boot disk

(redirected from Boot floppy)
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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 ?
BackUp MyPC simplifies the recovery process by automatically creating a boot floppy disk or CD-ROM, depending on the operating system installation on the users' PC.
For this reason we included the DOS program format.com on the boot floppy. We also needed a copy of attrib.exe on the floppy in order to reset the attributes when we were finished.
The manual recommends that users keep a boot floppy handy in case some attempted configuration freezes the system, as memory-related experiments are wont to do.