Everyone wants their computer to restart as fast as possible, and I for one am always looking to shave a little time off of that number. As it stands right now my laptop (running Vista) can bootup and become usable in about 45-seconds, but a fraction of that time is spent loading the BIOS.
You can supposedly bypass the reloading of the BIOS during a restart by holding the shift key down. Here’s how you do it:
Windows Vista: Select Start, then hover over the right arrow that is to the right of the padlock icon until the pop-up menu appears that contains “restart” as one of it’s choices. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the “restart” choice.
Windows XP: Select Start. Select “Shut Down…”. Change the drop-down combo box under “What do you want the computer to do?” to “Restart”. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the “OK” button.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to work for me. What this is supposed to do is wipe your memory clear and reload windows, but without loading your BIOS again.
What I would have really liked to see make it into Vista was a feature that Jim Allchin described back in December 2005:
If a part of an application, or the operating system itself, needs to updated, the Installer will call the Restart Manager, which looks to see if it can clear that part of the system so that it can be updated. If it can do that, it does, and that happens without a reboot. If you have to reboot, then what happens is that the system, together with the applications, takes a snapshot of the state: the way things are on the screen at that very moment, and then it just updates and restarts the application, or in the case of an operating system update, it will bring the operating system back exactly where it was.
Now that would be really cool to have! Maybe in the next version of Windows.
If your able to get the Shift+Restart trick above to work be sure to let us know in the comments. I’m guessing that it might somehow depend on your hardware, so it probably won’t work for everyone.