Burning an OS to a rom chip for a computer

May 31, 2013 at 22:24:09
Specs: Windows XP, Linux Mint 64
I just installed an ssd in my computer and am most impressed with the boot up time - so quick! Now, fast is good...faster is, of course, always better...so I was wondering, is it possible - economically feasible - to burn the kernel of an OS into a ROM chip? then putting the drivers, etc on the SSD?

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#1
May 31, 2013 at 23:13:57
Possible (that's the way many computers used to be set up) but not a good idea for a general-purpose computer. It makes it impossible, or at least very difficult, to upgrade the computer. But many embedded devices do this. It's not a matter of speed, more reliability.

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#2
May 31, 2013 at 23:48:04
Kind of like the way very early computers--commodore, tandy and IBM PC--had BASIC on rom chips?

Since motherboards now don't have option ROM sockets I think the only practical way would be for someone to design an add-on card having its own bios with that feature. The motherboard bios would do its thing and then 'hand off' to the bios on the card. There used to be a lot of bios feature cards back in the old days. There were some to fix the Y2K bug and others that allowed the bios to see larger hard drives. I guess most video cards are that way too.

Then the card would load the software into memory--maybe in a ram drive.

If it's possible at all I think that's probably the only way it would work with today's hardware and OS's. It still wouldn't be that easy to do and I don't know that it would be faster either.

DAVEINCAPS - Made with REAL high fructose corn syrup.


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#3
June 1, 2013 at 05:19:57
All you mobiles devises like tablet PCs and smart phones have the OS in a ROM chip; simple affairs compared to desktop Windows.

You wouldn't do it with Windows XP though. ROM is still relatively slow compared to an SSD.

Stuart


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#4
June 1, 2013 at 08:32:56
In Windows all code runs in RAM. Running it in ROM would require massive changes in Windows and the end result would be slower. Copying the code from ROM at bootup would be theoretically possible but implementation would be enormously difficult, very expensive, and the benefits marginal.

This is one of those ideas that sound good in theory but breaks down completely when confronted with the hard facts of reality.


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#5
June 1, 2013 at 10:28:02
In the days of MS-DOS which relied heavily on the BIOS for its i/o functions it was possible to copy the BIOS to RAM in order to speed things up a bit. It was quite effective.

Modern Windows makes little use of the BIOS once the system is up and running. It has all its own i/o functions.

Stuart


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