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Boot Windows 7 in 10 seconds

Posted at 25 September 2009 02:22 CET by Jared Newman

Despite years of advancements, slow boot times remain a thorn in modern computing’s side, but a new BIOS implementation could change that.

At this year’s IDF show, Phoenix has been starting up Windows 7-based computers in 10 to 20 seconds, showing off its Instant Boot BIOS. The product is based on technology from UEFI, a joint effort by personal computer companies to modernize the booting process.

BIOS isn’t the only factor in boot times, but it’s a significant one, typically adding 5 to 10 seconds to any start-up, by Laptop Magazine’s estimate. That’s because the BIOS has to turn on everything, from the CPU to the hard drives, before the operating system can begin to load. Instant Boot BIOS, by comparison, loads in about a second.


When paired with an optimized Windows 7 start-up feature on PCs unencumbered with bloatware, a Lenovo T400s with a solid state drive loaded in 10 seconds, according to Laptop Magazine. Engadget reports that a Dell Adamo loaded in less than 20 seconds. Granted, these computers were running in ideal conditions, but even the difference between 30 seconds and 40 seconds can feel like an eternity sometimes.

Phoenix is offering the Instant Boot BIOS to computer manufacturers, who could either offer it in new computers or add it to existing ones through a firmware upgrade. It’s not clear whether consumers will have to pay extra for the feature — perhaps manufacturers will find the technology more worthwhile as a marketing point.

Sure, this may not be instant-on computing, but it’s a start.

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There are 11 comments

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Posted on: 25 Sep 09 08:44
    Its amazing how your super fast computer starts to take longer and longer to start up. This may help, but it would be nice if the software companies gave us the option to choose what their program adds to the Windows registry for start up. Do we really need to have some drivers etc installed or can they be loaded when the program starts. I prefer a slight delay in the program starting, if it means Windows will start quicker. I remove as much as I can, but its hard to know if its needed or not.
    New on Forum
    Posted on: 25 Sep 09 13:09
      Just more hype that they will charge the average i'll stick with the longer boot time. Why should all these stories about windows 7 change my mind about anything Microsoft does?
      MyCE Senior Member
      Posted on: 25 Sep 09 14:00
        As someone who last week just bought an SSD drive and then kicked himself on realizing that the longest time by far was the bios loading stages, I want this new fast load bios upgrade and would pay for this upgrade.

        Hopefully it can be made available as a flashable upgrade to those that want it and not needing a full brand new motherboard to be bought just to get it.

        I would pay around £15 for this upgrade. (i.e ~$25 for all those reading in the US)
        Senior Administrator & Reviewer
        Posted on: 25 Sep 09 14:18
          I only boot my PC once a day, which is in the morning and the boot time doesn't really affect me. First thing I do in the morning is press the power button, then head for the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea. Then I come back to the fully booted PC along with my cup of tea to read the news, e-mail, etc. However, I'm sure this BIOS would be useful for those who prefer to fully power off their PC each time they leave it or who don't read the news with a hot drink.

          If I leave the PC for a while, I just put it in standby. For my laptop & netbook, I use hibernate, which takes just a few seconds to come out of.

          I did install an SSD recently in my desktop and for what I wanted it for (fast application loading and heavy multitasking), it does a great job here.
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 25 Sep 09 15:31
            The BIOS has to add a sort of simple interface for the OS to access the hardware. It is either use the BIOS interrupts or program the ports yourself from scratch. There are a couple things I think they could do away with but don't for some compatibility reason. That is what has slowed PC's down for years, backwards compatibility.
            CD Freaks Junior Member
            Posted on: 25 Sep 09 22:48
              The BIOS does its part, to me, it's all the other programs we install that seem to need to jockey for first place in the startup. QuickTime, whatever printer monitors, whatever CPU monitor, et al. If we could end the extra services as well would be a help.
              MyCE Member
              Posted on: 25 Sep 09 23:13
                its as simple as this, after the post (about a second) the rest of time before booting to the OS is checking memory hard drives, optical devices and the like. Most people once the system has been set up never add or remove anything so this can be skipped once it has been set up. All you need then is a app that you run from the OS when you are going to add something to do a one time full check to get the new hardware. Job done where can I get mine
                CD Freaks Junior Member
                Posted on: 26 Sep 09 01:05
                  my windows 98 was booting in 20 seconds on pentium III ten years ago.
                  New on Forum
                  Posted on: 26 Sep 09 11:29
                    if you want fast boot time dont waist your money on anything to do with the windows system. just go straight to your nearest apple shop and hey presto! from powering up to surfing mine does it in 7 seconds! - using a normal macbook with no purchased extras.
                    MyCE Senior Member
                    Posted on: 28 Sep 09 13:16
                      I'm with Seán on this, I stick on the PC, go make a coffee then by that time its all on!
                      MyCE Junior Member
                      Posted on: 04 Oct 09 00:10
                        from laptop user point of view, i agree w/ u guys; wakeup, switch on, make tea(or kofe; kofe good for heavier concentration/mem tasks for the brain), come back and lap pc rdy, for pm have extra options (eg, crack open beer from fridge, or whatever), or stretch out the neck/shoulder muscles/hand stretchs, and being ready for tht keyboard, yes.
                        ms win os(i use xp pro) has packed so much(fat b/c of the system design; compared to more effecient modular system design of linux os,and mac/unix); eg, the complex ms os design requires more mem and storag; i have learned some methods (optimization tweaks, ap substitutions, uninstall or delete the not used) to clean up after the install, to make startup and run faster, though so much u have to be cautious or could mess up; note, learned to change habits as laptop user; eg, i turned off start up of skype w/ start up(point being dont have on until u rdy to use; helps w/ battery,cpu use/ heat issues). next step for me, learn how to custom install. ths adequate enough for improved start up.
                        newer laptops now have options of ssd, which were described being more durable drive; didn't hear about start up being slow for ssd, thx for the input.
                        ths bios upgrade for sys7 appears being once again added hype, as part of the ms win os design complex. why i said hype, eg,

                        b/c time used learning/doing methods for tweaking and optimizing ms os to function, why not learn/use linux(easier option). for me, i dont have to diet, though my laptop pc is about to start healthy diet: dual partition w/ linux, yes.

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