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Thread: CF vs HDD Bootup Times

  1. #1
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    CF vs HDD Bootup Times

    We've all been chatting about the ROM/CF card bootups, here's an inquiry I want to make. And yes, I've searched the board but don't find any hard numbers.

    I've seen bootup times ranging from sub 10s to upper 50's (which is insane). I wonder, for those of you who use compact flash to bootup with (or another ROM / NVRAM method), how fast is it from power-switch to desktop?

    Presently, from power-switch to interface on my XP Pro install, is just a hair under 13 seconds. At that point it's already loading CentraFuse. I'm using a HDD btw.

    What I want to know is, would the additional money for a 256mb card and an adapter be worth it? Would I see bootup times down in the 5's? Fives would be sweet. If I did some more tweaking, I know I could get the HDD install to go under 10, but I also enjoy the idea of having the CF card in there, makes for smoother boots I suppose.

    Just curious.

  2. #2
    Raw Wave RoyN's Avatar
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    256mb??? I think that would be pushing it even for the smalles footprints I've seen reported....

    13s is damn fast... can you post details? did you use nLite then minlogon? can you post the nLite file?

    Are you using Bluetooth? what USB devices are you running?

  3. #3
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    boot times vary not just due to the drive, but the mobo, BIOS, and the devices you have plugged in. so unfortunately it's hard to get good numbers without truly doing a clean comparison. As far as CF cards, it really depends on what CF-IDE adaptor and CF card you have. The fastest card out there is the ExtremeIII. I haven't used it in a while, but I was getting 18sec cold boot up time on my VIA MII 1GHz with 512MB of RAM. The ExtremeI got about 21-22sec. Recently I tested the new uDOC which gave me between 15-17sec cold boot time on my ASUS P4 desktop system (it can't boot from the VIA, see my thread on the uDOC for more info). These were real basic nLite XP SP2 installs with minimal tweaking (just added EWF and drivers for onboard devices). If you're just going to CF for boot speed it may not be worth it since it won't be faster than what you have already. If you are concerned about reliability of your OS drive, size issues, or would prefer to have a removable HDD for data (music, videos, etc.) then it may be more useful to go the CF route.

  4. #4
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    Willow, I'd be interested in hearing about how to get the boot significantly below 10 sec. This is about as fast as I could get things using a 5400rpm seagate drive. I think my all time fastest was launching frodo in 9.6 seconds.

    -momanz

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyN
    256mb??? I think that would be pushing it even for the smalles footprints I've seen reported....

    13s is damn fast... can you post details? did you use nLite then minlogon? can you post the nLite file?

    Are you using Bluetooth? what USB devices are you running?
    256 does cut it close, but it's most certainly possible. In fact, if you do some research you'll find many systems at or just above 300mb. By killing alot of useless crap, you can cut her (just barely) to fit 256.

    No bluetooth (yet) and the only USB device being used is the FM Wireless Keyboard. I plan on adding a serial GPS this week, and a bluetooth module somewhere down the road.

    I don't use nLite, or any other login modification. I simply carved parts of XP out which aren't needed. The most obvious things are knocking your prefetch around, getting rid of fonts, tweaking the filesystem and cache, and disabling a bunch of useless services. Out of the possible services running, I believe I have somewhere around maybe 10 or so. I'm at work right now, so I can't give you exact details on those.

    Also making sure you have the least amount of drivers loading is handy, as well as having a pure and clean registry--nothing buggered up, and definately nothing where you've installed a bunch of things and uninstalled them. Even after using some sort of registry sorting program, it'll never be the same. All of my streamlined burns of XP (or any flavor of NT) are setup on a test system first, and then installed using either a streamed CD or utilizing the exact methods needed (eg, installing only what you want).

    It's a Shuttle XPC, and I'm running a WD 160gb drive. AFAIK it's a 7,200rpm drive. 512mb ram, AMD chip. I want to say it's almost 3ghz, but I forgot offhand (I know, sounds weird, but it was a gift and I never looked at the specs--I just dove right in

    And for anyone else curious, while sitting at the interface she's only using 51mb of ram. If I disable the default explorer interface on bootup, it saves another 1 or 1.5s, and also almost 2 megs of ram. By loading up one of my custom LiteStep interfaces, I can have a custom interface which looks OEM (without running an external program such as CentraFuse or Frodo) and it only uses .5 - 1mb of ram.

    At any one point while using CF, she never goes over 70ish of ram usage. I hope this helps anyone, and answers your questions. If you need anything more detailed, I'm sure I can type something up when I get home.

  6. #6
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    Hmmm, the faster processor and drive will most certainly help. If you look at the bootvis trace in my previous post (link above) for about 5 or 6 seconds my disk utilization was at 100% then between 6 and 9 seconds my cpu was at 100% so the athlon may buy you some time too.

    good luck and post your results when you get a chance.

    momanz

  7. #7
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    I know this is an old thread, but has anyone came up with faster ways to boot up yet? How do SSDs or other methods work? How about DOC ???

  8. #8
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    SSDs are the way to go. Don't bother with CF or DOCs anymore unless you're building a very specialized embedded device (i.e. not a carPC)
    EWF, HORM, MinLogon on XP.

    Zotac ION Atom N330, 2GB low-profile RAM, M3-ATX
    Win Embedded Std 2011 RC
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    Lilliput 629 Transflective, WRX Screen Mount
    BlueSoleil BT, i-Blue GM-2 GPS, DirectedHD Radio, Andrea Mic
    VoomPC 2

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