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The Death of Booting Up

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the singularity-prequel dept.

Google 557

theodp writes "'Booting up was a bear,' recalls Slate's Farhad Manjoo, 'something to be avoided at all costs.' But now, he adds, 'It's time to rejoice, because all that's in the past. Computers these days can go from completely off to working within 30 seconds, and in some cases much faster. Apple's MacBook Air loads up in 16 seconds, and machines based on Google's cloud-based Chrome OS boast boot times of under 10 seconds. Even Windows computers are fast — with the right set-up, your Windows 7 laptop can load just as quickly as a MacBook.' Perhaps at home, but how's that working out for you at work? Have reports of the death of long boot times been greatly exaggerated?"

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it's true you boys (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 3 years ago | (#37084476)

Windows in 30s on an SSD, 60s on a USB3 and even 15s on a SSD Sata III. Proof that disk speed is half the battle.

However, employees still expect to get to work with everything exactly as it was when they left the office. If anything, it's been heavier workloads which have made users less likely to boot. Some have never restarted. It's fine with me, the less chance of BSOD or loading circles the better.

Re:it's true you boys (4, Interesting)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 3 years ago | (#37084510)

SSDs are expensive when you're buying by the thousands and consider that, aside from boot times, they don't impact PC performance enough to justify the cost for MOST PCs.

It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop. Probably two minutes to actually boot to windows, three or four to get to the Windows logon (anyone who works Windows domains has learned that if you don't have some wait times built in, policies may not load and you get support calls), then another three to five after I log in for all the scripts, antivirus, citrix, and other crap to run before my desktop is fully functional.

Sure a MacBook Air can boot in under a minute. It also can't run most of what we use and costs WAY more than the average business computer.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 3 years ago | (#37084568)

It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop.

Are you running on IDE? One good sata spin drive for $40 and you'll be booting in 2 minutes. You don't need SSD to experience normality.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 3 years ago | (#37084648)

My machine takes about 15 min to boot.
SATA disk (not SSD) running full disk crypto, McAfee in uber paranoid mode, and an on-line backup util (connected net backup).

When all that is running together I can't even check e-mail.

Re:it's true you boys (3, Informative)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 3 years ago | (#37084650)

Have you seen what his work PC actually loads? His experience matches mine with the shitload of crap many multinationals put on their desktops. 10 minutes in not far fetched, even with a good SATA drive. He doesn't mean that his machine is "not booted". He's most likely logged in and he can move his mouse, but actually "doing" anything is extremely slow because the machine itself is still loading so much due to the initial login.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

aix tom (902140) | about 3 years ago | (#37084770)

That's also something I have seen "lately" (as in the last decade) in various OSes. A lot of stuff that usually should happen during "boot" being put into post-boot procedures.

Of course you can't rally start working faster, but the manufacturer can brag about faster boot times.

Re:it's true you boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084596)

If it takes ten minutes to compile versus two with an SSD then i would argue it's worth the cost. The productivity gains for many programmers would be significant.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 3 years ago | (#37084662)

But how does the cost of an SSD compare, to 2 years of a worked being unproductive for an extra 7 minutes / day?

Re:it's true you boys (2)

hoggoth (414195) | about 3 years ago | (#37084692)

> But how does the cost of an SSD compare, to 2 years of a worked being unproductive for an extra 7 minutes / day?

The SSD costs more than banning Facebook, which will recover an unproductive 3 hours / day.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37084728)

But how does the cost of an SSD compare, to 2 years of a worked being unproductive for an extra 7 minutes / day?

No need for the person to be around for the boot process. Just set the PowerON timer in the BIOS to boot up the machine before he arrives at work.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 3 years ago | (#37084802)

It takes my work PC about ten minutes to get to a working desktop. Probably two minutes to actually boot to windows, three or four to get to the Windows logon (anyone who works Windows domains has learned that if you don't have some wait times built in, policies may not load and you get support calls)

That's what bugs me. Windows 2000 took a while to get to the logon screen, but once you were there you were pretty much good to go. XP put the logon up a bit earlier before the system was really ready so Microsoft could say "hey look - we booted faster". Windows 7 even more so.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 years ago | (#37084534)

And back in the 80's there was systems that was up and running a lot faster since the core was in PROM. Availability within a second.

But for some reason IBM and Microsoft was never really willing to go the fast and friendly path.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37084704)

I was just thinking that. To be honest, my BBC-B took about two seconds, not one, to give time for the beep-beep.

