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Windows 8 to Use Multi-Cores for Shutdown, Startup

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 107 comments

A smarter way to start you up.

We're all running systems these days with at least a couple of cores in our CPUs, right? And we want to take advantage of those cores too. Windows 8 will do that in a way that Windows 7 doesn’t – in the turning on and off of your computer.

Windows 8 will leverage multiple cores in parallel to work together when the system is preparing itself for hibernation and resume. In previous versions of Windows, this would only matter for those who were hibernating their systems; but for Windows 8, nearly all shutdown and boot sequences will use some form of hibernation.

In previous versions of Windows, every boot and shutdown sequence would be a completely fresh start for both the kernel and user sessions. The developers of Windows 8 deem the complete shutdown and reboot of the kernel session every time as unnecessary, so Windows 8 will instead hibernate the kernel session and only shutdown the user sessions.

Gabe Aul, a director of program management in Windows wrote in the B8 blog:"Now here’s the key difference for Windows 8: as in Windows 7, we close the user sessions, but instead of closing the kernel session, we hibernate it. Compared to a full hibernate, which includes a lot of memory pages in use by apps, session 0 hibernation data is much smaller, which takes substantially less time to write to disk. If you’re not familiar with hibernation, we’re effectively saving the system state and memory contents to a file on disk (hiberfil.sys) and then reading that back in on resume and restoring contents back to memory. Using this technique with boot gives us a significant advantage for boot times, since reading the hiberfile in and reinitializing drivers is much faster on most systems (30-70% faster on most systems we’ve tested)."

This means that an already fast boot process helped by an SSD gets even faster. Check out the SSD boot time in the video below:

Windows 8 boot time

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  • 32 Hide
    ravewulf , September 26, 2011 11:23 AM
    And if I want to completely restart the kernel session every once in a while instead of hibernate?
  • 28 Hide
    bustapr , September 26, 2011 11:20 AM
    plasmastormIt may boot to that screen extremely fast, but I would hardly call that tiled idiocy an OS.PC's used to be about letting the user control the entire experience and set things up how they wanted both visually and behind the scenes. That was the main attraction over Macs for a lot of people.Now Micro$oft are just doing all they can to be like Mac and alienating the majority of their customer base.Well done !

    Im pretty sure you can still make windows 8 look like you want it to. if you dont like it, stick with Win7.
  • 27 Hide
    sizzle , September 26, 2011 12:24 PM
    Awe man! Long reboots were always good excuses for coffee breaks.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    bustapr , September 26, 2011 11:20 AM
    plasmastormIt may boot to that screen extremely fast, but I would hardly call that tiled idiocy an OS.PC's used to be about letting the user control the entire experience and set things up how they wanted both visually and behind the scenes. That was the main attraction over Macs for a lot of people.Now Micro$oft are just doing all they can to be like Mac and alienating the majority of their customer base.Well done !

    Im pretty sure you can still make windows 8 look like you want it to. if you dont like it, stick with Win7.
  • 32 Hide
    ravewulf , September 26, 2011 11:23 AM
    And if I want to completely restart the kernel session every once in a while instead of hibernate?
  • 21 Hide
    Anonymous , September 26, 2011 11:23 AM
    I have found the Hibernation process to be unreliable in the past, causing more problems than what it resolves!

    I do hope there is the option of turning this process off.

    I also do not want the precious space on my SSD taken up for a Hiberfil.sys. Windows 7 boots up plenty fast enough already, faster than the BIOS boot on my Asus Crosshairs IV.

    Yes all for speeding up the boot process, but how about more efficient code and less services and processes needed to boot windows. How about loading processes only when they are needed!
  • 6 Hide
    officeguy , September 26, 2011 11:24 AM
    Between the 32 and 33 second mark there is a glitch. Did it really boot up that fast? I really have no doubts but make a video without glitches so you don't leave people wondering.
  • 21 Hide
    amigafan , September 26, 2011 11:41 AM
    ravewulfAnd if I want to completely restart the kernel session every once in a while instead of hibernate?

