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The Death of Booting Up 557

Posted by timothy
from the singularity-prequel dept.
theodp writes "'Booting up was a bear,' recalls Slate's Farhad Manjoo, 'something to be avoided at all costs.' But now, he adds, 'It's time to rejoice, because all that's in the past. Computers these days can go from completely off to working within 30 seconds, and in some cases much faster. Apple's MacBook Air loads up in 16 seconds, and machines based on Google's cloud-based Chrome OS boast boot times of under 10 seconds. Even Windows computers are fast — with the right set-up, your Windows 7 laptop can load just as quickly as a MacBook.' Perhaps at home, but how's that working out for you at work? Have reports of the death of long boot times been greatly exaggerated?"
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The Death of Booting Up

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  • Windows in 30s on an SSD, 60s on a USB3 and even 15s on a SSD Sata III. Proof that disk speed is half the battle.

    However, employees still expect to get to work with everything exactly as it was when they left the office. If anything, it's been heavier workloads which have made users less likely to boot. Some have never restarted. It's fine with me, the less chance of BSOD or loading circles the better.
    • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:38AM (#37084510) Journal

      SSDs are expensive when you're buying by the thousands and consider that, aside from boot times, they don't impact PC performance enough to justify the cost for MOST PCs.

      It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop. Probably two minutes to actually boot to windows, three or four to get to the Windows logon (anyone who works Windows domains has learned that if you don't have some wait times built in, policies may not load and you get support calls), then another three to five after I log in for all the scripts, antivirus, citrix, and other crap to run before my desktop is fully functional.

      Sure a MacBook Air can boot in under a minute. It also can't run most of what we use and costs WAY more than the average business computer.

      • by alphatel (1450715) *

        It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop.

        Are you running on IDE? One good sata spin drive for $40 and you'll be booting in 2 minutes. You don't need SSD to experience normality.

        • My machine takes about 15 min to boot.
          SATA disk (not SSD) running full disk crypto, McAfee in uber paranoid mode, and an on-line backup util (connected net backup).

          When all that is running together I can't even check e-mail.
          -nB

          • by the real darkskye (723822) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:30AM (#37084840) Homepage

            .. McAfee in uber paranoid mode ...

            There's your problem right there.

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              Probably so, but it's not like he has a choice in the matter. If you're running a corporate PC with Windows, you have to run some highly restrictive and cumbersome antivirus package. That's just the way it is, thanks to Windows' crappy security. Plus all the other crap the IT department might load onto their PCs: remote backup software, IT big-brother software so the IT people in India can take over your computer whenever they want, weird custom scripts, etc.

              Who cares if a brand-new Windows 7 PC (sans an

          • by bunratty (545641) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:49AM (#37084984)
            I submit my punch cards to the operator and pick up the printout the next day.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jawtheshark (198669) *

          Have you seen what his work PC actually loads? His experience matches mine with the shitload of crap many multinationals put on their desktops. 10 minutes in not far fetched, even with a good SATA drive. He doesn't mean that his machine is "not booted". He's most likely logged in and he can move his mouse, but actually "doing" anything is extremely slow because the machine itself is still loading so much due to the initial login.

          • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @10:26AM (#37085706)

            One of the biggest things I remember noticing with the Vista RC years back was how much less time I spent waiting for random apps to start during the booting process. A big problem with XP and earlier OSes was that MS didn't have any code to start applications sequentially, which would result in them all rushing to get data off the disk at the same time.

            Even now, the time it takes me to boot my much faster desktop with a much faster disk is a few minutes longer than what it takes me to boot my laptop. The main difference being that I've got XP on my desktop and 7 on my laptop.

        • by arglebargle_xiv (2212710) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @09:29AM (#37085240)

          It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop.

          Are you running on IDE? One good sata spin drive for $40 and you'll be booting in 2 minutes. You don't need SSD to experience normality.

          You missed the bit where he said "Work PC". That means it's so loaded with enterprise-grade crap and the need to run eight hundred boot scripts that need to download more crap over a network with a latency worthy of a satellite link that it's going to take 10-15 minutes to boot even with a liquid-nitrogen-cooled i7-EE and any kind of SSD you care to mention.