PROM drawbacks (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37084730)

And back in the 80's there was systems that was up and running a lot faster since the core was in PROM. Availability within a second.

And how much power-on self-test to detect changes to the configuration of connected hardware? And how to correct programming defects or add capability to interact with new kinds of hardware?

Re:PROM drawbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084758)

Instantly, as I recall.

Re:it's true you boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084824)

Yes, but on the other hand the core did pretty much the same as todays bios.
I have an 80GB Hitatchi Travelstar in my Amiga1200 and a fress install of the full OS takes about 5s from hitting the power switch to fully functional graphics environment. (This does howeven not include starting the network stack since I only load that when I need it but I can't say that I notice the time it takes to start that either.)
That is 512k ROM (You'd be surprised how much of that is the "fancy" insert disk animation you only see if you don't have a HDD.) and about 5 x 880kB disks.
That is roughly 10% in ROM.
I can't say that I would notice a 10% difference in boot time.

I guess they cut som boot time by not loading things that aren't used and make a few things load more effeciently by having their config stored in a ready to use format rather than plain ascii.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37084668)

It takes minutes on my Windows 7 work laptop but under a minute on Windows home computer. Part of the battle is the number of credentials that have to be loaded and checked.

Re:it's true you boys (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 3 years ago | (#37084720)

My Vista install used to boot up from boot manager to usable desktop in 15 seconds. The only thing non-standard is the fact I'm booting off of a pair of striped drives. Also, I disabled a lot of the services I didn't use or did not want. After a couple of years of use, with quite a few programs set to run on startup, this had risen to about 25 seconds IIRC.

Currently it takes forever, because one of the hard drives in the stripe seems to be dying - it's got awful access speeds, and often won't register at all at boot. This took forever to diagnose, because it was in a software stripe and thus didn't report any errors. I originally thought I had some kind of malware, because every time I tried to download and install service packs, the system slowed to a crawl and sometimes BSODed. It was just that I don't work the disks hard usually, and when the service packs started whacking the disk drives, it all went to hell.

Something I do once a month... (5, Insightful)

netsharc (195805) | about 3 years ago | (#37084480)

With suspend-to-RAM, I only boot-up/reboot maybe once a month on each of my Windows computers.. 10 seconds to return to where I was when I "turned it off". Why turn it off, why?

Re:Something I do once a month... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084492)

Spare energy?

Re:Something I do once a month... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084528)

I prefer to call it "Productive Heat".

Re:Something I do once a month... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 3 years ago | (#37084518)

I reboot my work PC on the weekends because some of the craptastic applications we're stuck with don't do well if they've been running more than a few days. Bad application development is the cause of MOST of these types of problems.

Re:Something I do once a month... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084544)

On my windows 7 work computer, (wired) networking is fucked hard for about a minute after resuming from sleep. Outlook 2010 generally stops responding if I forgot to close it before I went home. Our "proprietary" network programs shit themselves too. The computer itself isn't much better. It doesn't wake from mouse activity at all, and sometimes it goes to deep enough sleep that it won't wake from keyboard activity either and I have to press the power button. Of course, if I hit the keyboard and it doesn't wake up fast enough to make me think it's really off and I press the power button, half the time the computer wakes up, registers that I pushed the power button, and Windows shuts down (fucking annoying... up there with my macbook suspending mid-shutdown if I don't wait for the thing to be completely off before I close it).

Of course, all that is dependent on Windows actually going to sleep. Probably around 25% of the time I'll get back in to work and the thing will be sitting at the "workstation locked" screen just like I left it.

Re:Something I do once a month... (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 3 years ago | (#37084600)

+1, same here, but using Ubuntu.

Re:Something I do once a month... (4, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37084624)

Why leave it on if you're not going to use the thing for hours and hours (or, in the case of work computers, days)?

I mean, I get that it's a pain in the ass to wait the few minutes for your PC to boot, and I get that some computers must always be on as a function of what they're doing, but really, if it's not being used at all, WHY keep it on?

In the case of the individual it may not make a huge impact in energy usage versus the computer sitting idle all night, but if everyone did it I imagine that the amount of energy saved would be enormous.

Re:Something I do once a month... (3, Insightful)

Leebert (1694) | about 3 years ago | (#37084752)

Why leave it on if you're not going to use the thing for hours and hours

Because shutting down or even suspending kills TCP state, and re-logging in is a pain in the butt when you have lots of multi-factor sessions.

