Chris Clark, a program manager on the Windows User Experience team, made a blog post this week claiming that Windows 8 will boot up in under 7 second on a PC running on a solid-state drive.
In the earlier PCs (XP, Vista, Windows 7), users would have enough time to hit the F2 or F8 key in order to open the boot menu before the PC POSTs. The boot menu offered the user with options to run diagnostic tools or boot from different devices. However, in Windows 8, that time-period (within which you have to hit the F8 key) is now below 200 ms, so fast that users may not be able to hit it in time.
So now, Microsoft has had to offer Windows 8 users an alternative method in order to open the boot menu. In Windows 8, you will automatically be presented with the boot menu in the condition that Windows cannot boot, including situations when Windows thinks it can, like when there is a faulty display driver – even in situations where Windows thinks it can, such as in the case of a problem in the display driver. In all these cases, users will automatically be taken to the boot options menu.
However, you can also go to the boot options menu manually. This can be done from the Advanced startup in the General tab of the PC settings. Use the Settings charm to go to PC settings. You can also search from the Start screen for specific search terms like startup, boot, safe mode, BIOS, firmware, etc.
However, most users will prefer to get to the boot options menu by clicking and holding the SHIFT key while selecting the restart option. Microsoft said that the main reason of adding this option is because the boot options should be available irrespective of when no user has signed in to the PC. In earlier PCs, when people had time to press F8 during boot, one need not be logged in to the PC to interrupt the boot and access the boot options. In the same way, Windows 8 will let anyone using the computer to get to the boot options menu without logging in.
For all the geeks out there, you can also open the boot options menu through a command-line option- “Shutdown.exe /r /o”, in which the “/o” flag will open the boot options menu.