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Forget the boot menu – Reboot-To launches the OS you need direct from the desktop

21 May 2013, Mike Williams

If you’ve installed multiple operating systems on a PC then normally, when your system starts, you’ll have to choose the one you need from a boot menu. And while this isn’t difficult in any way, it can be a minor irritation, especially if you’re switching between operating systems on a regular basis.

Install Reboot-To, though, and you’ll have another option. When you need to restart your PC, just choose one of your installed operating systems from the Reboot-To menu – Window Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Ubuntu (wubi) and Ubuntu Server (wubi) are supported – and it’ll reboot directly into that OS, without you ever seeing the boot menu at all.

Reboot-To is straightforward to install, and by default sets itself up to run when Windows starts, adding a Windows service and an icon to your system tray. This is a little more intrusive than we were expecting, but presumably is just to ensure that you can reboot your system as quickly as possible. Fortunately the background processes are extremely lightweight, generally consuming less than 2MB RAM on our test PC, and you can turn them off if you prefer (select “Options”, clear “Start with Windows”).

Reboot-To brings a boot menu directly to your desktop

Once setup is complete, though, the program is straightforward enough to use. When you want to restart your system, right-click the Reboot-To icon, select Reboot > Operating System, choose one of your installed operating systems, and it’ll reboot directly into that OS – no need to worry about the boot menu.

The change is just temporary, of course. If you install and run Reboot-To on Windows 7, for instance, and reboot it to Windows 8, then the boot menu will only disappear for that one time. If you reboot from Windows 8 then the boot menu will return. (Unless you install and use Reboot-To from there, anyway.)

Allowing a program to play around with our system’s BCD (Boot Configuration Data) files in this way makes us just a little nervous. It’s carrying out a very simple and defined task, and there shouldn’t be any problems, ever, but we’d still recommend that you have a Windows recovery disc to hand, just in case.

That aside, though, in our tests Reboot-To worked very well, and if you’re regularly booting between various Windows installations then it could save you some time and hassle.

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