    "Restart" option does full reboot (just like in all previous Windows versions).
  • -6 Hide
    dreamer77dd , September 26, 2011 11:43 AM
    I think the hibernation will be not the same as Windows 7. Yes i never used hibernation either it just took so long to boot up from it like the computer frozen or something. I think customize windows 8 but it not even finished. We will always find away to customize windows.
  • -4 Hide
    Thunderfox , September 26, 2011 11:46 AM
    Sleep and resume a PC enough times and weird things start to happen. You need to be able to restart from scratch.

    Also, with newer machines sporting 8 gigs of memory or more, that hibernation file is going to be huge, especially to SSD users. I hope there is a way to turn this feature off for those who want to.
  • 6 Hide
    zodiacfml , September 26, 2011 12:06 PM
    i'm so used to the speed of system starts on a desktop. i see this useful to portable systems though.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , September 26, 2011 12:07 PM
    @plasmastorm

    You can apparently turn off the "Tiled Idiocy".

    (Source: http://www.techpowerup.com/152641/Metro-UI-Tweaker-Make-Windows-8-Look-Like-Windows-7.html)
  • -2 Hide
    lradunovic77 , September 26, 2011 12:13 PM
    First thing i do is to disable hibernation. It is useless for desktops and only does harm especially if you overclock your machine. Secondly, don't ever use Sleep. It is is useless for desktops. Laptops will benefit from this but again if you have SSD in your laptop, hibernation will wear that disk like there is no tomorrow. I am interested in MS getting rid of idea called Metro!
  • 2 Hide
    reggieray , September 26, 2011 12:19 PM
    Windows 8 will do that in a way that Windows 7 doesn’t – in the turning on and off of your computer.
    Oh boy that will make me switch, NOT.
  • 27 Hide
    sizzle , September 26, 2011 12:24 PM
    Awe man! Long reboots were always good excuses for coffee breaks.
  • 11 Hide
    nebun , September 26, 2011 12:25 PM
    such ugly interface :( 
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 26, 2011 12:26 PM
    Personally I am not worried by startup times as long as my next motherboard has UEFI instead of my current crappy old BIOS.

    When I cold boot at the moment at spends 25 seconds getting past the BIOS, then 5 seconds booting into Windows.

    I don't see the OS being a problem with that kind of performance, it is all down to the crappy BIOS, but if upgrading to UEFI shortens that amount then dropping the extra 5 seconds by an extra 1 or 2 seconds will always be appreciated.
  • 2 Hide
    silverblue , September 26, 2011 12:26 PM
    lradunovic77First thing i do is to disable hibernation. It is useless for desktops and only does harm especially if you overclock your machine. Secondly, don't ever use Sleep. It is is useless for desktops. Laptops will benefit from this but again if you have SSD in your laptop, hibernation will wear that disk like there is no tomorrow.


    I find hibernation quite helpful. If you've got a gaming machine, for example, and you play the same one or two titles a lot, and need to switch off once in a while, hibernation allows for a much faster reboot plus as your game is cached to some degree, it'll start back up much faster than with a cold boot. Maybe I'm not looking at the big picture, what with not being a die-hard overclocker and all. ;) 
  • 4 Hide
    nebun , September 26, 2011 12:27 PM
    this video is misleading...she did not mention that the laptop had a $500+ ssd drive in it...people can be so gullible
  • -8 Hide
    christop , September 26, 2011 12:33 PM
    Why not make the os use the extra cores all the time and not just for booting and shutting down.
  • 3 Hide
    DSpider , September 26, 2011 12:38 PM
    How about reducing complexity instead? Why does it take up so much space, as opposed to Windows 98, for instance? That thing only took up, what, 500 MB? If the files are in proper sequence on the disk and defragmented (probably less effective for SSDs but the vast majority still use HDDs), it will not only boot up faster but will perform better too. Motherboard/GPU drivers, etc., are usually provided by the manufacturers anyway. A generic pack (500 MB?) should be enough. I mean think about it, a complete Linux kernel is under 100 MB.

    "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
  • 2 Hide
    mcd023 , September 26, 2011 12:59 PM
    I had thought that the main limitation for boot/shutdown was the HDD speed, but since this will be in tablets, the multi-core and kernel hibernation is a really good idea. It will allow a larger OS (desktop vs. tablet) to boot really quickly. I like it. And yes, I put my desktop to sleep all the time. I like clicking the mouse or keyboard to get back to work quickly.
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