Complete Guide To Speeding Up Your PC’s Boot Time – Under 10 Seconds is Possible


For our testing today we will be using both our consumer and enterprise test systems. Testing will be very simple. We will be using a stopwatch to record the times of POST and Windows boot to desktop. We will be evaluating the speed of the UEFI’s fast boot settings and Windows fast startup being enabled vs disabled with a UEFI install.

We would have liked to bring you MBR installation boot results, however, after many attempts and ISO downloads later, we were unable to install Windows 8.1 on an MBR partitioned drive in our systems.

Sean Enterprise Test Bench Urban T81


PC CHASSIS: Thermaltake Urban T81
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3
CPU COOLER: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate
POWER SUPPLY: Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W Gold
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet! Silent Wings 2
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz
STORAGE: OCZ Vector 180

These test systems are the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to those who jumped in specifically to help the cause. Key contributors to this build are our friends at ASRock for the motherboards and CPUs, be quiet! for the PSU and cooling fans, Thermaltake for the cases and PSU, and Kingston for the RAM. We have detailed all components in the tables above and below and they are all linked should you wish to make a duplicate of our system as so many seem to do, or check out the price of any single component. As always, we appreciate your support in any purchase through our links!

Sean Consumer Test Bench Core V51


PC CHASSIS: Thermaltake Core V51
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z97 Extreme6
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K
CPU COOLER: Corsair H75
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet! Silent Wings 2
MEMORY: Kingston HyperX Beast 2400Mhz
STORAGE: OCZ Vector 180


Our results are from taking the average of five system boots from powered off to desktop for each UEFI fast boot setting. During testing we noticed that we could disable CSM when fast boot was disabled and displayed the results as well. To show the benefit of Windows fast startup, we also included the results from having both enabled and disabled.


Default settings POST time was 19.8 seconds and Windows boot time was 9.4 seconds for a total of 29.2 seconds. Below are the results of tweaking our UEFI.

Enterprise X99 Fast Boot Results


Default settings POST time was 6.3 seconds and Windows boot time was 5.5 seconds for a total of 11.8 seconds. Below are the results of tweaking our UEFI.

Consumer Z97 Fast Boot Results

The results speak for themselves. By tweaking our UEFI settings and doing a native UEFI Windows install we were able to speed up our boot time quite a bit. In both systems we were able to achieve our fastest boot times with Ultra Fast UEFI boot setting and Windows fast startup enabled. In terms of POST times we shaved off about 4 seconds in our X99 system and cut it in half in our Z97 system. Windows Boot time was also sped up by three seconds in our X99 system and one second in our Z97 system. These results also go to show how different motherboards


The faster you boot, the faster you work! Microsoft and system developers are working hard to speed up your computing experience. Windows Fast Startup is a great addition to Windows 8 and newer OSes. It helps to speed up boot times quite a bit whether or not you have a native UEFI installation. Combined with Ultra Fast boot mode, your system can boot in what seems to be a blink of an eye. Not only that, another advantage to having a native UEFI installation is that users should experience faster hibernation and sleep resume times as well. So while users will see a great benefit from faster boot times, those with who constantly use hibernation and sleep will also be delighted with ever second saved upon resuming.

From my own experience, Windows used to take up to 15-20 seconds to load from powered off on my laptop. By installing Windows 8 and enabling fast startup the laptop now boots to desktop in under six seconds! When I need to open a document or quickly jot down some notes, having the ability to quickly turn on my laptop and get to work leaves my mind at ease. Also, with reviews and benchmarking happening on a daily basis and constant restarts and system shut downs are a thing, these features help to increase our productivity here at The SSD Review. Every second counts, especially when you are limited on time to finish up a report!

So, in all, if you can, use the latest tech with Ultra Fast boot compatibility and make sure you have Windows fast startup enabled. Every time you start up, you will be happy you did.


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  1. rather detailed, and informative. thanks

  2. Thanks!

    I always ensure that all my SSDs and HDs are partitioned using the GPT scheme and my Windows installs are in UEFI mode.

    What I didn’t know is about GOP. I have a motherboard with the P67 chipset. Recently I upgraded my video card to a Zotac GeForce 960 GTX AMP Edition and I needed to force legacy mode to get it working at POST, unfortunately. I’ve searched through the internet and I saw that other people have exactly this same issue.

    My motherboard’s UEFI Setup doesn’t have any choice related to Secure Boot or CSM, only “Legacy Mode”, which is apparently related to loading legacy BIOS or UEFI option ROMs. Didn’t affect the ability to install and boot Windows (or Linux) in UEFI/GPT mode.

