1.) Boot PC in DOS
2.) Capture system states and memory content in some 'memory image'
3.) Replace the whole BIOS with this 'memory image' + bootloader that can load the image where it was and set the states as they were
4.) Re-boot... and the very next second instead of all the BIOS/POST we see DOS prompt, as if computer was "hibernating", as if it was not restarted at all - instant boot to OS prompt, like C64 or Amstrad CPC.
Of course this 'memory image' would need to change with any hardware change, but the main idea is to capture all of the hardware drivers and only what is absolutely necessary to run only that specific hardware, and so make the smallest, fastest possible boot for that particular hardware configuration only. That ought to be smaller than the whole BIOS with all the initialization routines, the whole BIOS SETUP application, and what not. I guess 90% of any BIOS would be completely unnecessary once you settle with any particular hardware configuration. -- Is this possible? Any sort of information about a project, anything even remotely connected or similar to this, would be greatly appreciated.
Q: What is UEFI?
A: UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) will be a specification detailing an interface that helps hand off control of the system for the pre-boot environment (i.e.: after the system is powered on, but before the operating system starts) to an operating system, such as Windows* or Linux*. UEFI will provide a clean interface between operating systems and platform firmware at boot time, and will support an architecture-independent mechanism for initializing add-in cards.
That's the up and coming platform for doing the kinds of
things you suggest.
Also, I believe that ASRock's engineers have developed
their own proprietary "instant boot" solution:
I can't quite figure out whether ASRock is only software, or does it come with a piece of hardware as well, or even a whole motherboard. In any case, that's exactly what I'm after, only I need it for old computers with limited hardware resources, or embedded platforms.