Windows 8 boots too quickly, first world OS problem

Here is an interesting problem, if you want to call it that, which Microsoft had to address when building Windows 8. We all want faster boot times and Windows 8 delivers on the front. The problem is that the boot times are so quick that when you need to enter the setup menu, by pressing F2/F8 during boot, there is literally no time to do it.

So, what did Microsoft do? Surely they are not going to artificially slow down the boot time to compensate for this, so they added a few new features to the OS to make it easier to access these menus.

In a machine with an SSD installed, you can boot up a machine in 7 seconds and the time to boot will likely get shorter as hardware improves over Windows 8 lifecycle. In a test machine at Microsoft with an SSD and UEFI system, the time window to hit F8 is 200 miliseconds, good luck hitting that with any bit of reliability.

In the scenario where you can not boot to Windows, Windows 8 will automatically enter automatic failover behavior which is determined by an algorithm that establishes a baseline over several boots. This should help appease those who have ever had what appears to be a successful boot but only to have the system hang due to a bad driver.  

Microsoft penned up another dissertation worthy post on the Windows 8 blog that goes in to great detail about the issue, how they worked around it and the new features coming with Windows 8 that addresses all of these issues.  The video below does a great job of taking that post and turning it into a palatable bite seized chunk but it does not go in to the detail of the Windows 8 post.

The good news is that Microsoft offers many ways to easily get to the boot menu options for when it is needed. For the most part, the average consumer will never need these features and the fast boot of Windows 8 will be a welcomed upgrade from Windows 7. But for those of us who need to get under the hood occasionally, Microsoft has you covered. 

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Here's a better idea:
In order to proceed to the 'boot settings, etc,' why not just let people press and *hold* a Key (keyboard key) during boot, in a way where absolulety no timing is needed - just hold the key when you press the power button. Next, it shall bring them to a menu that let's them confirm whether they want to continue to boot or proceed to the boot settings.

Ken Kenne said,
Here's a better idea:
In order to proceed to the 'boot settings, etc,' why not just let people press and *hold* a Key (keyboard key) during boot, in a way where absolulety no timing is needed - just hold the key when you press the power button. Next, it shall bring them to a menu that let's them confirm whether they want to continue to boot or proceed to the boot settings.


^^^ This.

What if you get blue screens as you approach desktop (a common issue caused by infection) and you can't reach this options screen? I highly suggest a menu that opens at boot by default that has a 5 second timeout, every time you boot. 5 seconds, we can all spare it.

I hope what is said about Windows starting very quick is really real My Windows 7 takes a long time to start and shut down. Though being so quick that we might not be able to go into BIOS, that sounds really quick.

This article's unbelievably ignorant and leads me to believe that the author has never used a PC before.

When a PC is first switched on, it goes through POST -- a BIOS thing -- which doesn't care what operating system is installed. Things like F2 to enter setup are processed then. You can install whatever operating system you like: BIOS won't care because it HASN'T EVEN LOOKED FOR AN OPERATING SYSTEM YET. Nothing you do to Windows or to its boot time once it starts loading will have the slightest effect on what POST does, or how long it gives you to enter Setup.

Now, if you put your PC into Hibernate mode, or whatever, then that's a different story: when you un-hibernate it, a hardware interrupt is generated and whatever handler is present in the operating system deals with whatever happens (keypresses, etc.) and it's completely feasible that they've sped that up... but that doesn't really count as "booting" - it's more about "resuming" or restoring the PC's state just before it hibernated, then carrying on from where it left off.

That happens to be naive and more ignorant.
The BIOS thing has nothing to do with options within the OS, such as Safe Mode, System Repair etc.

I fail to understand how this is a problem? Does not matter how quick the PC boots. It should be possible physically holds the F2/F7/F8 button *and then* press the Power button. The PC should then detect the key is pressed and take the user to BIOS. The only problem I can think of is in a Laptop when the lid is closed you cannot access the keyboard.

You are sort of right... remember that some keys are intended for the BIOS and others (such as F8) for Windows. As the article states, apparently, Windows 8 will only check for the F8 key press event for 200ms while the BIOS has a loop (LOOPZ, actually) that runs for about 2 seconds, a thousand times longer than Windows...

