Windows 8 Boot MenuWindows 8 is one of the first operating systems that boots in under 10 seconds. And although we may have complained about Microsoft's old required boot times, now we may face another problem. If the boot time is very fast, how can we execute the usual F2 and F8 keystrokes? Well, we can't. Microsoft's solution is to remove the F2 and F8 keystrokes. Chris Clark, program manager of Microsoft's User Experience team, says Windows 8 boot times are so fast, the time allowed for the boot manager to detect an alternate path -- like the F2 or F8 keystrokess -- could be less than 200 milliseconds on systems (featuring UEFI BIOS). It's almost impossible to press the key to interrupt the sequence at the exact time that Windows boot manager becomes available. Microsoft came up with three solutions:
  • A single boot menu will incorporate "all the troubleshooting tools, the developer-focused options for Windows startup, methods for accessing the firmware’s BIOS setup, and a straightforward method for booting to alternate devices such as USB drives."
  • This boot menu will pop up each time a problem arises that prevents Windows 8 from following the regular boot sequence.
  • Microsoft will make it easier for everyone to access the boot menu, even when there's nothing wrong with the boot sequence. Users who want to restart the computer and open the boot menu will only need to hold down the Shift button while clicking Restart.
Thankfully, only newer PCs with UEFI BIOS will have this feature. The old systems "will continue to support this functionality from the POST screen as it did in the past."

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