Why can't computers load the OS earlier in the boot process?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Coldblackice, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Coldblackice

    Coldblackice [H]ard|Gawd

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    I was reading an article referred to me from another thread on the Windows OS boot process, and while reading, I couldn't help but wonder --


    When a computer turns on, why can't it start loading the OS earlier on in the boot process?


    Regarding the gradual unfolding of a computer's boot processes from power-on -> OS loaded, why are there so many "hoops" to jump through in the boot process? It seems like the BIOS has to point to this location, this location can then read that location, that location can then load this location, this location runs this to load that location, etc., progressively higher and higher level. Even accessing a hard drive, it seems like there are multiple incarnations of "drivers" that need to be used until the highest-level drivers within the OS can take over.

    I can sort of understand why it's necessary for a lifeless piece of machinery be able to go from a powerless, very low-level functionality and climb the ladder to higher functionality (with analogies like needing to start in lower gears to work up speed toward higher gears), but as far as computers go, I don't particularly understand the specifics of why it can't be done in less "hoops". I'd guess it's a large part of what the BIOS->UEFI transition is for -- a higher-level intermediary between powerless low-level hardware and higher-functioning OS abilities...?

    I think I can catch the drift analogy-wise, but if anyone can provide specifics, it'd be much appreciated.
     
  2. Dogs

    Dogs [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well which parts of the procedure do you have questions about? If you pick out a particular step, we can explain why it is necessary.
     
  3. wtourist

    wtourist [H]ard|Gawd

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    More or less it is a check list. In the off state nothing is available. At start up motherboard initiates "on." All operations, monitor, keyboard, mice, boot sequence are examined in case of changes, updates, or failure. Then the hard drive gets to "load" the operating system.
    The names given are convenient labels for complex interactions. It is a matter of assembly needed before you can begin.
     
  4. Stanfiem

    Stanfiem Limp Gawd

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    Why does it matter? What advantage would you get from loading the operating system at a different time during the boot process. You still have to load it.
     
  5. Coldblackice

    Coldblackice [H]ard|Gawd

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    Knowledge, understanding. Curious why there are as many "loader" steps as there are, like Russian nesting dolls, and why there can't be a more direct path from off->OS-loaded.
     
  6. Dogs

    Dogs [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well which steps do you feel could be made redundant?
     
  7. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I would just get an SSD on a modern CPU + remove all the spinners (hard disks) and the whole process happens in less than 10 seconds.
     
  8. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Maybe spinning up and scanning for hard drives, initializing raid cards when all you want is the BIOS to load off of a single SSD.
     
  9. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    It is all a matter of turning on and checking out the hardware which makes up the base of the system. How is the OS supposed to load drivers for hardware that has not yet been turned on or checked out? Especially when that device could be comprised of any number of different parts.
     
  10. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It could be designed to do that after the boot if such hardware is not needed in the boot process.
     
  11. fleggett

    fleggett Gawd

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    That doesn't always work. My mother's SFF system takes a LONG time to boot because of the audio drivers, not because the OS resides on a slow drive. I know this because her system does boot rather speedily when the vendor audio drivers have't yet been installed. As soon as they are, though, I'd guesstimate it takes three times longer before she sees the deskop. This is using Windows 8.0.

    When people buy SSDs thinking their machines will boot faster, I don't think they're factoring in hardware addressing when drivers are loaded.