Also, as I (tried to) explain on a previous post, it won't help if you keep F8 pressed while the computer boots as the BIOS resets any key presses as it POST.

The best solution, I think, would be to use a control key (such as shift/alt/ctrl) to interrupt Windows' normal boot process without requiring a longer detection time.
Basically, what Apple has done for years to allow users to boot into System 'n' in safe mode (ie no extensions).

Edited by xfx, May 23 2012, 7:00am :

how is 7 seconds not enough time to get into bios? Turn your computer on and have your finger on the button. thats half a second?
I am glad it boots faster on a fresh install, but what about in real world situations when you computer is full of programs that u USE.

What a load of crap. It's only slightly faster than Win7 on my Core i7 860 w/ 12GB (fresh installs). Two seconds difference is not something worth fapping over.

osuwildlifer said,
What a load of crap. It's only slightly faster than Win7 on my Core i7 860 w/ 12GB (fresh installs). Two seconds difference is not something worth fapping over.

Does your computer have a UEFI firmware? if so, is it enabled within the firmware settings? the new boot up times are dependent on a UEFI compliant firmware implementation.

Kudos to MS on the quick boot times and for addressing the menu issue too, nice, everyone likes quick boot times

drazgoosh said,
What about the time in between me pressing the on button and then going to get a drink? #FirstWorldProblems

I could ask you to do the same thing... If you can't boot into windows, you can't very well use the "restart in safe mode" option.

Umm.... Are they forgetting that if your computer wont BOOT, you can't very well use these methods to get into safe mode and such, now can you?..... Epically bad idea.

Reverend Spam said,
Umm.... Are they forgetting that if your computer wont BOOT, you can't very well use these methods to get into safe mode and such, now can you?..... Epically bad idea.

If your computer can't boot then accessing safe mode is the least of your worries. If you mean won't boot into Windows, then please read the whole article; or even the comments section (both of which specify how they are to handle this).

if that a touch-screen monitor I wanna see your arm and neck after two hours of usage...
Looks like an OS taken from the movie (documentary) Idiocracy. Its becomming real.

ThePitt said,
if that a touch-screen monitor I wanna see your arm and neck after two hours of usage...
Looks like an OS taken from the movie (documentary) Idiocracy. Its becomming real.

So you are saying you are a breeder in your analogy? You like Gatorade too?

To honestly help you, I wish there was a way to simply trephinate new tools of understanding into the cognitive modalities of your mind.

The reason Windows 8 boot times are so fast is because "Shutdown" is really "Hibernate". It's a blatant misrepresentation. If you actually start from a true cold boot it takes about the same amount of time to boot W8 as it does to boot W7.

Another annoyance of W8 "Shutdown" is if you dual boot as I do, you won't get the boot menu if you "Shutdown", since like I said that's actually hibernate mode. I have to "Restart" in order to access my other OS.

Nick K said,
I have to "Restart" in order to access my other OS.

Or use the method shown in the video, which is the same as restarting.

Nick K said,
The reason Windows 8 boot times are so fast is because "Shutdown" is really "Hibernate". It's a blatant misrepresentation. If you actually start from a true cold boot it takes about the same amount of time to boot W8 as it does to boot W7.

Another annoyance of W8 "Shutdown" is if you dual boot as I do, you won't get the boot menu if you "Shutdown", since like I said that's actually hibernate mode. I have to "Restart" in order to access my other OS.

Use the Windows 7 boot loader that still lets you choose before loading any OS.

mrp04 said,

Use the Windows 7 boot loader that still lets you choose before loading any OS.

I do. But like I said, if I choose "Shutdown" from within Windows 8, it actually hibernates. Therefore the W7 bootloader won't appear when I power my system back on. I have to restart if I want to access the W7 bootloader.

Is there a way to truly shutdown from within W8? Anyone know?

Nick K said,
The reason Windows 8 boot times are so fast is because "Shutdown" is really "Hibernate"

I should correct myself. W8 "Shutdown" hibernates the kernel memory but shuts down programs. It's a hybrid of shutdown and hibernate

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...oot-times-in-windows-8.aspx

Also you can perform a complete shutdown by doing:
shutdown /s /full / t 0
I should make a shortcut. Call it "Real Shutdown" or something.