          To get a fast boot, the solution is to not run a metric buttload of crap. My Atom-based netbook (pretty much the slowest PC-grade system you can buy) gets to its XP desktop in under 20 seconds. My work machine running Win7 Enterprise, McAfee,three more pages of enterprise-grade bloat on high-end hardware takes a solid ten minutes minimum before I get a usable desktop, and then another several minutes clicking away the Adobe update dialog, the Java update dialog, the another page or so of additional crap before I can get any work done.

          • by LibRT (1966204)
            +1. My computer at the place I worked until very recently took at least 20 mins to boot up. That's not an exaggeration - the routine was: get to work, switch on computer, go for a coffee, come back, check on computer, realize it's still booting, wander office to find other people waiting for their machines to boot and make small talk for several more minutes. This happened to over 500 people each day, all whom made at least a six figure salary, so we're talking about $2M+ in lost productivity annually. And
      • But how does the cost of an SSD compare, to 2 years of a worked being unproductive for an extra 7 minutes / day?

        • by hoggoth (414195)

          > But how does the cost of an SSD compare, to 2 years of a worked being unproductive for an extra 7 minutes / day?

          The SSD costs more than banning Facebook, which will recover an unproductive 3 hours / day.

          • by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:55AM (#37085020)

            The SSD costs more than banning Facebook, which will recover an unproductive 3 hours / day.

            From my experience, people will have (and need?) downtime during the day whether you get rid of some distractions or not. They will just make other things the distractions in the amount they can get away with and you won't end up with any more throughput and will have decreased morale. Take it from someone that used to study workers behavior as a profession and give the efficiency studies to the employer, we usually throw out the first couple days of data. After a couple days of the inspector checking work times and such, workers go back to their normal routine and ignore the inspector.

            That is why it is better to pay for performance and goals than it is for time (where the job allows). Let them manage their own time, just get the job done when it's supposed to be done. (Again not all jobs obviously can be setup this way)

        • But how does the cost of an SSD compare, to 2 years of a worked being unproductive for an extra 7 minutes / day?

          No need for the person to be around for the boot process. Just set the PowerON timer in the BIOS to boot up the machine before he arrives at work.

      • by jamesh (87723)

        It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop. Probably two minutes to actually boot to windows, three or four to get to the Windows logon (anyone who works Windows domains has learned that if you don't have some wait times built in, policies may not load and you get support calls)

        That's what bugs me. Windows 2000 took a while to get to the logon screen, but once you were there you were pretty much good to go. XP put the logon up a bit earlier before the system was really ready so Microsoft could say "hey look - we booted faster". Windows 7 even more so.

        • by GIL_Dude (850471)
          Wow, some of the times in this thread are just crazy long. We measure the performance of our boot from the "starting windows" screen (simply because different hardware takes a different amount of time in the POST test / BIOS, but typically only about 8 seconds or so). We measure until the network icon in the system tray shows that it is connected to the internet. In our experience, this is about the same time that the machine will start to respond correctly to input and allow the user - for example - to sta
      • It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop. Probably two minutes to actually boot to windows, three or four to get to the Windows logon (anyone who works Windows domains has learned that if you don't have some wait times built in, policies may not load and you get support calls), then another three to five after I log in for all the scripts, antivirus, citrix, and other crap to run before my desktop is fully functional.

        This.

        Yeah, a quick boot time is nice... But that isn't even half

      • A ten-minute delay for an employee working 50 weeks a year, 5 days a week, is 2500 minutes or 41 2/3 hours of work, a 2% increase in time when the employee can be working. If the computer has a 4-year lifecycle, that's 4 weeks of work at an 8 hour day.

        That time may be utilized with up to 100% efficiency depending on the habits of the worker, e.g. if the employee checks work mail or does some other routine action on the computer before working, and does not pipeline another task during the time his computer

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          Yeah, but short-sighted managers don't see it that way. They figure the employee has to get x amount of work done in a year, and if the computer slows them down then they'll just have to work that many more hours to make it happen so that they don't lose their job in a down economy.

