Yep, even spamming F8 won’t get you into BIOS in Windows 8.
Getting into BIOS on a Windows PC is a sinch: spam the appropriate key. That’s not possible in Windows 8
Not because the feature is gone, but because Microsoft has optimized Windows 8 to the point where it’s just so fast you can’t enter the BIOS (though I don’t think booting up Windows is slow anyway).
On another Microsoft blog post, a video shows Windows 8 booting up in just 7 seconds using an SSD drive. That means you have around 200ms to get into BIOS by spamming the key — so get spamming. The blog post adds most processes for booting are done in about 2-3 seconds, and then it’s a case of loading Windows quickly. Incredibly, Microsoft says these times will continue to decrease. Microsoft didn’t specify if the manufacturer’s splash screen was removed, so the boot time could potentially be even faster.
Think you can catch the BIOS screen in the 200ms window? Good luck, because Microsoft performed internal tests of people spamming F8 and it took multiple reboots to get into the screen. The company also found, on average, people were spamming the key at about 250ms. Though I wouldn’t advise spamming whatever key is needed, because you might break your keyboard. Especially if you own a mechanical keyboard, like me.
1 screen to rule them all
Microsoft has also removed the need to press multiple keys to perform different functions; instead, there’s one screen for all the functions: using a device, another OS, troubleshooting or turning off the PC. That’s if you can get into the BIOS, of course. Advanced options are also available, including System Restore and the ever-useful Command Prompt.
There are also boot options for the hardcore users, including disabling an automatic restart on system failure. Basically the stuff you want to avoid.
So how do you get to the BIOS menu? Well, Windows 8 takes you there automatically when the OS can’t be booted and includes situations where the PC is unusable despite the OS booting. For the time when nothing is actually wrong with the PC, a Continue button is available which boots the OS. There’s also the option to go to PC Settings > General > Advanced Startup.