Nick K said,
The reason Windows 8 boot times are so fast is because "Shutdown" is really "Hibernate". It's a blatant misrepresentation. If you actually start from a true cold boot it takes about the same amount of time to boot W8 as it does to boot W7.

Another annoyance of W8 "Shutdown" is if you dual boot as I do, you won't get the boot menu if you "Shutdown", since like I said that's actually hibernate mode. I have to "Restart" in order to access my other OS.

Then you obviously have never cold-booted Windows.

From a cold-boot (system was turned off), the Consumer Preview still beats 7 rather badly - and I don't have an SSD.

Nick K said,
The reason Windows 8 boot times are so fast is because "Shutdown" is really "Hibernate". It's a blatant misrepresentation. If you actually start from a true cold boot it takes about the same amount of time to boot W8 as it does to boot W7.

Another annoyance of W8 "Shutdown" is if you dual boot as I do, you won't get the boot menu if you "Shutdown", since like I said that's actually hibernate mode. I have to "Restart" in order to access my other OS.

It is a partial hibernate as documented by Microsoft, the user session is being shutdown. Not sure why you don't get the boot menu, on two systems that I currently run the cp on together with 7, both systems show the boot menu for three seconds (which by default is 30 seconds). And no, the boot times of Windows 8 on sata hardware at least, is massively quicker then on Windows 7.

Nick K said,
The reason Windows 8 boot times are so fast is because "Shutdown" is really "Hibernate". It's a blatant misrepresentation. If you actually start from a true cold boot it takes about the same amount of time to boot W8 as it does to boot W7.

Another annoyance of W8 "Shutdown" is if you dual boot as I do, you won't get the boot menu if you "Shutdown", since like I said that's actually hibernate mode. I have to "Restart" in order to access my other OS.

wierd i click shutdown in w8 and i get the choice of booting into either win7 or win8 when i start my pc back up

Here's an idea: drop the Fx keys in favor of the SHIFT key. This key can be pressed (and held down) as soon as you see the BIOS/VideoCard info and can be easily detected as a modifier to the boot process.

xfx said,
Here's an idea: drop the Fx keys in favor of the SHIFT key. This key can be pressed (and held down) as soon as you see the BIOS/VideoCard info and can be easily detected as a modifier to the boot process.

Tell that to the various UEFI and BIOS vendors out there, not MS.

The article refers to Windows' boot screen... so it is Windows that needs "detect" which key is being pressed at boot time (not the BIOS).

xfx said,
Here's an idea: drop the Fx keys in favor of the SHIFT key. This key can be pressed (and held down) as soon as you see the BIOS/VideoCard info and can be easily detected as a modifier to the boot process.

Right on! Maybe even the Windows key. It's painfully obvious, why didn't they consider this?!

Mark said,

Right on! Maybe even the Windows key. It's painfully obvious, why didn't they consider this?!

Unfortunately, the WinKey wouldn't work either -- standard keys are reset on various POST steps while the state of the shift/alt/ctrl keys is not, so they should be "ideal" to detect a user wanting to alter the standard boot process.

I know this is true for the "old" BIOS although I have no idea what happens on EFI-based systems.

xfx said,

Unfortunately, the WinKey wouldn't work either -- standard keys are reset on various POST steps while the state of the shift/alt/ctrl keys is not, so they should be "ideal" to detect a user wanting to alter the standard boot process.

I know this is true for the "old" BIOS although I have no idea what happens on EFI-based systems.

Still, I agree with you either way, just hold down a key at bios, ready for the bootloader to detect, rather than hitting a key at the right moment.

So you mean to tell me windows 8 boots even faster with a ssd drive then windows 7 does? The bios boot up is already slower then the OS bootup on my system

majortom1981 said,
So you mean to tell me windows 8 boots even faster with a ssd drive then windows 7 does? The bios boot up is already slower then the OS bootup on my system

yes

If it boots faster than Windows 7 with SSD it's gonna have to be instant-on

majortom1981 said,
So you mean to tell me windows 8 boots even faster with a ssd drive then windows 7 does? The bios boot up is already slower then the OS bootup on my system

neonspark said,
too bad they haven't fixed file copy as it remains slower than windows XP.

