Microsoft's Building Windows 8 blog has been buzzing the last few days. Today, Redmond is talking about Windows 8 boot times. Specifically, the company is addressing the fact that the operating system can boot too quickly at times.
According to Microsoft, Windows 8 can boot in as little as seven seconds. While most people herald this as good news, Microsoft understands that some of us actually want to interrupt that boot. However, though we might want to go mucking around in the BIOS or boot from an alternative device, Microsoft's Chris Clark says there is no longer enough time for detect keystrokes like F2 or F8. Clark goes on to say that while Microsoft isn't about to sacrifice its fast boot time to preserve these functions, there is a solution for those of us that live for F8 or that little "Press F2 for Setup" message.
Microsoft solved the problem using a combination of three different solutions that allow users to do everything they could before, be it booting from a alternate device, accessing the BIOS, troubleshooting, rolling back to a restore point using System Restore, or addressing corrupt driver installations.
First of all, Windows 8 will now have a boot options menu that contains all of the troubleshooting tools, developer-focused options for Windows startup, methods for accessing the firmware's BIOS setup, and a method for booting to alternative devices. Second, there's now specific 'failover behaviors' that automatically bring up the boot options menu when there's an issue booting successfully to Windows. Lastly, there are several methods of easily reaching the boot options menu (even when nothing is wrong with Windows) that don't rely on the 'interrupt-driven' method we're all used to. These include entering the new flag prompt '/o' to shutdown.exe, holding down the Shift key while clicking Restart, or selecting 'Advanced Startup' under general settings.
To read more about the Windows 8 boot, head over to Building Windows 8.