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Windows 8 Hybrid Boot in just a few Seconds

Windows 8 Hybrid Boot in just a few Seconds

Microsoft has announced that by the time Windows 8 rolls around, we should all be enjoying sub 10 second cold boot times; this isn’t hibernation, this isn’t sleep mode, it’s purely boot. Normally this time can vary between 15 (for the absolute fastest SSD, clean installs) to upwards of a minute for older systems.

Microsoft has been analysing  how people start their PC: is it a cold boot, hibernation or sleep? Well most of the time it’s the former. Hibernation is a good speedy option, but it requires lots of memory to store information on running programs. Now though, Microsoft’s new method involves sorving Kernel and drivers in the system memory, leading to very fast boots.

Microsoft describes the shutdown procedure as follows:

  1. The user initiates a shutdown by selecting “shut down” from the Start menu, or by pressing the power button; or an application initiates shutdown by calling an API such as ExitWindowsEx() or InitiateShutdown().
  2. Windows broadcasts messages to running applications, giving them a chance to save data and settings. Applications can also request a little extra time to finish what they’re doing.
  3. Windows closes the user sessions for each logged on user.
  4. Windows sends messages to services notifying them that a shutdown has begun, and subsequently shuts them down. It shuts down ordered services that have a dependency serially, and the rest in parallel. If a service doesn’t respond, it is shut down forcefully. ‪‬
  5. Windows broadcasts messages to devices, signaling them to shut down. ‪‬
  6. Windows closes the system session (also known as “session 0”).
  7. Windows flushes any pending data to the system drive to ensure it is saved completely.
  8. Windows sends a signal via the ACPI interface to the system to power down the PC.

Microsoft also posted a video showing off the speedy boot sequence of the new operating system:


Impressive stuff. Does require an SSD though, those with an HDD should be looking at somewhere around 10 seconds for a cold boot.

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