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Windows 8 to boot in 8 seconds

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Microsoft is touting very fast boot times for Windows 8, thanks to the clever trick of writing the kernel state to disk at shutdown.

Rather than write the whole contents of memory to Windows' hibernation file, Windows 8 just writes enough to be able to put the state of driver, services and such back into memory, ready to run, at start-up. The kernel session is put into hibernation.

The kernel session file is compressed and saved. At start-up, it is de-compressed, a process that has been heavily parallelised to take advantage of multi-core CPUs for start-up speed.

The upshot: booting takes 30-70 per cent less time - up to just a eight seconds in a demo vid - with Windows 8.

Caveats apply, of course. While Microsoft says this tech speeds up booting off an HDD, it'll be faster still with an SSD, and expect it to use solid-state storage in video demos like the one over at the MSDN blog.

The blog also details how it's all achieved, and is worth a read.

And Microsoft cautions that to get best results your machine needs UEFI firmware rather than Bios. That's not because UEFI is inherently faster, but that, being newer, code written for it tends to be optimised more efficiently than old Bios code.

Finally, getting the user to log in, and then loading up post-login apps, data and services, will be no quicker.

Windows 8 will retain the - optional - ability to perform a full cold boot, loading and initialising the drivers and services from storage. ®

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