boot disk

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boot disk

(operating system)
The magnetic disk (usually a hard disk) from which an operating system kernel is loaded (or "bootstrapped"). This second phase in system start-up is performed by a simple bootstrap loader program held in ROM, possibly configured by data stored in some form of writable non-volatile storage.

MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows can be configured (in the BIOS) to try to boot off either floppy disk or hard disk, in either order. By default they first check for the presence of a floppy disk in the drive at start-up and try to use that as a boot disk if present. If no disk is in the drive they then try to boot off the hard disk.

Some operating systems, notably SunOS and Solaris, can be configured to boot from a network rather than from disk. Such a system can thus run as a diskless workstation.
References in periodicals archive ?
To help ensure the safety of data on desktops, Norton 2000 uses a boot floppy to test the BIOS, thereby avoiding possible problems or disruptions that other methods of testing can create, including triggering time bombs in applications.
In addition, Norton 2000 uses a boot floppy to test and fix system clocks and the BIOS, where possible, thereby preventing users from inadvertently destroying data and program configurations during testing.
completely restores a server using any DOS boot floppy, a set of system-specific rescue disks is not required.
Because SnapBack can restore a complete server with any DOS boot floppy, it does not require a set of system-specific rescue disks.
Back buttons DHCP, boot floppy creation, enhanced rescue mode and countless other tools that made 5.