Windows Vista Boot Times

By Deane Barker on September 25, 2005

Microsoft Windows Vista: Confident: This is quite a claim.

A Windows Vista computer starts and shuts down as quickly and reliably as a television, typically within 2 to 3 seconds. Windows Vista processes login scripts and startup programs and services in the background so you can start working right away.



  1. Hmm… it takes more than 2 or 3 seconds to boot from bios, so most likely it refers to some non-existant hardware.

  2. Or maybe Vista’s shutdown is more like a sleep mode, with its last known state being saved to disk or some sort of NVRAM.

    Another big plus;

    You’ll also shut down and restart your computer less often by using the New Sleep state…

    Not to brag, but that’s something that has been possible with Apple computers since, oh… about 1993. My PowerBook is rarely shut down; I close the lid, it goes to sleep. I open the lid, it wakes up and is useable within seconds.

    On a recent trip, a woman across the aisle from me was using an XP laptop and must’ve shut down & restarted the thing four times between Sioux Falls and Chicago. I was wondering why she didn’t just put it to sleep; I guess that isn’t possible with XP.

  3. Windows does have sleep. It also has hibernate which allows the computer to be removed from power, but still be restored to the same state as you left it. In other words, when you Apple notebook users run out of battery, you have to make sure to save everything and shut down, whereas we Windows users just hibernate, switch batteries, turn it back on and keep on working.

  4. Yeah, I use sleep and hibernate all the time. I don’t know if Vista is talking about those modes, but they’re been in Windows for ages too.

  5. If it’s already part of WinXP, then why even mention “the New Sleep state” in the marketing hype about Vista?

    And was that lady on the plane just being stupid with her XP laptop?

  6. Not everyone knows everything about computers. I believe Hibernate is off by default. This new sleep state seems to be some kind of merger between a sleep and a hibernate. So fast sleep/restore with removed power source? Who knows. I believe it will be better. It better be…

  7. A couple of comments about the comments:

    I have never had my Apple laptop’s battery die once I put it in sleep mode. Now I know hibernate used no power but you really only need to sustain the laptop for a few hours until you get back home.

    Also, I have never had any troubles coming out of sleep mode with my Apple laptop. However, with both the Dell and Fujitsu laptops I have I can not trust sleep mode at all, probably 30% of the time it will not turn back on properly after being asleep.

    Hibernate works very well, but I still had problems once in awhile where it would fail to load the saved state which becomes quite irritating when you know there is important information that is going to be lost as a result.

    So maybe the big news is that Windows Vista’s sleep mode works reliably now?

  8. Hibernation (disabled) is often quite slow. Especially when you’re using it from battery. It sometimes takes up to 2 minutes to just save. I have no idea whether it is due to amount of memory or due to the CPU speed.

    Stand-by (or the current sleep mode) is most of the time fast. Although there are moments that I get “Resume Failure” (I have a Toshiba Satellite Pro M30) and other times the screen stays blank for a “long” time.

  9. I too have seen many people on the planes from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis, Chicago, or elsewhere with Windows laptops that can not sleep. I have been one of them, as I use my PowerBook for graphics and photography, and a HP laptop for CAD work. My PowerBook has only run out of battery power a couple of times while in sleep (and I was away a LONG time), while my 1.7 GHz Centrino Laptop with 1 GB memory and a 7200 rpm HD takes over two minutes to “hibernate” and when it wakes up, which it often doesn’t, it is not useable for another couple of minutes. In the same time it takes me to boot up my Windows box, I can pull out my Mac, write a quick e-mail, and put it back to sleep.

  10. Dave said: “when you Apple notebook users run out of battery, you have to make sure to save everything and shut down”

    The Mac can stay in sleep mode much longer than Windows can stay in suspend. When the battery gets low (after 1-2 days) the Mac won’t turn on until you plug it in — but when you do plug it in, it starts up immediately with no hibernate delay. I suppose at some point the battery would die entirely, but I’ve left my Mac sleeping for up to a week with no problems.

  11. ” In other words, when you Apple notebook users run out of battery, you have to make sure to save everything and shut down”

    Another Windoze know-it-all. Stop spreading false info.

    All Apple laptops can swap batteries when put to sleep. NO NEED to shut down. NO NEED to save. Pop in a new battery and wake from sleep in under two seconds. Been doin’ it for years.

  12. Pop in a new battery and wake from sleep in under two seconds. Been doin’ it for years.

    Very true. You have up to two minutes with an Apple laptop in sleep mode to swap batteries.

  13. Not sure about the two minutes. I have a 12″ powerbook, and was told that they removed the internal battery for size considerations. The last time I tried to swap batteries without shutting down, it had to reboot.

    I may give this another try, but I think only the 15″+ books can handle it.

  14. OK. Standby puts every thing in memory. Hibernate puts everything on hardrive. Sleep (only in Vista) does both.

  15. Comment from the future

    no, vista is a long ass bitch to load up, longer than XP.

    Fun fact.

    Trying to find some way to do a quick boot or something.

  16. Hmmm. I forgot about this thread. Anybody have some real-world experience with Vista boot times? Is the posted quote at all accurate?