          Sure, that improvement might save $8k per employee, but in the mind of a budget-oriented MBA they don't see that $8k unless they can cut bonuses that year. The $8k is largely unmeasurable, and if it can't be measured, it must n

      • It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop. Probably two minutes to actually boot to windows, three or four to get to the Windows logon (anyone who works Windows domains has learned that if you don't have some wait times built in, policies may not load and you get support calls), then another three to five after I log in for all the scripts, antivirus, citrix, and other crap to run before my desktop is fully functional.

        50 weeks a year, (assuming you are in the US and not some slacker euro country where everyone gets off 6 weeks a year) times 5 days a week, times 10 minutes a day, divide by 60, that's more than 40 hours a year watching the computer grind away.

        That's assuming you turn it off every day, which you would do, of course, because you need to conserve electricity and not waste the company dime.

        If a SSD would massively reduce boot time, and the cost of the SSD and the time to build the comp is less than what th

      • by rsborg (111459)

        SSDs are expensive when you're buying by the thousands and consider that, aside from boot times, they don't impact PC performance enough to justify the cost for MOST PCs.

        You must either have never used an SSD-based computer or live in a different world than me. My first SSD (Vertex2, sandforce) was the best single improvement in system performance I've ever made. The boot time is fast, but the application launch time (esp. huge apps like Photoshop, VMWare and Eclipse) are a world of difference. In the case of Eclipse, it finally made it usable for me.

        I've since installed small boot-SSDs in some of my older laptops (some even SATA1) and have given them a second life.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      And back in the 80's there was systems that was up and running a lot faster since the core was in PROM. Availability within a second.

      But for some reason IBM and Microsoft was never really willing to go the fast and friendly path.

      • by digitig (1056110)
        I was just thinking that. To be honest, my BBC-B took about two seconds, not one, to give time for the beep-beep.
      • And back in the 80's there was systems that was up and running a lot faster since the core was in PROM. Availability within a second.

        And how much power-on self-test to detect changes to the configuration of connected hardware? And how to correct programming defects or add capability to interact with new kinds of hardware?

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        And back in the 80's there were also systems that required multiple hours to boot up.
        As computers require more reliability, the boot-time initialization and checks require more time. That's where most of the boot time comes from, AFAIK.

    • It takes minutes on my Windows 7 work laptop but under a minute on Windows home computer. Part of the battle is the number of credentials that have to be loaded and checked.
    • by Smauler (915644)

      My Vista install used to boot up from boot manager to usable desktop in 15 seconds. The only thing non-standard is the fact I'm booting off of a pair of striped drives. Also, I disabled a lot of the services I didn't use or did not want. After a couple of years of use, with quite a few programs set to run on startup, this had risen to about 25 seconds IIRC.

      Currently it takes forever, because one of the hard drives in the stripe seems to be dying - it's got awful access speeds, and often won't register at

    • My system has SSDs in it, and the UEFI is by far what takes the longest. On power on it takes 29 seconds for the UEFI to finish its crap and hand things over to Windows for boot. From there it takes about 15 seconds to get to a logon screen, mostly because there is tons of hardware to start up. From logon screen to responsive desktop is only about 3 seconds.

      My laptop actually boots significantly faster (it also has an SSD). It's BIOS takes much less time to hand off to Windows, and Windows starts faster, pr

  • by netsharc (195805) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:31AM (#37084480)

    With suspend-to-RAM, I only boot-up/reboot maybe once a month on each of my Windows computers.. 10 seconds to return to where I was when I "turned it off". Why turn it off, why?

    • by PFI_Optix (936301)

      I reboot my work PC on the weekends because some of the craptastic applications we're stuck with don't do well if they've been running more than a few days. Bad application development is the cause of MOST of these types of problems.

    • by dmbasso (1052166)

      +1, same here, but using Ubuntu.

    • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:55AM (#37084624)

      Why leave it on if you're not going to use the thing for hours and hours (or, in the case of work computers, days)?