Re:Something I do once a month... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084656)

10 seconds from suspend?! My Debian system boots from cold in that! Powering on from suspend is instant. Is windows really that bad, or do you have something misconfigured?

Battery (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37084768)

Why turn it off, why?

Leaving a laptop in suspend-to-RAM for a few days will completely drain the battery. I shut down if I don't know if I'll remember to put it on the charger.

People still boot up? (2)

Relyx (52619) | about 3 years ago | (#37084484)

My laptop can go for weeks without rebooting. It wakes up within a second. Isn't this decade marvellous? :)

Re:People still boot up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084540)

Same with me, I've been using linux for almost a decade so I really don't the state of other OS's, but I measure my uptime in months, and I only reboot when I upgrade Fedora and maybe a couple of times between upgrades to be sure the updates haven't broken anything. (not necessary for the past few years but old habits die hard)

Re:People still boot up? (1)

hcpxvi (773888) | about 3 years ago | (#37084804)

I've been using linux for almost a decade so I really don't the state of other OS's
I think you accidentally the entire OS market (or most of it, anyway).

Re:People still boot up? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37084778)

My laptop can go for weeks without rebooting. It wakes up within a second.

If you remembered to put it on the charger within a day after you closed it.

Huh? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37084488)

Just because the length of time it takes to boot is decreasing doesn't mean it's going away.

I mean, yeah, I no longer have time to go get a cup of coffee and look at the mail while I wait (unless I'm using my parents computer), but I still have to sit through POST and all that. Seems to me that will never go away, there needs to be a self check...

Re:Huh? (4, Interesting)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 3 years ago | (#37084576)

Seems to me that will never go away, there needs to be a self check...

Has this self-check helped you in any way in the last 10 years, unless building the machine yourself? You'd think that at least the memory check would be good for something, but it isn't, otherwise we wouldn't need something like memtest. On most OEM computers, you simply get the logo of the company who made the computer... Not even the "useful", but "scary" information the computers of yonder showed you (Usually you can enable in in the BIOS to do that, but not on all machines).

Anecdote: I had this weird situation where I got a dumpster sourced laptop. It had only 256MB RAM, I played around with different sticks to see if it would boot. Booted fine, so I thought... Nice, now it has 512MB RAM, I'll install Debian... During the PXE boot install I get a big red dialog telling me that there was not enough memory. I was really "WTF!?!". Turns out that I didn't insert de DIMM deep enough and that it booted with 640K, which this particular machine had on-motherboard (which is very rare...). The OEM screen showed right, up without errors. So those self tests don't do much in the first place.

Try having a defective CPU? Won't even boot... Self test? A few beeps if you're lucky.

As a dumpster diver, I get all kinds of machines on my desk. It's always fun to find whatever failed (if something failed, often it's just a certain OS from Redmond that got heavily infected). The POST is useful to me, but not all that useful... To most end user, just a dialog "Sorry, hardware is broken" would be more than enough.

Re:Huh? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37084658)

I build all of my computers myself. Believe it or not, I am one of those people that actually used beep codes and such back in the day, and I actually turn off the vendor logos of my motherboard so I can watch the POST. I get that there aren't as many of us left in the world, but there is still use in POST. I know a lot of people out there don't understand what they're looking at when they watch those system checks, but for someone that does, they are an invaluable tool in figuring out what the hell is going on.

Re:Huh? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 3 years ago | (#37084746)

Sure, as I said, I'm one of those people too. We're a dying breed though. I did help me multiple times (including beep codes in a SMP system with one fried CPU... that was a hard nut to crack), but as far most "problems" that "normal users" have with their computers, it's not on this level that they occur or that they can do anything with the information.

As a matter of fact, why not have a "Hardware broken" dialog, and then a standardized "Guru Meditation Code" for us, so we know what's going on.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084644)

But it is going away along with the traditional BIOS. UEFI [] will replace the BIOS POST for a 1 second startup there.

mine is a sleepy head (1)

oji-sama (1151023) | about 3 years ago | (#37084496)

When I leave work, I hit the power button and the computer starts sleeping. When I come back I hit it again and I'm back to speed in a few seconds. I do a boot after windows updates (and/or when I want the centralized updates) and go drink coffee in the meanwhile. So no, I don't have problems with long boot times.

