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Windows Hardware

New Phoenix BIOS Starts Windows 7 Boot In 1 Second 437

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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  • Re:BIOS (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:27AM (#29538239) Journal
    Could be a while. Given how infrequently most servers are rebooted, and how having at least a backup, better a hot spare, or better still on-line redundancy for servers you actually care about is fairly standard, there probably isn't nearly as much demand.

    Also, I suspect, more of the server delays have to do with real needs(notably staggered spin-up of drive arrays) or coordination issues between vendors(your server manufacturer can't do much about how much time a 3rd party RAID controller's option ROM decides to waste once it takes over, and even integrated controllers are usually just 3rd party stuff with some degree of rebadge).

    You'll probably actually see fast boot sooner in the cheap seats, which are much more likely to just be a basic business box relabeled as a "pedestal server" or reboxed as a cheap 1/2U and will thus be able to borrow the fast boot stuff directly from the consumer lines. That is also where servers are much less likely to be backed by any serious redundancy, which would make coming up quickly more of a selling point.
  • by xouumalperxe ( 815707 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:40AM (#29538337)

    The two reasons for ever-on PCs is either when the user doesn't like to wait the (in my case) minutes for the boot sequence to run through: whether that's Linux or Microsoft, it's far too long. (...)

    Getting the the boot sequence to go down to a few seconds is a great step forwards, but after that I still need the following applications open: Mail, Browser, Media Player (and possibly a couple more, depending whether it's the work computer, home desktop, or home laptop). Plus having those apps' sessions just right.

    A good sleep implementation allows you to easily pick up where you left off, which is still a serious advantage.

  • Re:BIOS (Score:5, Informative)

    by dolphinling ( 720774 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:44AM (#29538359) Homepage Journal
    It's not really all that fast. With coreboot [] there's an option to flash a kernel directly to your bios chip, and skip bios and bootloader entirely. Makes kernel upgrades a pain, of course, but they got wall time from poweron to a working linux shell down to three seconds.
  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:47AM (#29538381)

    so they bypass the basic ram and other checks that should be checked and also makes it hard to get into bios as the window goes by to quick.

  • Re:BIOS (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:51AM (#29538419)

    New BIOSs are UEFI.

    As much as they don't like to say it, UEFI is basically an operating system. UEFI supports byte code applications (that's right). It has a driver framework and drivers for many of your devices, a TCP/IP stack, etc...

    I think that's a good question about how you enter setup. If you can through keypresses, that time is too short to include keyboard initialization I would think. Since this is a laptop, they would be using their own keyboard firmware and they cheat. So it probably wouldn't work on a desktop or with an external keyboard.

    I haven't looked into details into their optimizations either, but I would assume, yes, they are skipping a lot of things. This is on a laptop, so they probably just assume fixed hardware. Many things which are detected are probably just saved.

    I doubt you would be able to boot from USB or CD with that set up, since those devices are not initialized.

    Intel have a document about the breakdown on UEFI BIOS boot time: []

    Out of interest, just having to change video modes to show the BIOS screen can be a couple seconds.

  • by xlotlu ( 1395639 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:59AM (#29538501)

    This is hardly some major breakthrough.

    Asus came up with a nice hack on their EeePC dubbed "Boot Booster". It dumps the system state right after POST on a HDD partition, and on subsequent boots it reads that straight into memory, so you have 1-second "POSTs" going straight to the bootloader.

    And then you have coreboot [], which is as fast as the machine it runs on: without taking any shortcuts, it can do all the grunt work in 3 seconds or so.

    Maybe the breakthrough is Windows booting fast, but that's a different story.

  • by gjyoung ( 320540 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:00AM (#29538511)

    I've had BIOS systems set to start to boot in under 2 seconds, I don't see any reason for the fanfare, especially since I got it to that time by telling it to skip all self tests and quick boot. Yawn.

  • by Graftweed ( 742763 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:01AM (#29538519)
    For the record, the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 already boots in 5 seconds [] using a SSD.
  • by David Jao ( 2759 ) <> on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:03AM (#29538541) Homepage

    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.

    Indeed, 20 seconds to boot is not "incredibly short" by any means, unless you've been trapped in Windows for so long that your standards have lowered. Fedora has been at the 20 second mark [] for a while now. On "retrofitted" platforms (similar to what is used in the article), Linux has achieved five second boot times [].

    It's worth noting that in the Linux world, "Done booting means CPU and disk idle" as per Arjan van de Ven, whereas in the Windows world your computer is still loading up services and anti-virus programs even after you get to the desktop. So Linux is booting up faster despite measuring itself against a tougher standard. Hmm...

    This whole thing is a non-story except to sufferers of inferior operating systems. The so-called "incredibly short" boot times are merely normal on alternative operating systems, and have been for quite some time.

  • by Shikaku ( 1129753 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:27AM (#29538775)

    How to get Fast Boot Times (OS Independent, but I've never done this with MacOSX)

    Step One: If you bought a ready made computer with Windows and you want Windows, format and reinstall Windows clean with the Windows CD that came with it and defragment it, or install your choice of OS. Vendors install crap that will slow everything down, and you should just start clean. Remember to keep a backup of working drivers (if needed)!

    Step Two: Disable all unneeded services. In Windows you do this from the Control Panel. In Linux use a Boot-Up manager, like bum, or edit the bootup scripts manually; readahead can also be helpful.

    Step Three: Make sure you delete all unneeded applications if possible, and disable all startup applications not needed at startup. This goes along step two but it's more about desktop programs loading. Running msconfig for Windows and editing the startup applications, you can stop programs you don't want from loading.

    Step Four: This is more preventative measures. Don't install crap you don't need. In Windows installing any program permanently slows down Windows (this is why I mentioned just formatting the Windows computer and reinstalling Windows). This has to do with the registry. In *nix this is not an issue if handled correctly. Usually if it isn't handled correctly your system becomes unusable either way.

  • Re:BIOS (Score:2, Informative)

    by GravityStar ( 1209738 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @09:40AM (#29538885)

    It is just you. My Pentium 90 took something like 20-30 seconds to boot to the DOS prompt. Anecdotal, true, but it's nice to remind yourself that even booting into DOS was by no means instantaneous.

    I don't think I have a point beyond that. Sorry, carry on about those days. Was it something about marching up hill in the snow?

  • Re:BIOS (Score:3, Informative)

    by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @10:32AM (#29539399) Journal

    1 second isn't the boot to desktop time, it's the time needed for the BIOS before transferring control to the OS. How long the OS takes to get to the desktop is a separate concern.

  • Re:BIOS (Score:3, Informative)

    by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @12:39PM (#29540895) Journal

    Your current machine takes 20-30 seconds merely to do the BIOS startup?

    The guy you were replying to was referring to a desktop boot, with the kernel loaded into the BIOS. You didn't specifically say, but I assumed.

VMS must die!