      I mean, I get that it's a pain in the ass to wait the few minutes for your PC to boot, and I get that some computers must always be on as a function of what they're doing, but really, if it's not being used at all, WHY keep it on?

      In the case of the individual it may not make a huge impact in energy usage versus the computer sitting idle all night, but if everyone did it I imagine that the amount of energy saved would be enormous.

      • by Leebert (1694) * on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:16AM (#37084752)

        Why leave it on if you're not going to use the thing for hours and hours

        Because shutting down or even suspending kills TCP state, and re-logging in is a pain in the butt when you have lots of multi-factor sessions.

        • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:33AM (#37084856)

          I understand, and for situations that require the thing to be left on I have no problem with it, but a LOT of people don't leave their computers on for any reason other than "sigh...waiting for my computer to beep and boop is a pain in the ass"

          Nobody likes to sit and wait for a few minutes while their computer boots (well, for anything, really, who likes waiting?) but is a few minutes waiting for boot in the morning really worth the energy cost in the thing being on all night long consuming energy for no reason at all? Hell, by the time I'm done taking my coat off, getting my morning cup of coffee, and looking through the stuff shoved under my door after I left, the thing is sitting there waiting for a login, which takes me approximately 1.3 seconds to type...so really, where am I losing all this time again?

          I find it hysterical how many people are concerned with that handful of minutes waiting for a boot but can stretch a trip to the bathroom to take a piss into a 15 minute excursion and see no problem with it. Funny how that works...

        • by RenQuanta (3274)

          Sounds like you could benefit from running GNU Screen [gnu.org] on a server somewhere (assuming all those sessions are SSH or other cli friendly interfaces to the various places you do stuff).

          Multiplexing is a great way to keep those sessions open and allow you the same access from other nodes pn the network. Besides, desktops really benefit from regular reboots - helps clear out the memory leaks and all.

    • Why turn it off, why?

      Leaving a laptop in suspend-to-RAM for a few days will completely drain the battery. I shut down if I don't know if I'll remember to put it on the charger.

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Hibernate the machine - copy RAM contents to a file on hard drive, shut down the machine. On bootup, file is loaded back into RAM. Takes only marginally longer on system with reasonably fast hard drives, and allows complete shut down of the machine. You can have your 30 sec full boot up without having to pay SSD premiums.

      Downside is that some programs don't like it and break, but these have been fewer and fewer as time passed.

  • by Relyx (52619) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:33AM (#37084484)

    My laptop can go for weeks without rebooting. It wakes up within a second. Isn't this decade marvellous? :)

    • by tepples (727027)

      My laptop can go for weeks without rebooting. It wakes up within a second.

      If you remembered to put it on the charger within a day after you closed it.

  • Just because the length of time it takes to boot is decreasing doesn't mean it's going away.

    I mean, yeah, I no longer have time to go get a cup of coffee and look at the mail while I wait (unless I'm using my parents computer), but I still have to sit through POST and all that. Seems to me that will never go away, there needs to be a self check...

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdotNO@SPAMjawtheshark.com> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:50AM (#37084576) Homepage Journal

      Seems to me that will never go away, there needs to be a self check...

      Has this self-check helped you in any way in the last 10 years, unless building the machine yourself? You'd think that at least the memory check would be good for something, but it isn't, otherwise we wouldn't need something like memtest. On most OEM computers, you simply get the logo of the company who made the computer... Not even the "useful", but "scary" information the computers of yonder showed you (Usually you can enable in in the BIOS to do that, but not on all machines).

      Anecdote: I had this weird situation where I got a dumpster sourced laptop. It had only 256MB RAM, I played around with different sticks to see if it would boot. Booted fine, so I thought... Nice, now it has 512MB RAM, I'll install Debian... During the PXE boot install I get a big red dialog telling me that there was not enough memory. I was really "WTF!?!". Turns out that I didn't insert de DIMM deep enough and that it booted with 640K, which this particular machine had on-motherboard (which is very rare...). The OEM screen showed right, up without errors. So those self tests don't do much in the first place.

