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  1. #1
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    Q: When is a 'shut down' not really a shut down?

    A: Whenever you're running Windows 8, unless you take explicit steps to the contrary.

    When someone described how Win8 radically improved its boot time by 'hibernating' the system (but not user) context to 'boot up' quickly my first thought was, "But what if the system is changed before the next boot - e.g., by modifying its Registry or even just some random system file that got trashed to correct some problem that couldn't easily be corrected in the running system? Is the restart sequence smart enough to detect this and recover such that no internal inconsistencies will result?"

    It turns out, though, that even simpler problems can occur, as happened when I booted up my Win8 Pro test system and found that it hadn't recognized mouse or keyboard - because during its previous shut down they had been USB devices, while on the new boot-up they were plugged into the standard PS/2 ports (I had to plug the USB devices back in just to get the system shut down again). I haven't checked to see whether other problems could occur if you had, e.g., plugged in (or removed) an eSATA drive while the system was 'shut down', but since I seem to remember cautions about doing that kind of thing even with USB drives during explicit hibernation on older laptops it might be worth knowing.

    http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...ndows-8-a.html makes it clear that there are ways around this (and that Restart bypasses the partial hibernation facility, as I had discovered when noting that I had to perform a restart after booting up just to get to the boot menu that allows you to choose a different system to boot). Still, I expect that many users will be unpleasantly surprised at some point in their 'Windows 8 experience' to find that this snazzy new fast-boot facility has done something unexpected that they were never warned might occur when it was provided as their default behavior.

    I've always assumed that the main contribution to boot time came from hard-disk accesses (that certainly seems to be one of the virtues touted for SSD boot drives, anyway) and that as processors became increasingly fast the processing-related delays had become negligible, in which case the existing on-disk file reorganization provided by the defragmenter since XP days should have obtained most of the attainable speed-up (making this new partial-hibernation wrinkle pretty much superfluous) - but being largely a Win2K hold-out (unlike the rest of my family) I've never actually tested this hypothesis and the existence of this new facility, mixed blessing as it is, tends to suggest otherwise. Perhaps Microsoft never got the defragmentation re-org working right (though it doesn't seem as if that should have been all that difficult over the past decade-plus) and saw this as an easier way out.

    Edit: Incidentally, the facility truly is dumb as the proverbial stone, since it does its quick-boot into Win8 Pro even when you've selected some other operating system in the Win8 Control Panel as the default to boot - you STILL have to Restart to get to that menu and boot the system you actually want (and said you wanted as the default choice).

    Edit2: Just had occasion to plug in another SATA blu-ray drive and Win8 Pro failed to see it after boot - had to perform a restart before it became visible. Kind of ironic to support hot-plugging but not cold-plugging...
    Last edited by - bill; 2012-12-10 at 06:16.

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  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would guess that in the cases you are mentioning, for those individuals that often do these things, shutting off the Fast Start (Hybrid Hibernation) would be the better alternative. For those of us that shut down our PCs at night, then reboot in the morning without changing devices in the interim, the Fast Start option is nice. My 5 year old laptop boots to the lock screen in 15 seconds. It took over 45 seconds using Win 7 and over 30 seconds in Win 8 without Fast Start enabled. I could live with any of these times, but it is nice to boot so quickly.

    To add to what Bill has shown, Fast Start only works with a Shutdown operation. It is disabled during a Restart operation.
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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    [Addition/Edit]
    I read the WindowsEightForum article and found that at some point in the recent past I had turned this feature off, probably
    because I have always disabled any form of hibernation on any computer that I've owned.

    So I re-enabled it to see if my boot times were noticeably faster;
    I didn't notice much of difference in boot times beyond what my current BIOS is capable of when configured for fast boot up.

    Still, one shouldn't be manipulating hardware when one's computer is in a non typical booting or shut down mode.
    It could also be true that there are some bugs in this new hybrid boot that have yet to be worked out.

    You don't make mention if your system is EUFI capable and active.
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    There is indeed a huge increase in boot up time without the fast start option and my laptop uses an SSD. I don't really see it as a disadvantage, but I have to agree that the information on the consequences of having fast start chosen, is not nearly enough.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I have not found Windows 7 particularly intuitive on getting it to actually shutdown and restart. You have to know what you're doing to choose that option.

    In fact, as I recall, XP defaulted to sleep/hybernate mode rather than complete shutdown and restart. You had to specifically tell it to shutdown and restart.

