I just finished installing our Microsoft IT build of Windows 7 x64 with Office 2010. After I installed all the updates on my Lenovo T61p with 4GB RAM, I decided to reboot my machine a few times and clock it with my stopwatch. From shutdown to usable desktop interactivity, my laptop required about 1 minute and 35 seconds. I wasn’t to pleased with this consider that I had recently seen an Engadget video showing a Lenovo and a Dell booting a machine from 10-20 seconds.
I decided to identify where the largest chunks of time resided during the boot process using the lap feature on my stopwatch. The culprit seemed to be the BIOS. I checked if there were any BIOS updates for my machine and as it turns out my version was quite dates. I updated to recent build that dropped in May 2009. I checked out out any new features in the BIOS and there didn’t seem to be anything of notable value, but then I noticed “Extended Memory Test” set to “Enabled”. I looked at my phone and decided that 2009 is the year that I deem this test to be obsolete. Seriously, with 4GB of RAM, soon to be 8GB, why on Earth would any sane IT guy enable this test on a production machine? It doesn’t really test anything major and it actually only performs a worst-case memory failure scenario, not nearly as thorough as Windows Memory Diagnostics found in Vista and Windows 7. I turned it off.
Combined with the new BIOS, I managed to reduce 30 seconds off my boot time! Now if I can only retrofit my machine with an UEFI and eliminate the last vestige of a bygone era…the BIOS.