      Try having a defective CPU? Won't even boot... Self test? A few beeps if you're lucky.

      As a dumpster diver, I get all kinds of machines on my desk. It's always fun to find whatever failed (if something failed, often it's just a certain OS from Redmond that got heavily infected). The POST is useful to me, but not all that useful... To most end user, just a dialog "Sorry, hardware is broken" would be more than enough.

      • I build all of my computers myself. Believe it or not, I am one of those people that actually used beep codes and such back in the day, and I actually turn off the vendor logos of my motherboard so I can watch the POST. I get that there aren't as many of us left in the world, but there is still use in POST. I know a lot of people out there don't understand what they're looking at when they watch those system checks, but for someone that does, they are an invaluable tool in figuring out what the hell is g
  • When I leave work, I hit the power button and the computer starts sleeping. When I come back I hit it again and I'm back to speed in a few seconds. I do a boot after windows updates (and/or when I want the centralized updates) and go drink coffee in the meanwhile. So no, I don't have problems with long boot times.
  • There's one good reason why I do that.

    I live in a VERY hot country, if I leave my computer on for a long time, the components will just melt, or at least it'll affect performance sooner than it should.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but heat is bad for computer parts.

    Suspend to RAM/Sleep keeps everything running, it does save some electricity, but I don't know if the savings are worth it.

    Maybe I should try suspending to disk?

  • What about phones? (Score:4, Informative)

    by genka (148122) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:40AM (#37084516) Homepage Journal
    My HTC EVO 3D Android phone takes 2.5 minutes to boot.
    • You turn off your phone? Why not just flip the silent switch at night.
    • by jamesh (87723)

      my iPhone 3GS takes about 30 seconds to shut down, and about 35 seconds to boot. And when I say 'boot', I mean it's ready to go, not like the Windows definition of "there's your login prompt - you're booted". If it ever plays up I can be rebooted in under 90 seconds, and it hasn't actually needed rebooting since the last firmware update.

      Unlike my previous Windows phone which took ages to boot and needed rebooting a couple of times a week.

  • by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:40AM (#37084520) Homepage
    It does depend on your definition of "boot time" though. Getting to the login prompt is completely different from getting to the desktop and having all of the various AV and other corporate IT management software and other sundry login scripts and apps stop thrashing the disk to the point where you can actually do something useful. The standard default for corporate login scripts seems to be to check if the corporate LAN is reachable and if so:
    1. Push down the current IT policies, even if they haven't changed since the last login.
    2. Download the latest version of any AV signatures, even if they haven't changed since the last login. (The AV is, of course, configured to do a full scan of the PC when new AV signatures are downloaded.)
    3. Start an audit of the installed software on the machine.
    4. Push down and install any outstanding software updates/upgrades.

    The best way I have found to speed up the corporate boot process is to disconnect the LAN cable until you are at the desktop, and then restore any drive mappings etc. manually. Even then, it can take several times longer than at home... :(

    • Short story: I was a consultant and the PC hadn't been in use in about a month. What happened? Installs and reboots and more installs and more reboots, forced AV scans and whatnot. Mandatory, automatic and unstoppable. After that one extreme incident, the client made sure to boot and log in to that PC before I came, easily shaved 15-30 minutes off their bill on average. Employee PCs were usually woken and updated remotely at night though, wasn't an issue for them.

    • by jeeves99 (187755) *

      The parent is spot on... work and home machines are different beasts entirely. What it means to boot in the home setting is a fractional subset of what needs to be accomplished on boot for a work machine.

      If I may add to the list of work place boot killers...
      (1) Drive decryption. In my industry, this is a government requirement and a common sense moral necessity, but dear Lord does it kill my boot time. Just getting through the login process (which precedes the boot loader) takes a minute.

      (2) Drive mounts.

    • by Spad (470073)

      A good corp login process should do the bare minimum; ours maps the required drives and does a check to see if it's time for the user's 6-monthly contact details update (and if so fires up a form for them to complete). There are Group Policies in place as well, but they only update anything that's changed since the last application and are pretty low impact user-wise.