  17. I put my macbook to sleep all the time, and very rarely shutdown…

    It does not lose everything when the battery does run out – a short time before the battery totally dies it drops into ‘safe sleep’ which is more like the windows hibernate mode (and copies the memory to the hard disk).

    When loading from safe sleep its not quite as instant as normal sleep, but still probably quicker than most pc’s display the bios screen for.

  18. you really do know that sleep in vista is different from hibernate in xp? get a dictionary… i mean seriously guys this hasnt been around for ages.

  19. in XP hibernate took about 3-4second to hibernate, then about 5-10sec to resume to full function.. im perfectly happy with those times.

    in Vista hibernate takes about 3-4s to hibernate which was expected, Resume took 103 seconds (i timed it… 1 minute 43 seconds). this is on battery power, where my PC is in power save mode.

    I use a thinkpad x31 1.0ghz 512mb. powersave steps speed way down but in XP this was perfectly fine.

    I use hibernate because on power save mode it goes 4-6 hours on a charge, so i use it at a coffee shop for a couple hours, then let it hibernate and a few days later use it again, then again a couple days later, without needing to plug it in and charge in between

    in XP ‘stand by’ the battery would run dry in that time, in Vista ‘sleep’ it would lose charge for 3 hours (slo rate tho) then hibernate, and id still have a 103 second startup.

    sleep would be useful if i constantly turned the laptop on and off all day, but i only do that every few days and have a desktop for the rest.

    i might go back to XP just because of this long start up from hibernation.

  20. Vista boots much faster than xp, then again I’ve only had it for 2 weeks….. It takes about 15 sec. to load. Sleep and hibernate modes are also a great timesaver, but I’ve had to reboot because the wireless connection bugs out.

  21. Mac Users are ill-informed religious basket-cases. Look folks the your Macs run on a variant of unix known as BSD unix. Your Mac hardware now is nothing more that a low-end PC with excellent artwork and a metal case running BSD Unix (with and OSX layer on top). No doubt Microsoft’s cluged over-featured bloatware OS(s) are nothing to write home about, but Apple can’t really take credit for the better stability and performance of OSX since OSX is riding on the stability and performance of UNIX (something the marketing parasites at Apple did not create nor write). At least Apple and Microsoft share one trait in common: they both rip-off other peoples ideas and then – like true parasites – market these ideas (to gullible non-technical users) as they own “new” innovations;

  22. Hi

    Ive Loaded Vista onto my laptop 2gb RAM, Centrino Core Duo. Boot Time is 3min? is this normal? It does however only take 2-3 seconds to hibernate and about the same to load back up.

    It does use power however i left it on hibernate over night and in the morning it was at 90%

  23. Running vista currently it seems that the new sleep state actually keeps the applications running. I have remotely seen my MSN Messenger as signed in as me and wondering what the heck it was. Until I got home and received the messages that I had sent to the “suspicous” user.

  24. Not to get any Apple users upset, but i think most apple users are looking for an “easy” to use computer since most people i know that have a mac don’t know how to even browse the net on a Windows pc.

  25. From a cold boot Vista takes 1.15 minutes to show the main screen and another 4 minutes to start all services, during which time it’s at 70% + CPU and thrashing the hard drive. This is WITH ReadyBoost enabled which is supposed to make things “faster”.

    My other machine is a Linux box. Under 25 seconds to boot, 10 seconds to finish launching all services, destktop etc.

    Vista fast??? Not.

  26. Got Vista, comes up in 2-3 seconds from sleep. Whats all the discussion about? Seems a no brainer to me. pick your hardware and get on with life. :)

  27. The sleep state in Vista is a hybrid between the old standby and hibernation. The system wakes up at critical times to transition into the hibernation mode; otherwise, you can resume working right away.

    The problem is “waking up” at critical times. This means the system can also wake itself up during the default Windows Update schedule of 3:00 am or so. If you’re on the road you don’t have internet access, and then it gets stuck on the black screen.

    I’ve had major issues with the laptop waking up in my backpack while I’m on the run. This, plus the seemingly “hanging moments” where I basically have to force-shutdown, damaged the hard drive and replaced by warranty. Windows Vista Basic which came with the laptop is laggy as hell, and I’ve since gathered drivers and “upgraded to” XP. (It’s an upgrade from the Basic feature set to an XP Professional state.)

    Microsoft annoys me how they diverged from one version of Windows 2000 to a Home and Professional version of XP; then to six different versions of Vista. The basic feature set doesn’t even have the very basic access to Windows Server domains. You’d think it wouldn’t cost them anything to include the feature, since it was already written into Windows XP. But I guess this modular approach to operating software really demonstrates how an OS falls apart missing nuts and bolts here and there…

  28. When I put my Vista to sleep, more often then not, I cannot wake it up again. I always have to end up rebooting, which I hate to do. Whenever Vista runs low on battery, and I plug it back in, turn on the laptop, it brings me to a screen asking me to resume windows. It basically brings me back to what I was doing before the battery died on me, which is a nice feature. It’s odd it does not work the same when it goes into sleep mode.

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