Booting

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In computing, booting (also known as "booting up") is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. A boot sequence is the initial set of operations that the computer performs when power is switched on. The boot loader typically loads the main operating system for the computer.

Contents

History

The computer word boot is short for "bootstrap" (itself short for "bootstrap load"). The term bootstrap derives from the idiom pull oneself up by one's bootstraps.[1] The term refers to the fact that a computer cannot run without first loading software but must be running before any software can be loaded, which seems as impossible as to "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps."[2]

In computers in the 1950s, pressing a bootstrap button caused a hardwired program to read a bootstrap program from a punched card and then execute the loaded boot program, which loaded a larger system of programs from punched cards into memory without further help from the human operator.[3][4] The term "boot" has been used in this sense since at least 1958.[5]

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