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Task Manager Startup Tab Shows BIOS Time

Here’s one from the “I didn’t know Windows could do that” file. I just learned from an article by James Walker that Task Manager tracks “BIOS Time.” That’s the amount of time the system spends during startup doing firmware checks and hardware initialization. As soon as Windows begins its own boot process, that timer stops counting. So indeed, the Task Manager Startup tab shows BIOS Time. Look at the upper-right corner in the window to see that value (in seconds). It’s labeled “Last BIOS time:” and it appears in the upper right corner above the list of startup items. Here’s what it looks like on my 2018 vintage (8th generation aka Kaby Lake) Lenovo ThinkPad X380 Yoga:

Task Manager Startup Tab Shows BIOS Time.x380Yoga

This i7-8650U is endowed with 16GB RAM and 1 TB NVMe SSD. It’s time is pretty short.

What Does Task Manager Startup Tab Shows BIOS Time Really Mean?

On systems that don’t monitor this value, the field may not show. Or, as on my older (2012) Lenovo X220 Tablet, it may show a BIOS time of 0.0 seconds. It’s a useful bit of information, where available, because it tells you how long your system chunks away at getting the hardware and firmware up and running, before the OS can start loading. Even on my older (2014) Surface Pro 3, that value shows up at a relatively snappy 12.3 seconds.

Now, what I REALLY want to know is why that value shows up on my Desktop PC (a SkyLake i7-6700, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB NVMe SSD) as a whopping 16680.8 seconds (see below). That’s 278 minutes, or 4:38 in h:mm notation. I sat there the last time the system booted, and it took a good two minutes or so to show me a desktop. So, where did those other 16,560 seconds come from? My best guess is that there’s some kind of reporting error involved here. But it does make me chuckle (or wince) to think that four-plus hours could be reported for BIOS time without demur. That’s how it goes in Windows-World sometimes!

Task Manager Startup Tab Shows BIOS Time.skylake

Now that’s a whopping BIOS Time value: 16680.8 seconds!
[Click image for full-sized view.]

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