ASRock "4 second" Instant Boot for Windows

ASRock "4 second" Instant Boot for Windows

Summary: Want a way to boot up your Windows Vista PC from a full shut down in a matter of seconds? ASRock have the answer!


Special Report: Windows 7

Want a way to boot up your Windows Vista PC from a full shut down in a matter of seconds? ASRock have the answer!

The solution is technology that ASRock call Instant Boot. This is interesting technology because it leverages the S3 and S4 ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) features which normally enable the Sleep/Standby and Hibernation modes in Windows to cut boot times down to something like 4 seconds. By calling S3 and S4 at specific times during the startup and shutdown process, Instant Boot enables you to boot up to your Windows desktop in a few seconds seconds, even after a total shut down.

There are two modes of Instant Boot available:

  • Fast mode - This uses S3 and boots up in around four seconds
  • Regular Mode - This uses S4 and takes some 20 to boot

The advantage of Instant Boot over normal Sleep and Hibernation modes is clear. Instant Boot allows you to get the benefits of a clean Windows boot without any of what ASRock calls "accumulated garbage data," while at the same time giving you the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t lose any data if there’s a power cut.

Instant Boot is available for the following motherboards:

AMD Socket AM2+:

  • AMD 790GX - AOD790GX/128M
  • AMD 780G - A780GXE/128M

Intel LGA775:

  • Intel P45 - P45XE-WiFiN | P45XE-R | P45XE
  • Intel P45 - P45TS-R | P45TS | P45TurboTwins2000
  • Intel P43 - P43DE

BIOS updates for these boards are available from ASRock.

One buzz-kill - Instant Boot will also only work on Windows XP or Vista systems that have a single-user account and no password protection.

Here's a YouTube video made by three guys at ASRock:


Topics: Software, Intel, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Processors, Windows

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  • Single User, no password protection ...

    ... pretty much useless in the corporate world then isn't it ...

    • Yes...

      ...since we generally put the desktops to sleep rather than off.
      Sleeper Service
      • tut tut - very non-green action...

        • How very non-green is it?

          Do you have any numbers to support that hibernate has any
          appreciable difference in power consumption compared to
          turning the computer off?
          • How about this answer

            I don't care. Go hug a tree and leave me alone.
          • If you don't care

            Then why are you bothering even replying to the comment?
          • Hibernate = OFF

            When you hibernate (G1:S4), your machine's RAM and current state are flushed to the pagefile and your system is turned off.

            When your machine sleep/suspended, it's put into one of several low-power states (G1:S1-3), depending upon your hardware, BIOS and OS support. The lower the state, the less power is drawn to keep the machine asleep.

            Most modern machines support G1:S3 sleep and so pretty much only need to draw power to keep the DRAM alive (+ sense USB and/or Network).

            Either way, sleeping or hibernating your machine can return massive power savings for machines that can spend significant amounts of time asleep.
  • Pretty Much Useless, Period

    It's disappointing reading articles about some new technology/program/tool that starts out sounding great, then at the end hits you with some ridiculous restrictions/requirements to make it work.
  • A better answer

    Forget the bloat of Windows. Here <a href="">is a better answer.</a>
    Tim Patterson
    • Wonderful, except

      I can't install it on my laptop.
      Michael Kelly
    • I have this ability on the last computer I built

      When I first saw it, I thought [i]Cool![/i] Then I started thinking about it.

      1. If I need instant browsing, I can do it from my cell phone. If it is more complex browsing, I don't mind waiting the 5 seconds it takes for my computer to wake up from sleep.

      2. If I need to check my email, I can do it from my cell phone. If I need to type out a more complex email, I don't mind waiting the 5 seconds it takes for my computer to wake up from sleep.

      3. If I need to talk on Skype, I just use my [url=] Philips Skype phone [/url] which doesn't require a computer at all.

      This is seriously neat technology and I'm one of the biggest Asus fanboys you'll ever meet (well, probably not, but I really like Asus products!) but I'm hard pressed to figure out why someone would use this on a desktop computer or even a laptop computer. The thought of buying a Core 2 Duo (or Quad Core) desktop just so I can boot into an environment that is so limited just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I could see something like this being useful for a netbook computer although I have no idea how long it currently takes for the average netbook computer to boot.
      • This is especially useless for most networked desktops

        I use my desktop as a print and file server at home. If I was concerned about power, I would have switched to ether based resource sharing right of the router, my shuttle box runs of a 220W power supply, even if I could why would I bother with this drivel.

        It isn't a true boot, its a fake low powered instant on menu. What a waste of time it was for me to read through this post.
        • Just curious...

          [i]What a waste of time it was for me to read through this post.[/i]

          What was that? About 4 whole minutes of your life you'll never get back? I'm gonna go out on a limb and venture that it took you longer to type your talkback than it did to read the article.
  • Its not a better answer for me...

    because I use my PC for a lot more than web browsing (and the very small number of other apps available). For me SplashTop would be an instant-on menu from which I boot the OS: what would be the point of that?

    Either you want an simpler/cheap instant on browser-in-a-box, or you need a fully fledged OS (ideally with a fast "on" time).

    Certainly I don't want to be waiting minutes for my PC to boot, but I think this whole boot time issue is getting far more attention than it warrants at the moment. My laptop returns from sleep very fast, and my desktop boots in under a minute, during which time I'm getting a brew.
    • RE: Its not a better answer for you...

      <font color=grey><em>"I think this whole boot time issue is getting far more attention than it warrants at the moment. ...during which time I'm getting a brew."</em></font><br>
      Maybe at the time of bootup, your mind is on your brew and your brew is on your mind?<br>
      Just a rhetorical question.<br>
      • hmm, lost in translations?

        For me, a brew means a cup of tea.
  • RE: ASRock

    It looks pretty cool to me, unless I missed something... but, I
    guess in all fairness waiting for a machine to boot up doesn't
    work for me, since patience isn't one of my strongest
    virtues- during that 46 seconds it takes to start the OS, I
    could forget what it was I wanted to do with the computer,
    since I'm also easily distracted by shiny things... :)
  • RE: ASRock

    The guys in the video are kinda funny though!!
    • these look like the kids I used to beat up in HS

      what a nerd that Hugo was.
      • Please Use this name always to respond ...

        So I know who to ignore. Stupid is as stupid does.