I hear ya... (1)

jampola (1994582) | about 3 years ago | (#37084498)

19:30:02 up 27 days, 23:39, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

Re:I hear ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084556)

22:43:13 up 112 days, 5 min, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

Re:I hear ya... (1)

miknix (1047580) | about 3 years ago | (#37084580)

14:49:45 up 9 days, 10:05, 1 user, load average: 0.11, 0.20, 0.22

Re:I hear ya... (1)

raynet (51803) | about 3 years ago | (#37084702)

16:06:36 up 591 days, 7:22, 1 user, load average: 0.06, 0.01, 0.00

wait i don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084512)

are you saying it's possible to turn my computer off?

I still turn my computer off (2)

mhh91 (1784516) | about 3 years ago | (#37084514)

There's one good reason why I do that.

I live in a VERY hot country, if I leave my computer on for a long time, the components will just melt, or at least it'll affect performance sooner than it should.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but heat is bad for computer parts.

Suspend to RAM/Sleep keeps everything running, it does save some electricity, but I don't know if the savings are worth it.

Maybe I should try suspending to disk?

Re:I still turn my computer off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084572)

it powers everything off but the ram. even that is kept at a low power since nothing is reading/writing to it. my dram is warm while running but in sleep its stone cold.

Re:I still turn my computer off (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084618)

Suspend to RAM/Sleep keeps everything running

Not everything. Only the DRAM modules. That is, if your computer does ACPI S3.

What about phones? (3, Informative)

genka (148122) | about 3 years ago | (#37084516)

My HTC EVO 3D Android phone takes 2.5 minutes to boot.

Re:What about phones? (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | about 3 years ago | (#37084742)

You turn off your phone? Why not just flip the silent switch at night.

Re:What about phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084818)

The blackberry storm was just as bad.. maybe even longer. And you had to reboot it every now and then otherwise it became very slow to unresponsive

Several minutes seems more likely (4, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | about 3 years ago | (#37084520)

It does depend on your definition of "boot time" though. Getting to the login prompt is completely different from getting to the desktop and having all of the various AV and other corporate IT management software and other sundry login scripts and apps stop thrashing the disk to the point where you can actually do something useful. The standard default for corporate login scripts seems to be to check if the corporate LAN is reachable and if so:
  1. Push down the current IT policies, even if they haven't changed since the last login.
  2. Download the latest version of any AV signatures, even if they haven't changed since the last login. (The AV is, of course, configured to do a full scan of the PC when new AV signatures are downloaded.)
  3. Start an audit of the installed software on the machine.
  4. Push down and install any outstanding software updates/upgrades.

The best way I have found to speed up the corporate boot process is to disconnect the LAN cable until you are at the desktop, and then restore any drive mappings etc. manually. Even then, it can take several times longer than at home... :(

Re:Several minutes seems more likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084672)

Wait. You actually turn off your work PC?


Just lock your PC by hitting CTRL+ALT+DELETE and ENTER. Then go home.

When you get back to work, hit CTRL+ALT+DELETE; type your password, and start doing productive work immediately.

My record is almost an hour (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 years ago | (#37084736)

Short story: I was a consultant and the PC hadn't been in use in about a month. What happened? Installs and reboots and more installs and more reboots, forced AV scans and whatnot. Mandatory, automatic and unstoppable. After that one extreme incident, the client made sure to boot and log in to that PC before I came, easily shaved 15-30 minutes off their bill on average. Employee PCs were usually woken and updated remotely at night though, wasn't an issue for them.

Re:Several minutes seems more likely (1)

jeeves99 (187755) | about 3 years ago | (#37084750)

The parent is spot on... work and home machines are different beasts entirely. What it means to boot in the home setting is a fractional subset of what needs to be accomplished on boot for a work machine.

If I may add to the list of work place boot killers...
(1) Drive decryption. In my industry, this is a government requirement and a common sense moral necessity, but dear Lord does it kill my boot time. Just getting through the login process (which precedes the boot loader) takes a minute.

(2) Drive mounts. These shouldn't stall boot, but they do. Someone with more IT-fu than I want to comment on why my Win7 computer stalls while trying to map NFS shares?

Re:Several minutes seems more likely (1)

Spad (470073) | about 3 years ago | (#37084764)

A good corp login process should do the bare minimum; ours maps the required drives and does a check to see if it's time for the user's 6-monthly contact details update (and if so fires up a form for them to complete). There are Group Policies in place as well, but they only update anything that's changed since the last application and are pretty low impact user-wise.

