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Chapter 1. Hardware Basics for the Absol... > Understanding the Startup Process

Understanding the Startup Process

So what happens when you first turn on your computer? What complex chain of events is initiated when you flip your power switch to the “on” position?

The first thing that happens is that power is sent through the PC's power supply to the boards in the system unit. This initial power surge (called a power-on reset) resets your system's memory, microprocessor, and other electronics. Then your system, using instructions stored in its basic input/output system (BIOS), does a power-on self test (POST). During this test, you see some messages scroll down your screen, letting you know how much RAM is available and that the system checks out as expected.


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