      AV updates on its own schedule & scans out of hours, audits run at a random period within the first hour after logon and software updates

    • by houghi (78078)

      It is not only about boot time, it is about time to get ready to do some work. At home I can use sleep mide and it is all back very fast. At work I need to login several programs with difference passwords and logins. The profile needs to be downloaded from another country.

      Sure there might be solutions to all of those, yet none of the several companies I have worked for have any of those.

      At several I just lock the PC and turn off the screen, no matter what IT tells me. In one company it took 20 minutes befor

  • good news, because I like to reboot often and hard just in case those memory bits get too comfortable in the same spot they've been sitting for months at a time there.

  • At my last contract, I was given a corporate laptop - good recent hardware with Win 7 on it, perfectly capable of booting in 60 secs. However the build on it took 2 mins to reach the log-in screen, and a further 5 mins to reach a usable desktop.

    This was because there was so much corporate cruft to run before I could be permitted to do actual work.

    Naturally, no-one was permitted admin access.
  • by subreality (157447) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:45AM (#37084552)

    The worst I've dealt with is the HP DL380. Those things took nearly three minutes just to POST. To access the RAID config you had to hit a key combo within a 3-second window at end of the POST.

    That was years ago. I think that was the low point, but that's just anecdotal.

    • Servers take a long time to boot because they have lots of hardware that has to be set up and configured. It isn't as simple as a desktop. Sure on a desktop system you might have one drive controller, and it might just be AHCI and thus require minimal config time. So that part is fast. However on a server you can have some heavy hitting RAID controllers, that run their own little mini OSes complete with web servers and shit. They take a bit more to configure. Also they can't start all their disks at once, t

  • Back in the days when i used an Amiga, it booted in 6 seconds from cold (yes i know, i was sad enough to time it)... And i had to reboot fairly often because the AmigaOS used a flat memory model which suffered from gradual memory fragmentation, and allowed one errant program to take down the whole system.

    Later, i moved onto Unix/Linux systems and although they sometimes took a long time to boot, it was extremely rare that you would reboot them.. One of my unix workstations clocked up 700 days of uptime before a power failure took it out for instance.

    More recently, with laptops i can just suspend them...

    I hate the concept of having to reboot, i usually have a large number of programs running and would hate having to load everything up again and lay them out across my workspaces.

    • by chill (34294)

      6 seconds? Bah! Had you not heard of BattDisk [amiga-hardware.com]? That would cut your time in half!

      I think Dean (of DKB) has a /. account and sometimes shows up here.

  • I use the same mouse and mouse pad at home and work because I got used to the feel. At home, if I press the power button before hooking the mouse back up and putting the mouse pad down, it's already finished booting and waiting for me before I finish. At work, I can go make coffee too before it's done, and that's just to get to the login screen. After loging in, it's another full minute before I can use it.
  • Servers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:50AM (#37084574)

    >"Perhaps at home, but how's that working out for you at work?"

    Let me tell you how it works out at work. I just took delivery of brand new HP ML350 G6 servers. 48GB RAM, Dual 6 core Xeons at 3.06Ghz. FAST!

    It takes exactly 2.5 *MINUTES* before I get the BIOS beep for it to load GRUB. Linux then takes, oh, 20 seconds to boot (all the way to X), and that is with dozens of services, RAID checks, etc.

    I complained bitterly to HP. Sure it won't be booted very often ONCE IT IS CONFIGURED. But it more than DOUBLED the first few man days of setup due to waiting forever every time I made a BIOS change, every time I had to key in a firmware license, upgrade the BIOS, boot into the RAID setup, setup iLO2, after kernel changes, etc.

    It is 2011 and the fastest computer I have ever seen is, by far, the slowest booting machine I have ever seen. And I have been doing this for 25 years.