  7. #6
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    In fact, as I recall, XP defaulted to sleep/hybernate mode rather than complete shutdown and restart. You had to specifically tell it to shutdown and restart.
    Maybe that was true for laptops or just for certain OEMs? All my desktop retail installs of XP are always full restart or shutdown by default.

    consequences of having fast start chosen, is not nearly enough
    Consequence may be a misnomer. We all know Microsoft is "fudging" and the folks that haven't understood the process in the past are unlikely to ever understand it until after the fact even though the info is out there. It seems more like optimizing for a users habits. The default is set for optimizing start up time and its a good feat just to pull that off reliably for Microsoft. If I try to hibernate my Win 7 systems, 2-4 times out of ten the wakeup will fail and I have had to cold boot anyway. So the fact that it seems reliable in Win 8, and slow boot times have always been a point of quibble for many folks, it's a good default. Of course it comes at the expense of not being optimum if a cold restart or boot is needed often, just like faster search comes at the expense of not finding the files one is after if they are not saved or reside in the default search index locations.

    That's when one can opt for an SSD and have the best of both worlds, regardless of search location defaults and regardless of select OS start up optimizations.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2012-12-10 at 16:15.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    For what it's worth - my desktop is never turned off. The vast majority of my routine maintenance is carried out by Task Scheduler. My laptops all sleep on A/C power, and hibernate on battery power.

    The only time any of my machines go through a reboot is for an update to get worked in, or to dual boot to the other OS.

    I've had no failures or hangups of any kind at any time on any machine.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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  9. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The hybrid fast boot added an extra 10 GB to my primary drive bringing the grand total to a little over 33 GB.
    Not a big deal to me for I have an abundance of drive space.
    If your someone concerned with space you might want to think about whether or not to allow it.

    It's a nice feature don't get me wrong, but not everyone is obsessed with a quick boot up.

    There may be trade-offs as the OP mentions, and you may have to disable it if you need to do some heavy duty under the hood tweaks and or other
    hardware manipulating. But for normal everyday operations and for someone who turns his or her computer off frequently, it's a pretty decent feature.

    I still have BIOS on my system and the lengthiest part of it, ironically, is the OCZ REVO drive's BIOS screen.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Still, one shouldn't be manipulating hardware when one's computer is in a non typical booting or shut down mode.
    But Fast Startup is the typical booting mode because it's the default for all editions of Windows 8 on any type of computer.


    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    There may be trade-offs as the OP mentions, and you may have to disable it if you need to do some heavy duty under the hood tweaks and or other
    hardware manipulating.
    In that case, just choose Restart.


    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2012-12-11 at 13:11. Reason: up

  11. #10
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    If you're looking to swap out drives, memory, cards, etc. you would have to be extremely fast to do it during a restart.

  12. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Fast Start is reasonably easy to disable so for those that do not desire the extra size of the OS Clint has mentioned, or do not wish to use this feature, just shut it down. Done!
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlfvt View Post
    If you're looking to swap out drives, memory, cards, etc. you would have to be extremely fast to do it during a restart.
    Yes, I was thinking of restarting after changes. Shutting down before hardware changes may need a "shutdown /p" command.

    I believe Settings, Change PC Settings, General, Restart now, Turn off your PC also does a full shutdown.

    hiberfil.sys should only be 50-75% of RAM size, so a few GB for most people.

    Bruce

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    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    hiberfil.sys should only be 50-75% of RAM size, so a few GB for most people.
    Is this new in Windows 8 or are you getting mixed up with the Windows swapfile?

    My understanding (for Windows 7 at least) is that the hiberfil.sys file will be equal to the installed memory size and the swap file can be tweaked as desired.

  15. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The Windows 8 link in the OP's post will offer a batchfile that can "turn off" or "turn on" hybrid rapid boot.
    I'd still like to hear about any potential issues, as the OP has described, that people are having while running with fast boot enabled.

    Shutdown.exe /r /o
    Run from an elevated command prompt. The above triggers the boot options menu built into windows 8 upon next boot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Browni View Post
    Is this new in Windows 8 or are you getting mixed up with the Windows swapfile?

    My understanding (for Windows 7 at least) is that the hiberfil.sys file will be equal to the installed memory size and the swap file can be tweaked as desired.
    No, the default 75% of RAM is the same for Windows 7 and Windows 8 if hibernation is used.

    But in Windows 8 hiberfil.sys is only used for Fast Startup by default, so the size could be reduced to 50% with "powercfg /h size 50".

    Bruce
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by BruceR; 2012-12-11 at 19:05.

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