  3. Much of the article has to do with performing a UEFI install of Windows 8 as opposed to getting the fastest boot possible–but still, it’s good to see this instruction out there for people who don’t know what a “Legacy” install is–but that info should probably be put in a separate article. In Windows 10 10162 my hidden partitions are automatically sized, created, and formatted correctly by the Win10 install program–when I install clean to a *raw* partition–creating a 450MB Recovery and a 100MB EFI partition.

    A few comments…

    *My HD7850 2GB card I bought a long-time back already has a factory GOP bios, no need to flash…I haven’t heard of any 7xxx-series cards that don’t–I believe all of AMD GCN discrete GPUs from 1.0 on have a GOP bios….

    *Also, the thing about the hybrid Windows “fastboot” (using hibernation) to remember is that it takes extra time during shutdown to save the kernel state–so shutdowns increase by the length of time that boots decrease, roughly…:) I didn’t realize that myself until recently. I keep hibernation turned off–but I have only desktops–no laptops.

    *With the Samsung EVO SSDs on current AMD core-logic systems, RAID won’t work even with the latest AMD SATA drivers–have to set the system for AHCI. That’s a peculiarity of the Samsung drives and the current AMD SATA drivers, imo (dated 9/2014.) WIth regular HDDs the RAID setting incorporates the AHCI function without a problem. (I found out, though, that using Dynamic formatting and then having Windows stripe my RAID 0 drives resulted in RAID 0 performance very close to using the RAID controller mode on basic-format HDDs.)

    *Most “fastboot” options (on my motherboard, an MSI 970-Gaming) are the same but may be labeled differently than in your article. Mine are “Windows 8 Fastboot” and “MSI Fastboot.” I suspect that the “MSI Fastboot” is equivalent to your “Ultra Fastboot”…;) Seems like the only thing it does differently is skip the bios entry screen–if I use it I have to boot to windows first, then run a little MSI proggy to reboot and then go into the UEFI settings from there. I use only the Windows 8 fastboot option in my UEFI settings, accordingly…;) (The second or two saved in the boot with MSI Fastboot isn’t worth the hassle on the other end when going back into the UEFI.)

    *I mentioned Legacy mode…I gather that it isn’t widely appreciated that if you aren’t doing Secure Boot (Secure Boot state = ON, in msinfo32.exe) you really aren’t doing a UEFI install or running Windows in true UEFI mode. The whole point of UEFI over bios is that it protects the boot process, so secure boot should be running. I’ve often wondered how many people think they are in UEFI mode but run with secure boot off. Must be a bunch, maybe–my UEFI bios allows that setting, but I just thought I’d mention it.

    OK, so with hibernation turned off, in AHCI mode booting from the Samsung SSD (250GBs), Win10x64 build 10162, no “ultra fast” mode used, and secure boot on, I’m delighted to say my boots are under 10 seconds..! THe great thing is that it is consistent–ie, there’s no difference between a cold boot and a warm boot–they are all under 10 seconds–if I cut out the UEFI entry screen at boot–I can shave 2 seconds off that, maybe…but I’d rather take the extra second or two so that I can hit the DEL key at boot and go right into the UEFI whenever I want–don’t want to have boot to windows and then boot again to get there…;) And, also, my shutdowns are much shorter than they were when I was monkeying around with hibernation & hybrid boot.

  4. I have to ask: what is this obsession with boot time? Why does it matters in 2015? I don’t remember the last I rebooted my computer. Why does saving 10 seconds every blue moon matters? I’m not trolling, I’m really curious to know.

    • This article is as much meant to those moving to SSDs as as much as those with SSDs. For those moving to SSDs, the typical PC start time is more than a minute. If the average person starts their PC 5 times a day that is 5 minutes or 1 day and 6hrs a year…sat waiting for your PC to start.

      • I wonder why someone would do full shutdowns and reboots instead of using the sleep mode, but I can see boot time being important for them. Thanks.

      • To save electricity, I do it all the time. My computer boots in 7 seconds so it’s never an issue. SSD+Win8+uEFI, It’s not rocket science.

      • I don’t know how much you pay for electricity, but over here it cost me about 2-3$ a year to keep my computer in sleep mode 20 hours a day instead of shutting it down. A computer also consume a lot more power when booting up than while sitting idle, offsetting some of that saving. But every dollar counts, I can appreciate that. Thanks for your reply Quix!

      • I always disable hybrid shutdown on Windows. Some hardware, especially on USB can have trouble. Some drivers really don’t like it, sometimes the power is still here on USB ports and when you boot up, there is no full reset of the hardware and problems happens.
        Another thing is when you dual boot, Windows lock the access to the partition if it wasn’t a full shutdown (or restart).
        If you’re on a laptop, sleep is probably not a problem but on a workstation, it can be different.
        Anyway, on a SSD , the POST can be longer than Windows full boot time.

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