or so, however this was obviously just using the basic Dos interface. I assume that this graphical boot menu will take a little longer to load, correct?

Installed 8 on my laptop used a separate partition for 8 got the boot manager between 7/8. Installed 8 on my desktop used a separate partition for 8 but do not have the boot loader. It just loads Windows 8. I went to startup/recovery (old fashioned way) and see Windows 7 and Windows 8 as options.... 30 seconds is checked to decide but again I don't get the boot loader at all. It is nice though on my laptop (writing from 8 as we speak)

I only hate that for getting to Windows 7 there needs to boot the preview release and then it boots Windows 7.... It just ****es me off

Drat...Installed it on my backup laptop hard drive. When I went to touch the screen,
the touch screen icons DON'T work. And here I thought this might give me a TOUCH screen LOL...wonder how many end users will try that one

This looks good but it's implemented pretty stupidly, since to boot into windows 7 it boots into wdp, select windows 7, restart the pc, boot into 7, so a good 30-40 seconds is added to the boot time

Heartripper said,
This looks good but it's implemented pretty stupidly, since to boot into windows 7 it boots into wdp, select windows 7, restart the pc, boot into 7, so a good 30-40 seconds is added to the boot time
Yea I dont like that it wastes all the time either..

I have 2 x 500GB harddrives in my laptop.

C: + D:

Windows 7 is installed on C:, Im currently emptying the D: to my external, when I install Windows 8 on D: will it give me this Metro Boot-loader, or will I have to do it the old fashioned way?

McKay said,
I have 2 x 500GB harddrives in my laptop.

C: + D:

Windows 7 is installed on C:, Im currently emptying the D: to my external, when I install Windows 8 on D: will it give me this Metro Boot-loader, or will I have to do it the old fashioned way?

If you burn the dev build to dvd or use a usb drive boot from that media and do a custom install and select your drive and you should get the new boot manager.

I don't get this, just the same black and white version as in Vista/7. Is it something that's off by default or am I missing something?

Well I have a question, I have the Dev Build installed on a second partition and if I decide to remove it will it default back to the other boot manager? And is it safe just to delete/format the partition?

NoLiMiT06 said,
Well I have a question, I have the Dev Build installed on a second partition and if I decide to remove it will it default back to the other boot manager? And is it safe just to delete/format the partition?

If you set Windows 7 as the default OS to boot into from this bootloader, it'll switch back to using 7's bootloader (whist has an entry for Windows 8). So if you at least do that first, you'll be pretty much safe.

I noticed this, kinda kicked Ubunutu out of the window as its not included it in my list but still kepts Windows 7 (favoritism) but looks alot better than plain retro text!

Damn, that looks pretty nice for something as irrelevant as a boot manager.

I wouldn't really care either way, but it is a nice touch!

Kuraj said,

I wouldn't really care either way, but it is a nice touch!

For me, this thread answered my pending question about dual booting to the preview, upgrading it, etc. So I'm happy! 8)

Seems they are really cleaning up everything in this release. I would hope that even the Windows 7 desktop with all of the settings that are accessible gets a Metro overhaul to look like the new Server Manager in Windows 8.

dagamer34 said,
Seems they are really cleaning up everything in this release.

Indeed. Windows 7 got the core in order from the ground up, so now they can address optimization, polishing, new tools, upgrades, etc. etc.

Since I installed Windows Dev Preview alongside Windows 7, I get both operating systems' bootloaders. Is there any way to fix it?

ivkos said,
Since I installed Windows Dev Preview alongside Windows 7, I get both operating systems' bootloaders. Is there any way to fix it?

how did you get that done? I wanted to put the preview on my computer but didn't want to loose my files because the installer asked me if I wanted it to delete everything.......that sounded like it wanted to wipe my harddrive clean...

ivkos said,
Since I installed Windows Dev Preview alongside Windows 7, I get both operating systems' bootloaders. Is there any way to fix it?

how did you get that done? I wanted to put the preview on my computer but didn't want to loose my files because the installer asked me if I wanted it to delete everything.......that sounded like it wanted to wipe my harddrive clean...

ctrl_alt_delete said,

how did you get that done? I wanted to put the preview on my computer but didn't want to loose my files because the installer asked me if I wanted it to delete everything.......that sounded like it wanted to wipe my harddrive clean...


It wipes only the partition you select.
So just create a dedicated partition for windows 8, boot from the DVD drive, select the "advanced/delete everything" option but then choose the empty partition, and you're done, both windows 7 and windows 8 will live on your machine.

Instead, if you want to keep your files and install windows 8 above windows 7, select the "upgrade" option, and all of your files should be moved to a "windows.old" folder.

ctrl_alt_delete said,

how did you get that done? I wanted to put the preview on my computer but didn't want to loose my files because the installer asked me if I wanted it to delete everything.......that sounded like it wanted to wipe my harddrive clean...

In Windows 7 type diskmgmt.msc in Start, the Disk Management Console will open. Right-click the C: partition, and select Shrink Volume. Wait for it to process and then enter like 20480 in the size box, that will give you 20 GB. Restart and boot from the burned disc and select that partition to install it on.

Edited by wixostrix, Sep 14 2011, 9:46pm :

ivkos said,
Since I installed Windows Dev Preview alongside Windows 7, I get both operating systems' bootloaders. Is there any way to fix it?

In my case when I choose to boot win7 it restarts and load it, and when I shutdown win7 it gives me the Win8 metro OS selector, it's nicer not as customizable as Ubuntu GRUB but certainly more minimalistic.

It's beautiful, in it you can set the boot time, default OS, choose restore options and so much more. Beats the crud out of the old DOS style keyboard only one we had up until 7.

Well that's neat... Those icons/tiles do look kind of stupid though...
But maybe they'll show an OS logo or something in the final version.

Leonick said,
Well that's neat... Those icons/tiles do look kind of stupid though...
But maybe they'll show an OS logo or something in the final version.

Yeah Icons look stupid.... if colorful it would be better.

still1 said,

Yeah Icons look stupid.... if colorful it would be better.

I would assume that there'll be some way to put custom icons in there, so you can have an Ubuntu ucon for Ubuntu, and so on.

still1 said,

Yeah Icons look stupid.... if colorful it would be better.

those are just icon placeholder. it will be upgraded as the OS reaches closer to rtm.

Leonick said,
Well that's neat... Those icons/tiles do look kind of stupid though...
But maybe they'll show an OS logo or something in the final version.
haha just what i was thinking!

Leonick said,
Well that's neat... Those icons/tiles do look kind of stupid though...
But maybe they'll show an OS logo or something in the final version.

I like these icons, plain and simple. Why does EVERYTHING has to be colourful?

Jarrichvdv said,

I like these icons, plain and simple. Why does EVERYTHING has to be colourful?

because the basic concept of windows 8 is being colorful.