I agree, it is a bit funny that very basic operation of OS is broken since Windows XP. It is really slow over domain.

Highlander77 said,

I agree, it is a bit funny that very basic operation of OS is broken since Windows XP. It is really slow over domain.

Really? It's fine here..

Oh look at that he's not using a mouse guess I might just have to adapt and snap the stand on my desktop monitor to +45 degrees or more so don't strain my shoulders, put a cheap nasty chinese stick on digitizer over it cover it in smeary finger prints and act like it's greatest windows yet while only being able to browse/use single apps and use windows and do nothing much else.

Booting up fast or slow or even at all is the least of their concerns.

I don't have any expectation on booting faster in Windows 8.
When I installed Windows 7 a year ago, it boots fast.
But, it boots slower and slower, especially after applying windows update patches.
Now, it is dead slow in boot up :-(
I have measured the time, it is at least twice the time slower than the days with Windows XP.

ray_bk said,
I don't have any expectation on booting faster in Windows 8.
When I installed Windows 7 a year ago, it boots fast.
But, it boots slower and slower, especially after applying windows update patches.
Now, it is dead slow in boot up :-(
I have measured the time, it is at least twice the time slower than the days with Windows XP.

Bro, get yourself an SSD, and all those problems will be a thing of the past.

The Laughing Man said,
I never worried about the F8 function, i hammer the button from post until the option pops up, is this so hard to do lol

BEEP BEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEEEP BEEEEP

The Laughing Man said,
I never worried about the F8 function, i hammer the button from post until the option pops up, is this so hard to do lol

yes, because 200ms is a very short time, basically, if it happens that you are on your key press up, you are sol, as there is no way for you to determine when the 200ms starts counting within the boot process .... also, another issue is time, it does take some 2-3ms for the signal to travel (maybe less) from keypress to information received so, all in all, the 200ms is actually shorter.

Then again, a I am sure mods can be done to remedy this

zeta_immersion said,

yes, because 200ms is a very short time, basically, if it happens that you are on your key press up, you are sol, as there is no way for you to determine when the 200ms starts counting within the boot process .... also, another issue is time, it does take some 2-3ms for the signal to travel (maybe less) from keypress to information received so, all in all, the 200ms is actually shorter.

Then again, a I am sure mods can be done to remedy this

One issue I did have with my previous Mobo was the fact that F8 controlled the boot order aswell, that was annoying.

The Laughing Man said,

One issue I did have with my previous Mobo was the fact that F8 controlled the boot order aswell, that was annoying.

Yeah, dell, lenovo, ibm have it ... is a love/hate relationship ... user fantastic, IT support already knowing what to do, a chore

Jose_49 said,
Post by post, metro haters must be shaving a knife upon their hearts .

Metro is not an issue for most. People have learnt they can just tweak registry and stop it from displaying when you login and also you can just get the start orb button like vistart or stardocks.

On my w8 machine i don't even see metro any-more! Whats the point in getting w8 then you ask? Security, bug fix's, speedups etc etc.

Adam Vester said,

Metro is not an issue for most. People have learnt they can just tweak registry and stop it from displaying when you login and also you can just get the start orb button like vistart or stardocks.

On my w8 machine i don't even see metro any-more! Whats the point in getting w8 then you ask? Security, bug fix's, speedups etc etc.


I do that myself too

Jose_49 said,
Post by post, metro haters must be shaving a knife upon their hearts .

Nope, as an IT pro I still foresee the headaches that are coming my way. If current experiences are any indication and they stay true as my group previews Win8 to our clients, they will certainly outweigh any personal benefits (such as performance gains, and what looks to be some really nice multi-monitor support) that I will get out of Win8.

edit:

Call me selfish, stupid, or whatever but when you spend most of your time on PCs fixing other people's simple stupidity than doing what you want to do on your own PC, and then you see the drastic changes that Win8 is bringing about then maybe you can understand why currently I hate Win8 more than I like Win8.

Condere said,
.....

As an IT pro, I can't understand how you DON'T see the potential savings in your time after the initial hump.

I guess when LoB become Metro and people can share ERP data with CRM systems and vice versa over the share charm without your involvement, then you'll miss the old days.

