If you are a power or a semi power user of your Windows computer, you will be knowing something about the POST and the BIOS, that appear before a system boots. These two are very important for any computer. If you want to reach the safe mode of an operating system, or if you want to boot from a CD or DVD ROM, or from a USB stick, you will have to change the boot priorities in the BIOS boot options. And for this, you will have to go to the BIOS settings, which appear to you only before the operating system on your computer starts booting. You would have noticed the option, “Press F2 to enter setup”, on your computer before the operating system boots. This is what we are talking about.
Now, on present computers, a user has a few seconds to respond to this and enter into the BIOS setup mode. This is because the time required for the bootstrap loader to get the operating system files from the secondary memory (your hard disk) and load into the primary memory (RAM) is long. This is because the magnetic disks, which are our hard disks, have low speed of reading and writing data.
But the new age flash based hard disks have extremely high speed data access times. Also, the new Windows 8 has got a lot of tweaks in the area of booting so that the time required to boot into the operating system is as less as possible. This has led to a new problem. The user of a Windows 8 computer will now get only 200ms to hit the F2 button to enter into the setup mode, and that is not practical at all. The optimized booting with the flash hard disk is taking only 7 seconds on a Windows 8 computer to load.
But Windows 8 is said to be giving other options to enter the BIOS setup mode, and for that info, read the detailed blog post written by Chris Clark himself over here.