Windows 8 Fast booting

In yet another Building Windows 8 blog entry by Steven Sinofsky, there is a demonstration of Microsoft’s upcoming operating system’s fast boot time. In the demonstration, Windows 8 boots up in less than 2 seconds. Pretty amazing.

Microsoft focused on three key goals for improving the boot time. First, there has to be effectively zero watt power used when off, there needs to be a fresh session after boot, and there needs to be very fast times between pressing the power button and being able to use the PC. Microsoft’s solution? A new “fast startup mode which is a hybrid of traditional cold boot and resuming from hibernate.”

“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. 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),” Sinofsky states.

So this means Windows 8 will boot faster thanks to the less work done by resuming from a hibernated system session compared to a full system session. “We added a new multi-phase resume capability, which is able to use all of the cores in a multi-core system in parallel, to split the work of reading from the hiberfile and decompressing the contents. For those of you who prefer hibernating, this also results in faster resumes from hibernate as well,” Sinofsky mentions.

Below is the video demo.

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