Condere said,

Nope, as an IT pro I still foresee the headaches that are coming my way. If current experiences are any indication and they stay true as my group previews Win8 to our clients, they will certainly outweigh any personal benefits (such as performance gains, and what looks to be some really nice multi-monitor support) that I will get out of Win8.

edit:

Call me selfish, stupid, or whatever but when you spend most of your time on PCs fixing other people's simple stupidity than doing what you want to do on your own PC, and then you see the drastic changes that Win8 is bringing about then maybe you can understand why currently I hate Win8 more than I like Win8.


You'll just have to wait and see before implying any more judgment. Who knows? Maybe you'll have your life easier,

Well this would only be a problem if you don't know what key to press at startup. If you know that you need to press F8 for the safe mode selection or Del for the UEFI menu, then you should have no problem getting inside that 200ms window by mashing the key.

This is cool. They should bring out a switch like we used to have back in the day! Just press the button and the computer will but slower that way if you do want to enter the menu or read the POS you can just press button and hit restart..

Adam Vester said,
This is cool. They should bring out a switch like we used to have back in the day! Just press the button and the computer will but slower that way if you do want to enter the menu or read the POS you can just press button and hit restart..

...or mess with people... LOL

First-world problem indeed. With Windows 8 however, I don't think i'd ever need to go into safe mode ever again. Windows has been so solid since Windows 7.

Panda X said,
Adding links into the control panel aren't really a solution if your computer can't fully boot into Windows.
If you actually read the article, Windows defaults to the boot menu if it doesn't load. So there's no problem either way.

testman said,
If you actually read the article, Windows defaults to the boot menu if it doesn't load. So there's no problem either way.

Oh, I missed that. Good catch.

Huh that's something I had never considered, good to see that they have addressed the issue though. I just wonder what will happen if your pc won't boot and your need to access bios options?

PalletTown said,
Huh that's something I had never considered, good to see that they have addressed the issue though. I just wonder what will happen if your pc won't boot and your need to access bios options?

It is already stated in the article:

Article said
In the scenario where you can not boot to Windows, Windows 8 will automatically enter automatic failover behavior which is determined by an algorithm that establishes a baseline over several boots. This should help appease those who have ever had what appears to be a successful boot but only to have the system hang due to a bad driver.

PalletTown said,
Huh that's something I had never considered, good to see that they have addressed the issue though. I just wonder what will happen if your pc won't boot and your need to access bios options?

I was wondering the same thing. I like being able to access them without having to race to the F2 key (Which I never seem to hit fast enough LOL), but at the same time it's important to be able to access this without booting Windows...

PalletTown said,
Huh that's something I had never considered, good to see that they have addressed the issue though. I just wonder what will happen if your pc won't boot and your need to access bios options?

Because Channel9 speaks to more than just developers running (or developing for) Windows. Channel9 is also the outreach center for all the open-source efforts within Microsoft's development community.

Jose_49 said,

It is already stated in the article:


No idea how I managed to miss that, I swear my brain makes me skip things so that it can then make me look like an idiot! Thanks for pointing it out

PalletTown said,
Huh that's something I had never considered, good to see that they have addressed the issue though. I just wonder what will happen if your pc won't boot and your need to access bios options?

What Microsoft should have done:
Step 1: pick a function button which generally isn't used in BIOS for example F1, F2 F5. F8, F10, F11 or even windows key+a function button
Step 2: Make it so users can simply hold this key combination down while post occurs, and when the bootloader actually loads, if the keys are being pressed, boot into safemode

I'm sure this would have been much easier.

PalletTown said,

No idea how I managed to miss that, I swear my brain makes me skip things so that it can then make me look like an idiot! Thanks for pointing it out

You're welcome. I understand, one can miss things when one is very hyped up

Jose_49 said,

It is already stated in the article:


Let's hope that the algorithm that decides that Windows 8 cannot boot isn't itself affected by the issue, or that there's a problem before that algorithm runs. Often with severe problems, there's a problem with the bootloader. I have a hard time imagining this algorithm will run before the Windows bootloader.