AV updates on its own schedule & scans out of hours, audits run at a random period within the first hour after logon and software updates are either run overnight using WOL or prompt the user to install with an option to delay 15 minutes if they're in the middle of something.

Re:Several minutes seems more likely (1)

houghi (78078) | about 3 years ago | (#37084798)

It is not only about boot time, it is about time to get ready to do some work. At home I can use sleep mide and it is all back very fast. At work I need to login several programs with difference passwords and logins. The profile needs to be downloaded from another country.

Sure there might be solutions to all of those, yet none of the several companies I have worked for have any of those.

At several I just lock the PC and turn off the screen, no matter what IT tells me. In one company it took 20 minutes before I was ready.

There is a solution. Just make anything over 5 minutes billable to the IT department. That will solve the problems extremely fast. Now their excuse is that it just is what it is.

7 Seconds Vertex 3 ssd @ 600mb/s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084522)

7 Seconds Vertex 3 ssd @ 600mb/s.

Re:7 Seconds Vertex 3 ssd @ 600mb/s (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 3 years ago | (#37084660)

At home I also have a SSD and the stupid BIOS takes more time than Ubuntu on SSD.

good news (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#37084524)

good news, because I like to reboot often and hard just in case those memory bits get too comfortable in the same spot they've been sitting for months at a time there.

It's not about the OS boot time but about the apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084530)

Perhaps you are all done when you enter a clean slate boot but I can't start working there. I have to fire up my webbrowser, login to 4-5 different internal systems, fire up a few terminals, load ssh-keys, start my communications apps(skype, mail, im). All this usually takes a lot longer than booting my machine.

My work pc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084532)

I don't shut my work PC down because it takes 4 minutes for the Windows login prompt to appear and another 3 minutes for it to open Notepad.

Re:My work pc? (1)

larppaxyz (1333319) | about 3 years ago | (#37084696)

I would like to hear what your job is if you only need to use Notepad?

not there yet (1)

matt007 (80854) | about 3 years ago | (#37084536)

Unfortunately my debian-running samsung netbook is more like 1 minute to boot up and hibernation does not work ... Not quite there yet.

I hope progress will be made.

Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084538)

Back when I worked at Nokia, my laptop took about 5 mins to boot. It was regular practice to pull the network cable to stop it phoning home ... which took even longer. Logging in from the Windows prompt took a good 30 seconds as it updated profiles and synched user crap. We were all Linux guys, so it was a great laugh.

Cruft and idiots are still with s... (1)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | about 3 years ago | (#37084542)

At my last contract, I was given a corporate laptop - good recent hardware with Win 7 on it, perfectly capable of booting in 60 secs. However the build on it took 2 mins to reach the log-in screen, and a further 5 mins to reach a usable desktop.

This was because there was so much corporate cruft to run before I could be permitted to do actual work.

Naturally, no-one was permitted admin access.

Servers *seriously suck* in this department (3, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | about 3 years ago | (#37084552)

The worst I've dealt with is the HP DL380. Those things took nearly three minutes just to POST. To access the RAID config you had to hit a key combo within a 3-second window at end of the POST.

That was years ago. I think that was the low point, but that's just anecdotal.

Never been a problem... (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about 3 years ago | (#37084560)

Back in the days when i used an Amiga, it booted in 6 seconds from cold (yes i know, i was sad enough to time it)... And i had to reboot fairly often because the AmigaOS used a flat memory model which suffered from gradual memory fragmentation, and allowed one errant program to take down the whole system.

Later, i moved onto Unix/Linux systems and although they sometimes took a long time to boot, it was extremely rare that you would reboot them.. One of my unix workstations clocked up 700 days of uptime before a power failure took it out for instance.

More recently, with laptops i can just suspend them...

I hate the concept of having to reboot, i usually have a large number of programs running and would hate having to load everything up again and lay them out across my workspaces.

Re:Never been a problem... (2)

chill (34294) | about 3 years ago | (#37084602)

6 seconds? Bah! Had you not heard of BattDisk [] ? That would cut your time in half!

I think Dean (of DKB) has a /. account and sometimes shows up here.

Re:Never been a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084762)

I hate the concept of having to reboot, i usually have a large number of programs running and would hate having to load everything up again and lay them out across my workspaces.

