Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

MS needs to create Fast Switch for Dual Booting

  1. #1

    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit

    MS needs to create Fast Switch for Dual Booting

    You can switch from Mac and Windows (on a Mac) with just a couple of keyboard clicks within a Mac - without rebooting. I understand the Windows is not running in a virtual environment someplace prior to this.. I have no idea how it's done, I don't have a Mac.

    Many Linux distros also have this feature. On a Linux the machine does shutdown and boot directly into your other OS bypassing the choices on the boot screen you would normally see when you dual boot.

    These days people are using 1 and 2 terabyte drives with 8, 16, 24, 32 or more gigabytes of Ram. Why can't Microsoft create a feature that lets you fast switch to your next OS on the fly?

    ( idea that may not be viable) This could be done in Ram perhaps.. have both operating systems loaded at the same time on system start and wait until they are called on.. You can switch back and forth from Linux to windows for example as easily as you switch windows application. I think there has to be a way to do this without virtualization that allows either OS to access the pc hardware on the fly.

    What do you think?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 21,868
    64-bit Windows 10

    Hello Dark Rider,

    In a way, MS already did.

    You could use the "Startup Options" shortcut in the tutorial below in Windows 8 to quickly switch to another installed OS when multi booting using the "Use another operating system" option.

    Startup Options Menu Shortcut - Create in Windows 8

    Hope this helps,
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit

    That's interesting Brink but it seems still takes as many steps as going to the start button ( Classic Shell) hitting Restart and then choosing your other OS. It still wants you to boot to a menu where you have to then choose your other OS. In fact, it looks like your solution will have an extra step.. you must boot to the startup options menu first, then choose the option to Use another operating system and I assume from there then choose your OS of choice ( in case you have more than two Os's installed) I may be wrong about this.. I havent tried it. Just going on what I read in your link.

    I'm inquiring about a one click solution from the desktop but one in which the whole system doesn't have to load from scratch as how Macs do it. The Linux way is a one click solution but it still has to reload from scratch before booting into the other system. It's a better compromise but not ideal IMO.

    Whats the limitation that keeps two Os's from loading at the same time.. hardware, software or both? And is there a way around the problem?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit

    I did find this talking about hyper-V.

    You seem to be dismissing Hyper-V and Xen (so called "bare-metal" hypervisors) even though they're closest to what you seem to be asking for. Yes, it's virtualization, but not in the same way that VirtualBox works.
    Imagine something like VirtualBox was its own operating system, so you could install a tiny VirtualBox OS, and then run Windows and Ubuntu side by side as virtual machines on top of the VirtualBox OS. Well, that's essentially what Hyper-V or Xen do. It's just a thin virtualization layer between the hardware and the guest operating systems, and it's as close as you can get to directly running them side by side with existing hardware and existing operating systems.
    You don't need a separate server for either of these, you'd just install the hypervisor as if it was the first operating system on the machine, and then add Windows and Ubuntu as virtual machines under the hypervisor.
    Both Xen and Hyper-V will run Ubuntu and Windows as guest operating systems, although it may not be a supported configuration. Xen is more Linuxy and Hyper-V is an MS product, so I'd suggest picking the hypervisor based on whichever OS you're more comfortable with.
    windows 7 - Is it possible to dual boot two OS's at the same time? - Super User

    This could be a solution. Letting the hyper-V control the loading up of each OS> I haven't tried this and in fact don't have hyper-v

    on my Win 8 Core system so i can't test it. But it seems to me if Hyper-v does not indeed work like Virtualbox.. that it runs at boot time from the hardware directly, it can allow access to each OS directly or more directly than running a virtual box from within windows which is only software virtualization. Might be worth upgrading to Pro to get a feature like that.

    Two interesting article to look at that tell you how to use Xen to run Linux and Windows side by side as opposed to dual booting are: Linux Mint Forums • View topic - Bye bye dual-boot! and Linux Mint Forums • View topic - HOW-TO make dual-boot obsolete using XEN VGA passthrough

    I actually want to be able to do this with non Linux Os's.. so i may need another solution besides Xen.. I'd like to use windows 8 along side with Haiku or an Amiga OS such as Aros.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 21,868
    64-bit Windows 10

    I'm just not sure it's possible without basically just using a virtual machine using say VMware Player or VirtualBox to run the other OS as wanted within say Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 187
    Windows 8 64 bit

    See I dont know anything about Hyper - V other than it's virtulization but more hardware virtualization than Virtualbox which is strictly software virtualization.. first off.. is this correct to say?

    Granted running the Xen system above to run windows and Linux side by side at the same time requires you to set up a Linux parittion and install Linux (and/or a Xen server) first as well as meeting all the right hardware requirements, but it does show that this feat is possible. I find that fascinating.

    Perhaps someone could figure out how to do the same thing from the hyper-v side if it has such functionality.

    What's awesome about what the guy did in the Mint Linux post is that he says both systems are able to access and use the GPU directly with full 3d acceleration and video memory - the big limitation with running a software virtual machine from inside an OS. I'm a gamer and love Windows for the games available but lets face it, it's just darn fun playing with other operating systems. I have been using and become used to a Microsoft type file system since windows 3.1 and it's dull. Linux is getting dull. Underneath all those flavors it's still the same type of system. If I could play with my games and have some way different Os's and be able to fast switch between them, I'd be in heaven.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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