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Windows Hardware

New Phoenix BIOS Starts Windows 7 Boot In 1 Second 437

Posted by timothy
from the nice-start dept.
suraj.sun excerpts from a tantalizing Engadget post: "Phoenix is showing off a few interesting things at IDF, but the real standout is their new Instant Boot BIOS [video here], a highly optimized UEFI implementation that can start loading an OS in just under a second. Combined with Windows 7's optimized startup procedure, that means you're looking at incredibly short boot times — we saw a retrofitted Dell Adamo hit the Windows desktop in 20 seconds, while a Lenovo T400s with a fast SSD got there in under 10."
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New Phoenix BIOS Starts Windows 7 Boot in 1 Second

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  • BIOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:07AM (#29538093) Journal

    That is indeed really fast boot to desktop. I like it how it shows the Windows loading screen almost immediatly too.

    This also brings a new friend for F5 hitting. To get to the bios menu you'll be smashing F12 as fast as you can during boot.

    But the article is a little low on details of optimizations. As I've understood, BIOS isn't really that complicated nor does it do any heavy calculations. It basically just brings hardware up and tests it, which takes most of the time (not that the 5-6 seconds is so long wait anyway). So have they optimized something else, or are they just skipping those tests?

  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:16AM (#29538163) Homepage

    Great BIOS!

    But there is no special relationship between this bios and Windows 7, meaning that Linux can't also start-to-boot in 1 second!

    The Upcoming Ubuntu 10.04 is going to start up in 10 seconds, meaning that from you hit the power button until you have the system ready are only 11 seconds on this system.

  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:31AM (#29538267) Homepage

    Intel's Moblin boots incredibly fast. Their early prototypes got to desktop in 5 seconds. Here's a video of Moblin 2.0, possibly taking a bit longer than that but it's also probably a nicer desktop ;-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqmuPFZ1RWo [youtube.com]

    Moblin's aim, AFAIK, is to get you to a full *usable* desktop as quickly as possible. So unlike what Windows (unless they've improved this since XP, when I last checked!) and some Linux distros do you don't get your quickly loaded desktop bogged down by loads of services starting in the background. You get there, you're done (although you may still have to wait for the network to connect but whatever you do won't be wallowing whilst other stuff loads).

  • by klapaucjusz (1167407) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:35AM (#29538289) Homepage

    Most of us keep our machines running all the time.

    Yes, we do, and that is wasteful. With faster boot and support for wake-on-lan in routers, we could be making significant energy savings.

    I would think a quicker return from suspend or hibernate would be more useful.

    Returning from hibernate performs a full hardware boot (including BIOS POST) -- hibernate merely restores the user-space memory from disk.

  • Re:yeah, but... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:51AM (#29538421)

    Actually with Windows 7 on an Intel X-25M Gen2 SSD, there is zero lag once you hit the desktop. You can immediately start loading applications. Windows 7 is fantastically better than both XP and Vista at UI responsiveness during system tray application loads. Try it for yourself on a machine with a good solid-state disk. Also, that is on a machine with Symantec Endpoint Corporate Anti-Virus on it as well as a full bevy of applications including Pro/Enginer 4.0, National Instruments Labview (which loads a gazillion services), Office 2007, Acrobat Pro 8.0 etc.

  • Re:BIOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by berwiki (989827) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:53AM (#29538433)
    Computers are lightning fast compare to a few years ago, there should be no need to 'poll hardware, wait 3 seconds, test next piece of hardware'.

    If properly parallelized and you remove all the pointless Waits, a BIOS check should be damn-near close to immediate and still manage to check everything.

    BIOS writers probably figured, eh, so what if it takes 10 seconds or so, thats still pretty quick, and never rewrote their crappy legacy code.
  • Re:BIOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheLink (130905) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:56AM (#29538459) Journal
    Actually you'd think most people would want servers that are infrequently rebooted to come back up really fast.