So I'm personally a bit wary about this solution. The thing about entering BIOS and adjusting options was that you did this before the boot loader hadn't even started, and thus it wasn't and (more importantly) couldn't even be affected by the OS state.

Giving all this up for just a fraction of second faster cold bootup sounds a bit weird to me. If the OS works well, you shouldn't even need to cold boot more than once a month to start with. Is it an admission that you may need to cold boot often?

PalletTown said,
Huh that's something I had never considered, good to see that they have addressed the issue though. I just wonder what will happen if your pc won't boot and your need to access bios options?

I've been using/testing Win8 since its first beta release. At no time was accessing the BIOS a "speed" issue. Even with the BIOS set on Fast POST, the boot speed does not affect the whole POST process. The only time the boot speed even becomes an issue is after the SATA is initialized and the boot.cfg/ini are read. If you have the need to hit F8 to change the way windows 8 boots is the only attribute affected. No need for anyone to freak out about accessing your BIOS. POST is not affected by Win8 initialization and boot up. So if you have to hit F2, Del, or whatever the mobo uses to break POST and enter BIOS, you will still be able to do it just fine. I have had no issues since installing Win8 5 months ago, even with the updates I get from the Microsoft developers. Hope this helps.

bdsams said,
Video is still be processed by youtube, should be live any minute.

Your video names are epic!
KeepingyourfamilysafterwWin8_high.mp4
DesigningPCsthatbootfasterthaneverbefore high
Windows8withaWindowsLIVEID high ch9
..

You can thank MS for that , I download them from their site and re-upload them to YouTube for easy view for the readers...I wish they would give us videos we could share, not sure why they do it this way.

BumbleBritches57 said,

They do it like this to advertise their own hardly used YouTube competitor.

I have a couple videos hosted on my personal web server. So does that mean that I run a "hardly used YouTube competitor"?

Channel 9 (the domain of the videos is media.ch9.ms) is Microsoft's developer community web site. It is not intended to be a competitor to YouTube. Non-Microsoft Internet users do not post their videos there, it is not a general-purpose video site, it is not a video posting community, it is just a place where Microsoft employees post videos showing developers how to write software.

To make it sound like a failing competitor to YouTube is like saying that NeoWin is a failing competitor to Google because there is a search box on the top right corner.

nohone said,

I have a couple videos hosted on my personal web server. So does that mean that I run a "hardly used YouTube competitor"?
...

I don't understand what he's saying either. I think MS is trying to promote HTML5 video (but of course, it's still using mp4). I think he could say that if MS is using MSN Videos or Silverlight. But that isn't the case.

nohone said,

I have a couple videos hosted on my personal web server. So does that mean that I run a "hardly used YouTube competitor"?

Channel 9 (the domain of the videos is media.ch9.ms) is Microsoft's developer community web site. It is not intended to be a competitor to YouTube. Non-Microsoft Internet users do not post their videos there, it is not a general-purpose video site, it is not a video posting community, it is just a place where Microsoft employees post videos showing developers how to write software.

To make it sound like a failing competitor to YouTube is like saying that NeoWin is a failing competitor to Google because there is a search box on the top right corner.

Lawl, you know exactly what I'm talking about, their stupid Bing Videos, which is obviously a youtube competitor. Yahoo does the same thing.

BumbleBritches57 said,

Lawl, you know exactly what I'm talking about, their stupid Bing Videos, which is obviously a youtube competitor. Yahoo does the same thing.

1) This video is not hosted on Bing Videos. It is hosted on Channel 9. How could it "advertise" Bing Videos when it is not using Bing Videos?
2) There is no hosting on Bing Videos. Bing Videos is simply a part of the search engine. Since you don't seem to know, YouTube is a web site where people create videos, then upload them to the YouTube web site. When the Bing bot is searching the web, if it encounters a video it stores a note of that video, just like when it finds images or text in web pages it keeps track of image/text. When you want to search for a video, Bing Videos shows the videos that it found. There is no hosting on Bing Videos, it relies upon the web site to host the video and you search for it.

If there is no hosting on Bing Videos, they cannot advertise their hosting this video on Bing Videos. Google's search engine, if it scans Channel 9, would find the video just as the Bing one does.

You are digging for a scandal, some way to play gotcha, but you obviously do not know what you are talking about.