While it's not quite there yet, I recently had an experience with OSX's resume (which puts apps back where they were left last, on a restart). I had a power outage here, and went outside to check the breaker - it'd tripped, so I reset it, and walked back in to my desktop where I was watching an episode of Torchwood.

By the time I'd walked 10ft to my door, then across two rooms, I could sit down to a desktop in almost the exact same state as I left it - windows were organised on-screen in the same order I left them, with my video player loaded and the episode I was watching ready to play.

The only thing it didn't do was cue it up to the same position I was watching - that and one other app didn't appear on the virtual desktop it was left on. Out of the 30-40 apps loaded in the time I walked through those rooms, it's pretty damned close to ideal.

My macbook at work sucks for boot times (1)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 3 years ago | (#37084564)

I use the same mouse and mouse pad at home and work because I got used to the feel. At home, if I press the power button before hooking the mouse back up and putting the mouse pad down, it's already finished booting and waiting for me before I finish. At work, I can go make coffee too before it's done, and that's just to get to the login screen. After loging in, it's another full minute before I can use it.

Servers (4, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | about 3 years ago | (#37084574)

>"Perhaps at home, but how's that working out for you at work?"

Let me tell you how it works out at work. I just took delivery of brand new HP ML350 G6 servers. 48GB RAM, Dual 6 core Xeons at 3.06Ghz. FAST!

It takes exactly 2.5 *MINUTES* before I get the BIOS beep for it to load GRUB. Linux then takes, oh, 20 seconds to boot (all the way to X), and that is with dozens of services, RAID checks, etc.

I complained bitterly to HP. Sure it won't be booted very often ONCE IT IS CONFIGURED. But it more than DOUBLED the first few man days of setup due to waiting forever every time I made a BIOS change, every time I had to key in a firmware license, upgrade the BIOS, boot into the RAID setup, setup iLO2, after kernel changes, etc.

It is 2011 and the fastest computer I have ever seen is, by far, the slowest booting machine I have ever seen. And I have been doing this for 25 years.

no it's bogus (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 3 years ago | (#37084582)

My company installs so much virus scanning, monitoring, automatic software management agents, and hard-drive encryption stuff that they can turn the highest end, fastest booting machine with SSD into a retro X86 in a few seconds... Most of us either NEVER turn the computers off or you turn it on and go n a long coffee break while your computer boots ....To quote a friend - Software is like a gas - it expands to fill every piece of hardware capability

Boot times have gotten worse at work (1)

crafoo (591629) | about 3 years ago | (#37084584)

My boot times at work are around the 3 minute mark. I blame it on Windows XP SP2 weighed down with massive amounts of corporate spyware and McAfee virus scanner.

Re:Boot times have gotten worse at work (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 3 years ago | (#37084776)

Oh God, McAfee is evil. Especially when they have it locked down with a group policy that prevents you disabling it or changing the scan settings.

My work has it set to scan all files on both read AND write. Slow, yes. But nothing compared to the pain when you have to run a VM (which I do often), which itself is based on the same standard corporate desktop image. So you get McAfee in the VM scanning on every read and write operation, while a second instance of McAfee is also running on the host, scanning on every read and write operation (including operations caused by the VM). Arrrrgh!

Windows "cheats" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084586)

The reason why windows boots up decently fast is because many non-critical services are loaded AFTER login. Hence the computer is barely usable for half a minute after logging in.

Surely the rebirth of booting? (2)

benwiggy (1262536) | about 3 years ago | (#37084588)

If boot times are getting, quicker, then surely this means booting is easier and more likely to be done? This seems like the opposite of "the death of booting".

Frankly, the new technologies that allow me to boot up my computer and resume my work where I left off in a matter of seconds make it much more likely that I will turn my computer off when I'm not using it.

I've never understood the machismo behind "345 days without rebooting". Unless you're a mission-critical server.

I pay the electric bill, so if I'm not using it, it gets switched off.

Boot gotten faster...... really? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084590)

I fired up an old win-95 machine about a year ago out of desperation, the thing could go from power off to running word 95 in about 10 seconds flat, I was really impressed, and somewhat saddened by how far we have moved backwards since then.

How about the session ? (1)

roscocoltran (1014187) | about 3 years ago | (#37084592)

Booting speed is fine for any OS. But how about the delay between entering your credentials and getting a ready-to-use firefox window ? On my machine it easily doubles the boot up time.

