PCs That Boot in Seconds Are Coming

LONDON, Oct. 1 (UPI) — Time spent waiting for a computer to boot up could soon be cut to seconds by an update to one of the oldest parts of a PC, U.S. experts say.

The 25-year-old PC start-up software known as Bios that initializes a machine so its operating system can get going will get an upgrade that will let computers boot up in seconds, the BBC reports.

The code in Bios, or basic input/output system, wasn’t meant to hang on for so long, which is why modern computer are still slow to get going when turned on.

The creators of the original Bios only expected it to have a lifetime of about 250,000 machines, a figure long since surpassed.

“They are as amazed as anyone else that now it is still alive and well in a lot of systems,” said Mark Doran, head of the industry group overseeing development of the replacement technology. “It was never really designed to be extensible over time.”

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, the replacement for Bios, will be on most PCs by 2011, experts say.

UEFI is designed to be more flexible and much faster than its predecessor.

For consumers, Doran said, the most obvious benefit of a machine running UEFI will be the speed with which it starts up.

“At the moment it can be 25-30 seconds of boot time before you see the first bit of OS sign-on,” he said. “With UEFI we’re getting it under a handful of seconds.”

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