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Say Good Bye To BIOS, And Hello To UEFI

by Sean P. Aune | October 2, 2010October 2, 2010 2:00 pm PDT

Everyone hates a slow booting computer. When we turn it on, we just want it on. Having to sit there listening to the hard drive spin, and waiting for the desktop to finally appear can be excruciating when you’re in a hurry. And while most people blame the fact they have too many things loaded on their system, that is only part of the problem. A bigger issue is something that has been sitting around in our computers for over 25 years, with little to no change to how it works.

We are, of course, talking about the BIOS (basic input/output system).

bios setup

As you can see from the screen above, BIOS is definitely showing its age, but it is still one of the most basic things a computer needs to run. And it isn’t just its appearance that is aging, but the fact that at its core it still thinks all computers are built the same way they were when it was originally created.  For instance, USB connected keyboards and mice are not immediately recognized because it thinks it should find them attached to the AT and PS/2 ports.

Luckily there is a new system making its way into the world called UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), and while it may not roll off the tongue the way BIOS did, it’s going to ease a lot of future headaches.  According to the BBC, the UEFI is already making its way into enterprise configurations and may show up in the majority of consumer PCs in 2011.  As opposed to the traditional 25 to 30 seconds it takes to go through BIOS, the new system is taking a mere “handful of seconds” to boot up, and is getting faster all the time.

While this certainly won’t satisfy all of your issues with lengthy boot up times, anything helps, and I for one can’t wait to see it start popping up in general systems.  So long, yucky blue screen of BIOS.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...