Re:How about the session ? (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 3 years ago | (#37084700)

On my home SSD-based system it takes the stupid BIOS longer to get started than the boot time all the way to Firefox.

It is pretty crappy BIOS though ;-)

Booting the OS, me doing the login and applications including Firefox takes 7 seconds.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084598)

Still takes 5-6 minutes with all the management, inventory and snoopIng tools. So I never turn it off.

Time to Desktop (2)

superid (46543) | about 3 years ago | (#37084606)

My desktop at work is part of a very large (many thousands) windows domain. My time from boot to usable desktop is measured in minutes, many of them, rarely under 10 minutes. I get to stare at "Applying Personal Settings" for much of that period. Yes, the help desk has been called many times. The only course of action is to completely rebuild the system. Nobody can seem to troubleshoot a windows domain performance problem.

Mandatory reboot (1)

he-sk (103163) | about 3 years ago | (#37084612)

I used to never reboot my system, but now I reboot (or rather login and logout) every day.

Why? Because stupid Apple Time Machine will not backup Filevault home directories, unless the user logs out. It's a pain in the ass.

Roaming Profiles (3, Interesting)

chill (34294) | about 3 years ago | (#37084636)

I'm more interested in the death of roaming profiles. In most cases, they are a total waste of resources and greatly degrade the boot process on office PCs.

We've finally done away with them at our office, and it makes a noticeable difference. Once we realized almost no one uses a computer that isn't theirs, we couldn't figure out a good reason to keep them. Instead, they were replaced with folder redirection and the half-dozen people who frequently logged on to conference room computers were told to save their presentations to a shared folder instead of on their desktop.

Re:Roaming Profiles (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 3 years ago | (#37084718)

Yes, Windows roaming profiles suck.

Windows 7 is faster at than Windows XP it says in the documentation. Sure slightly, but still sucks. It takes longer than Windows startup and that is saying something.

Boot times aren't the problem at work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084654)

We never turn our computers off at work anyway. We are, however, required to log out. And because we use roaming profiles, which suck, it regularly takes two or three minutes to log back in again, sit through interminable "running login scripts", and finally be faced with a blank desktop where we have to manually open all our applications again, log into half a dozen more services each with its own bizarre password policy, etc.

Boot times, schmoot times. It's the total time to productivity that counts, not how quickly the login screen appears.

how's that working out for you at work? (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 3 years ago | (#37084680)

By the time the cow-orkers' managed laptops get through with virus checks, update checks, etc. there's plenty of time to go for coffee and maybe a bagel.

Fortunately, I only have to listen to them bitching since I'm not using Windows. I don't even have to say anything any more, just quietly smile. They then go off on all the reasons that they have to have Microsoft, and thus mission accomplished: they've gone from complaining to the counting the benefits.

Mobile phones (1)

kikito (971480) | about 3 years ago | (#37084698)

They still take ages to boot.

Re:Mobile phones (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | about 3 years ago | (#37084774)

I don't get why people turn off their phones. They all have a silent mode, or an 'airplane' mode for when you don't want to be disturbed. That's as good as off for me.

Windows 7 in 9 seconds (4, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 3 years ago | (#37084708)

From the beginning of the Windows boot process, to a fully populated and usable desktop, takes my home PC only 9 seconds (no exaggeration, I just timed it). The little Windows animation thing doesn't even half-finish before vanishing. In fact the BIOS takes significantly longer than loading Windows does.

The reason?

- New Corsair Force SSD; and
- I made sure that nothing runs on startup that I don't need

The shut down is even more ridiculous. The "Windows is shutting down..." message barely flickers onto the screen before the machine shuts off.

So yeah, I don't use sleep at all now. Just power down and power back up later. Prior to the SSD my startup took at least 3 times as long (and that was with a 10,000 rpm Raptor, which is no slouch). Buying an SSD was the single best upgrade I have ever bought for any computer - $220 for a huge increase in responsiveness and usability.

Netbooks (1)

Teknikal69 (1769274) | about 3 years ago | (#37084710)

I've always wondered how my netbook can boot so fast I think it's easily within 30 seconds and it isn't even using an ssd just a normal 250gb drive and the Windows 7 it came with.

My desktop is probably only slightly slower and that one is still on vista and needs replaced maybe I've just lucky in this respect.

It does seem strange to me I'd love to see how fast I could boot them with a fast SSD.

