So we all know that Windows 8 will boot a lot faster than previous versions of Windows. It will boot in about ten seconds (That’s compared to what could be anywhere from forty-five seconds to five minutes in previous versions.)

Sure Google’s Chrome OS can boot in 9 seconds, but who’s using Chrome OS?

The fast boot time has been one of the main highlights of Windows 8. And it needs to be that way. Every mobile operating system on the market right now (iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, WebOS) is instant on. Even the new version of Mac OS X (Lion) boots faster than previous versions of Mac OS X.

So yeah, we know that Windows 8 has a fast boot time, but we don’t know why.

First, we have to realize that the changes made were all software. If you were using hardware that makes computers boot faster, (booting from and SSD instead of an HDD, having an LED display etc.) combined with Windows 8, this would allow Windows 8 to boot in six seconds or less. Six seconds!

And there’s proof of that in a video. (To watch the video click on the Source link and its the first video when you scroll down.)

To prove that the changes in Windows 8 were mostly software, a man optimized his Windows XP boot sequence heavily and he got the boot time down to twelve seconds. That’s compared to about one minute for Windows 7 computers.

So how does Microsoft do it? Well ITPortal did some research and came up with three main reasons why Windows 8 boots faster, and how Microsoft did it.

Here they are:

1. The Cold Start isn’t Really Cold Anymore:

A cold start is just when the computer is started up after being completely shut down. No sleep. No hibernation. So the main reason why Windows 8 boots really fast is because Microsoft has redesigned the cold start. Microsoft made it so that vital processes are not turned off when shutting down.

So basically when you shut your computer down, it is a lot like it is hibernation mode. The kernel files for Windows 8 are always on standby. This allows for the booting process in Windows 8 to take a lot less time.

2. Creating a Faster Starting Sequence: 

The starting sequence in a computer is usually a bootstrap process. First the bootloader is loaded. The bootloader than loads the important, core, system files of the operating system, and then those core system files load the rest of the files. In Windows 8, the system checks for the important kernel files, which are on standby from Step 1, and loads them before it loads the rest of the system files.

This is different from previous versions of Windows which just loaded these files along the way.

3. Store the Hibernating Files With RAM: 

All of the kernel files that are stored using hibernate in the first step are stored in the computer RAM which allows for even faster read/write and boot times. I have no idea how that would work because traditionally, RAM is supposed to be wiped after the system shuts down, but Microsoft’s developers must have done something special.

So this is how Microsoft made Windows 8 boot insanely fast using just a software redesign. So if you knew how to, you could technically edit your old machine to boot this fast, but I am not encouraging it, if you messed up, you could render your system unusable, so be careful.


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  • Jase Wolf

    Well, you are a bit wrong with lion, it is not as fast as snow leopard but it doesn’t seem to bother me as I know that after it boots, i have got a fabulous operating system to use.

    I think that so windows should start faster than mac as look at the difference between the features. Mac has lots more and a lot more advanced features than what windows has!

    I think it is great that windows 8 is like it is and am using it everyday in college on my netbook, but at the end of the day, i am so glad to come home to my Mac.

  • sarveshmotihari

    Where is the Video??