    But yeah, you can't spin up that many drives at once. I've heard a server where the drives were making up and down "pitch" changes during boot up... Not good :).
  • Re:moderation goof (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EdZ (755139) on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:00AM (#29538507)
    After running Windows 7 for a while, one of my favourite things has been not needing to restart for installing updates. I've gone weeks on Vista with the "please restart to complete updating" message popping up periodically because it's just too much hassle to note down everything I have open and arranged, pause or cancel any running operations (if possible), then restart everything afterwards. This can take a good half an hour start to finish, which usually gets traded for half an hour of doing something useful. Hopefully, this should at least mean more people will keep Windows 7 up to date, even if it's just that average users will never even notice the automatic update process and thus never get annoyed and turn it off.
  • Re:moderation goof (Score:2, Interesting)

    by maxume (22995) on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:19AM (#29538691)

    I reboot XP about once a month. I guess it helps me that I am not a complete idiot (obviously, by using Windows at all, I must be some level of idiot), but I don't think there are all that many people rebooting Windows multiple times per day.

    I often do stupid things like ignoring automatic updates for several weeks at a time (if none of them are fixes for remote exploits of software that I use, where's the hurry?).

  • Re:BIOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pjr.cc (760528) on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:48AM (#29538933)

    Actually, how often it boots and fast it boots are often small considerations - depending on where you sit.

    Consider a file server that crashes and reboots twice a year and takes 5 minutes to come back up... thats 99.998% availability and from an infrastructure perspective thats pretty dang awesome.
    From a helpdesk point of view, they'll suffer one heck of a beeting everytime it goes down and that'll be all they remember of the server.
    Same goes for the users, all they'll remember is the 5 minutes it went down when half the company was doing something important.

    Consider active directory though (or any kind of multi-master replicated service) - again, your talking about a server thats really not doing anything terribly difficult, but unlike the file server if it goes down no ones likely to notice. On top of that your often more concerned that the server will come up working then how quickly.

    As for noise, well the good ol e450 from sun fully stacked with 20 15k disks (not to mention its in-built fans) used to make very amusing noises as it came up and some of the time it went down was because the disks managed to disconnect from the backplane (and you could hear the difference if you were around it during a boot often enough) - a good hard whack and it was sorted. Wondefull little machines those

  • Re:BIOS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jspenguin1 (883588) <jspenguin@gmail.com> on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:58AM (#29539063) Homepage
    I have a server here that take 65 seconds to even show the BIOS screen. It takes another 60 seconds to even start the bootloader. Sometimes it feels like the extraterrestrial object it's named after is going to burn out before the thing boots.
  • Re:BIOS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pehrs (690959) on Friday September 25, 2009 @11:14AM (#29539883)

    Funny. I know a network that ran just like that. In a hospital. Tightly controlled environment, mostly vendor approved windows NT4 and 2000 systems, no internet connection except for a very agressive proxy that filtered stuff. Heavy firewalling. Patching every half a year or so. Worked like a charm.

    Until the day a contractor upgraded a server for the MRI system using his work laptop. The radiology department was offline for nearly a week while they sorted out the mess. :(

  • Re:BIOS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sandbags (964742) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:11PM (#29541957) Journal

    1) anything considdered a Tier 2 or business critical app should be a cluster, load balanced system, or simply be highly available with no single point of failure (switching, cabling, power and all for Tier 1 systems). Further, a cluster is never less than 3 of a kind, so when 1 is reboothing, high availability is maintained, so reboot time should be irrelevent.

    2) Reboots for patches should be done during maintenance windows, scheduled, and thus should never interfere with user operations. If it needs to be up 24x7, see #1.

    3) we have servers here that take 10-15 minutes to go DOWN. In nearly all cases, shutting down for a graceful reboot takes LONGER than coming up...

  • Re:BIOS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WNight (23683) on Friday September 25, 2009 @04:29PM (#29543685) Homepage

    What are you doing that takes that long to shutdown? Is this just that you're doing work in 10-minute blocks and not stopping until the end of a block? Staggered app shutdown? Syncing a ton of uncached writes? Using 1980s hardware?

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