Do not skip the latest B8 boot post

Do not skip the latest B8 boot post

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Hey all, Ned here. The Building Windows 8 blog recently posted a new article from Chris Clark that you might have passed over due to the title, which sounds like another article on boot performance:

Designing for PCs that boot faster than ever before

Don’t skip it! A more descriptive title would have been “The F8 and F2 boot menus are gone on Windows 8 and you need to read this post to do your job, IT Pro.

Windows 8 is designed to run on hardware that boots too fast for a human to react through a keyboard, requiring new methods to get to a boot menu. Note down what the article describes so that when you need to troubleshoot a slow logon or slow boot, you can get into Safe Mode and other diagnostic states (PC Settings, shift+restart, shutdown.exe /o /r, msconfig.exe). All of these apply to Windows 8 Developer Preview and Windows Server “8” Beta, which you can get your hot little hands on right now.

It is also important to note – and not mentioned in the article – that on Windows Server 2012 only, you can still use F8. The new boot menu system eventually gets you back to the familiar menu with your favorite DSRM option too, so don’t feel like we’re making you relearn everything:


Also not mentioned but preemptively answered now: while shutdown /o was updated to support the new boot menus, the restart-computer Windows PowerShell cmdlet was not.

- Ned “Doc Martens” Pyle

  • So, what do we tell the Financial Director when he asks how to turn off his machine?  "shutdown /s /t 00" might not appeal.  Just a thought.

  • I'd tell him to press the power button or close the lid. Worst case, I'd tell him to mouse the charm bar and click Power.

    Why does he need to use shutdown.exe in your scenario?

  • Yeah I did not get from this article that it was no longer possible to shut down your PC in Win8.  In fact the article was about the exact opposite of shutting down.


    This is not counting servers, but as far as my personal PC is concerned, I can't even remember the last time I needed to boot in to safe mode.

  • In some respects it *is* pretty hard to shut down your computer nowadays - that charms bar + power thing will definitely take some getting used to (it did for me, but then I started hitting CTRL+ALT+DEL and choosing power form there to save one click).

    It's also a good point that reaching an actual S5 power state of *truly* shutdown is harder in Win8 as well, at least by default - there is a lot of magic under the hood to make your boot up faster that often means not truly turned off (see , , and ).

    I find myself needing to get to the boot menu more often than I'd like on client :-(