Phoenix Technologies Enables Uber-fast Boot

Phoenix Technologies had a demo of a new BIOS at IDF 2009 that gives a glimpse into the future of starting up your PC. I’ve never seen a Windows PC go from off to start menu so fast. PC manufacturers will of course have to pay a premium for something like this and they may be able to pass it along to their existing users.

Update: Here’s another demo, with explanation from Phoenix:

Comments

  1. Pierre says

    Is this really “boot-up” or is Windows 7 coming back from some sort of hibernate mode where the bios actually is just restoring the/a memory state from disk?
    Because, otherwise the question would be: how can the bios shorten the time that is needed to load all the drivers, resident applications, restore of network connections etc?
    I know that might be asking for trade secrets, but I just don’t get how a basic piece of hardware/software like the bios could speed that up.

    Result looks impressive though (if it is real boot-up).

  2. Akarui Meisei says

    Looks very fast. I have been using the RTM of Windows 7 Pro x64 on my ThinkPad and I have to say the boot/sleep/resume speeds are so much better. After looking at the video a few times I wonder if the BIOS has a way of storing all the necessary drivers, etc. away so it acts as a BIOS version of hibernation; upon boot it just pulls out the ‘saved’ image of everything already loaded and goes from there.

    Kinda winging my response, but they have to be doing something to make it boot/resume so fast. :)

  3. Xavier Lanier says

    This system was shut down completely.I have a longer version of the video going up soon with the guy that helped make this possible.

    I assume they made some tweaks to Win 7 as well. Notice the start menu isn’t transparent.

  4. Frank says

    Yeah, it seems to be a heavily tweaked installation. Maybe they kind of store the boot files in the RAM on shutdown, which would make the whole idea useless because of the power consumption.
    I also still don’t understand why people bother about boot times. Sleep mode became really fast with Win 7 and I have to do a reboot maybe once a week or so, so I don’t care if it takes 40 seconds or realistic 10 seconds thanks to this, probably, power wasting technology.

  5. Howard says

    One of the huge qualms with Window OS’s is that boot up and shut down relies on safety checks. One notices this the most with shutdown because sometimes when a program takes a while to turn off, or even freeze, the shutdown protocol won’t continue. It is stuck waiting for a program to finish saving data or whatever. However, with linux distros they ignore whether a program needs to close/tidy-up or whatever. This is because applications in linux doesn’t rely heavily on saving key data during shutdown. The only thing that it worries about is the stability of files on the hard drive. Thus, it is possible that the tweaks makes Windows 7 as responsive as any linux distro. Another possibility is that they have a hibernated image stored on the HD before it’s boot from cold boot. It is possible that during shutdown, they modify the image to reflect any changes made since boot-up.

  6. Regular Reader says

    I want this! It will get me to putting tablet pcs in the hands of a lot more of my employees

  7. Nameless says

    Something tells me that I won’t be getting this on my TC1100, or even my custom-built desktop…

    Seriously, though, it’s about time they started doing this. Even if standby/sleep and hibernate already exist.

    (Now where’s EFI?)

  8. turn.self.off says

    that win7 looked like it had all the “bling” tweaked out of it, and looked more like a win2k with a winxp style start menu…

    i just wonder how one is supposed to access bios settings if it jumps to os boot that fast. Or just do something similar as selecting boot drive…

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