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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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.

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).

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.

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

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.

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.

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 :

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 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.

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.

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.

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