Corporate Spyware for the win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084714)

Every morning it takes a good 30min for my machine to become useable after booting/logging in. The sick thing is that this is a brand new core i7 laptop and with all the stuff pushed down, is slower to boot than my old core duo machine from 4 years ago.

When was this ever an issue? (1)

kyrio (1091003) | about 3 years ago | (#37084716)

I was booting Windows in 20-45 seconds since 1997. Linux can sometimes take a while but usually it's around the 30s and under mark. I'm pretty sure the only laptops that I've ever seen take more than 10-15s, over the last 15 years, are broken Vista laptops.

What's the story here? (1)

MadFarmAnimalz (460972) | about 3 years ago | (#37084726)

Macbook Air? Chome OS?

So what is the story here? That computers that no one has are quick to boot?

(plus oneV Informative) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084744)

Easy solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084748)

1) Wake up
2) Turn on laptop (it makes a noise that I can't sleep through)
3) Toilet
4) Breakfast
5) Laptop is ready to use! Wait time: 0 seconds.

Corporate images suck (1)

larwe (858929) | about 3 years ago | (#37084756)

My corporation uses McAfee (horrific bloatware in itself), and also deployed SafeBoot full disk encryption to all portable machines. My laptop is a core i7 with 4GB RAM and a reasonably frisky HDD. Booting the work image is about 15 minutes between power on and a usable Windows desktop - literally. It's mostly the SafeBoot crap. Booting the same machine off a Linux USB drive is under 1 minute.

Booting tablets are booting (1)

dsrg (993878) | about 3 years ago | (#37084766)

What really cracks me up are tests/reviews of tablets and mobile devices that take in boot time as a significant factor in deciding which has the best "useability". I recently saw a comparison between iPad and Galaxy Tab 7" that concluded that the Apple device booted faster and therefore, inherently, was better. Boot times can surely be important, but the percentage of time spent waiting for a mobile device to boot vs. the overall usage must be... well, small.

At work it is terrible! (1)

tramp (68773) | about 3 years ago | (#37084784)

When at work loading the corporate systemstack twice: one local XP system and one remote terminalserver session it takes a long 8 minutes before I am logged in. Funny thing is when using my own laptop it just takes a little more then 4 minutes to login at the terminalserver. Too bad that taking your own device with you has been marked as insecure.

Adjusting expectations isn't a solution (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 3 years ago | (#37084810)

This sounds more like the expectations have been lowered then that the problem has been solved. 30sec or even 15sec is still quite a long time, given that my C64 could boot up in 1 second. Even for PC those boot times are nothing special, as DOS or Windows95 could do the same. It also doesn't really matter if its 15sec or 30sec, as both are way to long for quick switching. If booting would be as fast as switching desktops or VTs, it would make OS switching a non issues and could allow new workflows across multiple different OS (like visualization, but without limited 3D support and other problems), but with 15sec switching to one OS and another 15sec to switching back that isn't much fun. And of course the really tricky part isn't just getting the OS to boot, but getting all the applications started and their state restored, it helps little if your OS is ready in 15sec when the application take another 2min to get to a point where the HDD isn't going crazy and the PC is actually fully responsive again.

Essentially, as long as I notice that boot actually exist, its simply not fast enough and given how fast our computers are today, it's just depressing how slow boot has become.

20 minutes of AD Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084812)

Turn on computer. Get preferred liquid caffeine delivery system. Check to see that computer is still applying policy settings. See if bagels are out yet. Check to see that computer is/is not pushing out more managed antivirus crapware that doesn't work. Wait for logon screen. Yay! Logon. Wait 5 minutes for desktop to become responsive. Start Outlook (ugh). Oops, gotta put in PGP Desktop password. Wait a few minutes before Outlook stops hogging the system. Productivity, here we come!

I've made it a few minutes to half an hour (if EIT pushes out crapware) faster by setting a boot up time in BIOS... about the only good thing going for these DELL boxes. Start the machine an hour before I get in, and I'm usually at a working desktop in 10 minutes after login credentials.

Now, shutting down? How did they manage to make it take 3 minutes to go from the Shut Down call to the dialog asking "are you sure, dude?"???

At work, IPMI + hardware RAID = ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37084822)

... time enough to go hit the restroom and come back before it's done booting. Presumably one could also start coffee going in that time but I work with uncouth barbarians who killed our coffee machine.

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