The End of Slow PC Boot Up Times

Michael Vizard

One of the more annoying things about PCs is how long they take to actually boot up. Microsoft gets most of the blame for this annoying quirk, but it turns out just as much of the blame for this sad state of affairs lies with the PC manufacturers. In fact, many of them went so far as to brag about how they had worked closely with Microsoft during the development of Windows 7 to reduce boot-up times.

Now in the grand scheme of things, the length of time it takes to boot up a PC is hardly a deal-breaker. But compared to a Macintosh, the boot up time of a PC has become a source of embarrassment. The reason Apple is able to overcome this problem is because, unlike Microsoft and the PC manufacturers, it controls all the hardware and software components that go into a Macintosh.

The good news is that the folks at Diskeeper have been working on this problem in the form of a HyperBoot project. According to Ed Beckmann, vice president of software development, HyperBoot rethinks the boot-up process by first leveraging system cache and then making sure that the portions of the operating system that the system needs to boot up are on the fastest part of the disk drive.

Upon further reflection, that may seem like an obvious approach to the problem. But because Microsoft and the companies that build the hardware that its systems run on are separate entities, fixing the problem needs apparently fall to a third party.

Down the road, it will be interesting to see how Diskeeper marries HyperBoot to its efforts to speed virtual machine performance under a project called V-locity.

In the meantime, it might take a little while for PC manufacturers to get their collective acts together around HyperBoot. But at least we know somebody is trying to put an end to one of those petty little annoyances that plague us all.

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Mar 4, 2010 3:03 PM Average Genius Average Genius  says:
An excellent report of the "boot time" annoyance, although I am curious about the implementation of PRAM which I thought would be very soon. The PRAM is non-volatile RAM which uses a material phase change for memory and such needs no "boot-up". This RAM can be read and written to, but needs no current to keep it fresh. Thus, whatever state your PC is in when you turn off the power, it will be in exactly the same state when you turn it back on. Instant on, instant off, if so desired. Thanks for your article and my chance to comment. Maybe you could write a follow-up about when we can expect PRAM to be in our machines? Reply
Apr 11, 2010 6:04 PM Langsom Langsom  says:
If you clean up the pc, the problems with slow booting is really not that bad in my opinion. But I still like Macs:) Reply

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