  • My company installs so much virus scanning, monitoring, automatic software management agents, and hard-drive encryption stuff that they can turn the highest end, fastest booting machine with SSD into a retro X86 in a few seconds... Most of us either NEVER turn the computers off or you turn it on and go n a long coffee break while your computer boots ....To quote a friend - Software is like a gas - it expands to fill every piece of hardware capability

  • If boot times are getting, quicker, then surely this means booting is easier and more likely to be done? This seems like the opposite of "the death of booting".

    Frankly, the new technologies that allow me to boot up my computer and resume my work where I left off in a matter of seconds make it much more likely that I will turn my computer off when I'm not using it.

    I've never understood the machismo behind "345 days without rebooting". Unless you're a mission-critical server.

    I pay the electric bill, so

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I fired up an old win-95 machine about a year ago out of desperation, the thing could go from power off to running word 95 in about 10 seconds flat, I was really impressed, and somewhat saddened by how far we have moved backwards since then.

  • by superid (46543) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:53AM (#37084606) Homepage

    My desktop at work is part of a very large (many thousands) windows domain. My time from boot to usable desktop is measured in minutes, many of them, rarely under 10 minutes. I get to stare at "Applying Personal Settings" for much of that period. Yes, the help desk has been called many times. The only course of action is to completely rebuild the system. Nobody can seem to troubleshoot a windows domain performance problem.

    • by PJ6 (1151747)

      My desktop at work is part of a very large (many thousands) windows domain. My time from boot to usable desktop is measured in minutes, many of them, rarely under 10 minutes. I get to stare at "Applying Personal Settings" for much of that period. Yes, the help desk has been called many times. The only course of action is to completely rebuild the system. Nobody can seem to troubleshoot a windows domain performance problem.

      Yes they can. It's a policy issue. Someone at the top who doesn't actually use the computers (or does any useful work, probably) decided they wanted to implement Policies A-Z to all users on the domain, without any regard to performance. I've run into this a number of times from high(er) security customers that give me a laptop I'm supposed to develop remotely on, and I have to come back and ask, 'are you aware that you've made this otherwise fast machine completely unusable to people working remotely over

  • I used to never reboot my system, but now I reboot (or rather login and logout) every day.

    Why? Because stupid Apple Time Machine will not backup Filevault home directories, unless the user logs out. It's a pain in the ass.

  • Roaming Profiles (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chill (34294) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:57AM (#37084636) Journal

    I'm more interested in the death of roaming profiles. In most cases, they are a total waste of resources and greatly degrade the boot process on office PCs.

    We've finally done away with them at our office, and it makes a noticeable difference. Once we realized almost no one uses a computer that isn't theirs, we couldn't figure out a good reason to keep them. Instead, they were replaced with folder redirection and the half-dozen people who frequently logged on to conference room computers were told to save their presentations to a shared folder instead of on their desktop.

    • by Lennie (16154)

      Yes, Windows roaming profiles suck.

      Windows 7 is faster at than Windows XP it says in the documentation. Sure slightly, but still sucks. It takes longer than Windows startup and that is saying something.

  • By the time the cow-orkers' managed laptops get through with virus checks, update checks, etc. there's plenty of time to go for coffee and maybe a bagel.

    Fortunately, I only have to listen to them bitching since I'm not using Windows. I don't even have to say anything any more, just quietly smile. They then go off on all the reasons that they have to have Microsoft, and thus mission accomplished: they've gone from complaining to the counting the benefits.

  • They still take ages to boot.

    • I don't get why people turn off their phones. They all have a silent mode, or an 'airplane' mode for when you don't want to be disturbed. That's as good as off for me.
  • by Cimexus (1355033) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:09AM (#37084708)

    From the beginning of the Windows boot process, to a fully populated and usable desktop, takes my home PC only 9 seconds (no exaggeration, I just timed it). The little Windows animation thing doesn't even half-finish before vanishing. In fact the BIOS takes significantly longer than loading Windows does.

    The reason?

    - New Corsair Force SSD; and
    - I made sure that nothing runs on startup that I don't need

    The shut down is even more ridiculous. The "Windows is shutting down..." message barely flickers onto the screen before the machine shuts off.

