boot

boot. (1) (IEEE) To initialize a computer system by clearing memory and reloading the operating system. (2) To cause a computer system to reach a known beginning state. A boot program, in firmware, typically performs this function which includes loading basic instructions which tell the computer how to load programs into memory and how to begin executing those programs. A distinction can be made between a warm boot and a cold boot. A cold boot means starting the system from a powered-down state. A warm boot means restarting the computer while it is powered-up. Important differences between the two procedures are; 1) a power-up self-test, in which various portions of the hardware [such as memory] are tested for proper operation, is performed during a cold boot while a warm boot does not normally perform such self-tests, and 2) a warm boot does not clear all memory.

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