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Is it possible to capture the screen of BIOS? And of booting windows?

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2  
Take a camcorder, hit record, point to screen and voilà –  Sathya Jun 26 '11 at 15:50
    
:P :D btw i saw the first Indian moderator on SO –  Sourav Jun 26 '11 at 15:52
    
Xerox machine is fine, too. –  kagali-san Jun 26 '11 at 15:58
    
this isn't SO, btw. @Sourav. This is Super User. –  Sathya Jun 26 '11 at 17:07
    
possible duplicate of How can I take screenshots of the PC before it boots up? –  Synetech Oct 24 '12 at 22:01

6 Answers 6

I was trying to do the same thing, I had some trouble but now I finally managed to capture my BIOs, what happens during Windows boot, live CD and linux.

What I use is 2 computers. 1 computer that is beeing captured through it's graphic card and an other computer with an HDMI capture device (you can also use a capture device with S-Video but resolution is limited to 720x480).

So what you will need is:

  • 2 Computers
  • 1 Capture Device
  • Maybe an HDMI splitter

Before getting a Capture Device you may want to make sure that it is able to capture processes like the BIOS and other thinks that happens before Windows. I had some trouble getting mine to work because HDMI was only activated when I reached the Windows logon screen and nothing was beeing captured before this, but I got it to work by downloading third party software.

Now I can record anything with an up to 1920x1080 resolution.

Other solutions I use as other people already posted here are:

  • Virtual Machines
  • Camcoder
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Potential duplicate of "How can I take screenshots of the PC before it boots up?"

In short the possible solutions are:

  • Virtual machine (VMWare, VirtualBox...)
  • Use digital camera to take pictures of your screen
  • Use screen grabber
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well if you can buy a video capture device that is compatible via vga-dvi then yes. you may need another computer to plug the device in that's why i use a camera instead but it is possible.

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I assume this is for a home PC, but if it were for a server, many come with Remote Management Cards, like Dell's DRAC. You could remote into the DRAC card during your native Windows session, and record the DRAC card boot up with any number of screen capturing video programs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell_DRAC

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIOS#Firmware_on_adapter_cards and http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?104408-BIOS-screenshot-tutorial

Nowadays, you can't easily inject (via PCI) optional ROMs unless normal x86 bios exits all its initializations and configs. It was truly possible on some older mobos, where integrated video rom was loaded prior to main bios code, and is possible with some disk controller roms as said in the article above. Then, you can grab a copy of frame buffer from the rom and dump it to some place..

You can write and inject (from disk) some kind of pre-loader which will capture Windows boot at the framebuffer.

But can recommend you buying an old HP RILOE unit (seen those on ebay for $10 - you plug it into PCI slot, it works as a LAN-available videocard console including BIOS access) or, if you can afford newer hardware - any IP-kvm would allow you to get the screens.

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Sure, using camera as Sathya♦ suggested in comment (which won't give you good results) or on other computer using remote KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) solution. Using virtual machine like QEMU or VirtualBox is also an option (at least for Windows, you won't get your own BIOS screen that way).

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+1 for virtual box idea :) –  Sourav Jun 26 '11 at 15:57
    
VirtualBox is a good idea, problem is that you'll have to live with generic BIOS screens - not that makes much of a difference anyway. If that's fine with @Sourav then this is the best way. –  Sathya Jun 26 '11 at 16:15
    
I think the point is to capture the actual BIOS of the machine, so VirtualBox won’t cut it. And like przemoc already said, RemoteDesktop won’t work before Windows loads, but a hardware solution might work. –  Synetech Oct 24 '12 at 22:00

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