Microsoft today demoed the startup time for its new work-in-process operating system, Windows 8.
The key difference in the way Windows 8 shutdowns is that instead of closing the kernel session the way Windows 7 does, Windows 8 will hibernate it. This session 0 hibernate data file is much smaller as compared to the full hibernate data file, as a result it takes much less time to write to disk. You can read more about how Windows 7 currently shutdowns here.
Using this technique with boot gives Windows 8 a significant advantage for boot times, since reading the hiberfile in and re-initializing drivers is much faster on most systems.
Another important thing to note about Windows 8’s new fast startup mode is that, while Windows does not do a full “Plug & Play” enumeration of all drivers, it will still do initialize drivers in this mode.
This new fast startup mode will yield benefits on almost all systems, whether they have a spinning HDD or a solid state drive (SSD), but for newer systems with fast SSDs it is downright amazing.
Check out the video below to see for yourself:
Those of you like the old way of re-starting Windows, have an option in the UI to revert back to the Windows 7 shutdown/cold boot behavior, or since that’s likely a fairly infrequent thing, you can use the new /full switch on shutdown.exe. From a cmd prompt, run: shutdown /s /full / t 0 to invoke an immediate full shutdown. Also, choosing Restart from the UI will do a full shutdown, followed by a cold boot, says Microsoft.
In this quick startup mode, Windows 8 may take around 3-4 seconds to start, whereas from a cold start, you will get an 8 second boot!