    So yeah, I don't use sleep at all now. Just power down and power back up later. Prior to the SSD my startup took at least 3 times as long (and that was with a 10,000 rpm Raptor, which is no slouch). Buying an SSD was the single best upgrade I have ever bought for any computer - $220 for a huge increase in responsiveness and usability.

    • by anss123 (985305)
      I too got a Corsair Force SSD and my Windows 7 takes 30s to POST and 30s to boot. I've not done anything to optimize my boot up though.
  • I was booting Windows in 20-45 seconds since 1997. Linux can sometimes take a while but usually it's around the 30s and under mark. I'm pretty sure the only laptops that I've ever seen take more than 10-15s, over the last 15 years, are broken Vista laptops.
  • Macbook Air? Chome OS?

    So what is the story here? That computers that no one has are quick to boot?

  • This sounds more like the expectations have been lowered then that the problem has been solved. 30sec or even 15sec is still quite a long time, given that my C64 could boot up in 1 second. Even for PC those boot times are nothing special, as DOS or Windows95 could do the same. It also doesn't really matter if its 15sec or 30sec, as both are way to long for quick switching. If booting would be as fast as switching desktops or VTs, it would make OS switching a non issues and could allow new workflows across

  • $ uptime
      04:13:18 up 645 days, 18:04, 2 users, load average: 0.69, 0.66, 0.44

  • I don't care about my PC's boot time, it boots about once a week. The rest is Deep Sleep, and I go fetch a coffee in the mean time anyway.
    I don't care about my phone's boot time, it boots about once a month, and is in light Sleep the rest of the time.
    I care a little about my netbook's boot time. Usually Deep Sleep though, but I'm usually waiting on it to be ready, so faster is better.
    I'm incensed by my cheap Android tablet boot time. It takes long (1 min ?) and switches off daily due to sucky battery. And s

  • Can we all agree to enforce mandatory penalties for programmers (or their bosses) who create services and systray apps? Something that makes them really think about whether or not it's necessary to put some bloated application in my system tray. I'm thinking a wedgie for unnecessary services and a cock punch for unnecessary tray apps. Apple, Java, Adobe, HP, I'm looking at you... I'll admit that I really want to give the Quicktime developers a cock punch.
  • HP550 laptop
    2Ghz Celeron D
    1Gb ram
    5400rpm disk drive
    Time it takes to start up (and get to a usable desktop) is roughly 40 seconds +/- 2 seconds
    from power on to post = 16 seconds,
    then
    from post to desktop [as well as manual login] around 28 seconds.
    This is from a stock install, I've not got around to tweaking things to cut any boot times...

    I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 not Windows (windows, no matter the version, added another 40 - 65 seconds to boot times on this laptop!)

  • by Requiem18th (742389) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @09:01AM (#37085058)

    I miss when technology would simply move forward without someone dramatically announcing obituaries.

  • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:25PM (#37090034)

    Define "boot up".

    In the organization [irs.gov] from which I just retired, we had a standard metric for basic laptop health. Assuming the user quickly and without errors types in two logins and two passwords, the time from power-on to a "settled down and usable" desktop was 8 minutes. Once in a blue moon, we'd see someone achieve 7 minutes on a new machine, but 8 was the standard. If boot times stretched past 15 minutes, users generally knew to open and ticket and get a tune-up.

    I know of about 120,000 users who would jump for joy at boot times measured in seconds instead of minutes.

  • by AnotherBlackHat (265897) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:53AM (#37094494) Homepage

    Computers these days can go from completely off to working within 30 seconds, and in some cases much faster

    30 seconds is something to be ashamed of, not brag about.

    The Apple II had a boot time measured in milliseconds, and most of that was making the beep sound.
    As time wore on, boot times got longer.

    A thing of the past? No, long boot times are a relatively recent phenomena.
    They will be with us as long as software quality is less important than time to market.
    I predict they will die, but not until Moore's law stops, or at least slows down enough that we start thinking of a computer as something we won't replace until it breaks.
    Only then will we care about software quality, size, and efficiency.

    -- Should you believe authority without question?

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