BIOS Questions that don't belong in the other forums. Read them!
#56353 by cannibalflea
Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:46 pm
Hi all,

I'm new here and when it comes to the BIOS all I know is how to use it to change settings and update/flash it with manufacturer supplied updates. That has been all I needed to know for a long time, but recently I came across a problem that might require some really technical knowledge of the BIOS and how it works.

I have an old HP TC1100 and it has a button on of the sides which is used to launch a sort of instant-on system called quicklook which gives you quick access to your outlook inbox (I think) by storing your messages on an SD card. Pushing the button when the computer is turned-off, starts the computer, checks to see if there is an SD card in the reader (it will turn off instantly if there isn't) and supposedly launches a reader program from the system ROM to read the content of the SD card.

I haven't tried using this feature, because I don't think I would really use it that much. However, this got me thinking if there is a possibility to modify the behaviour of the button to actually start the computer and boot a small linux distro (puppy linux perhaps). Now, my crazy idea/question: do you think it is possible to alter this behaviour to launch linux off of the SD card? Or better yet, is it possible to do it off a hidden partition on the hard drive? I'm going to install an SSD drive and I'm guessing boot up would be comparable to the SD Card.

I know I can choose to dual boot the system and just boot into linux whenever I want. But I want to keep my regular bootup without a menu and interuption of choosing an OS. I just want to be able to get an instant-on (well almost) system up and and running by pressing the button and have it seperate from the normal system boot up.

So, I'm wondering if anyone knows if this might be possible or where I could begin or go to ask "the experts." I'm guessing some changes would have to be made to the Phoenix BIOS and I'm sure it requires quite a bit of work. But if the information is available somewhere I don't mind reading up on it.

Anyways, sorry for the long message and crazy idea.