A Brief Background On The Computers Process
When one turns on a computer, the user starts a complex set of steps that would somehow be discussed here. And the starting process or boot process is one of the most important elements in understanding how computers works.
For a successful boot process, the computer’s BIOS, operating system and components of hardware must all be functioning properly. If any one of the said three elements malfunctions, the whole start up process would probably result in a failed and unsuccessful boot.
When the computer unit is turned on, the CPU starts itself, started by a sequence of clock ticks generated by the system clock. Part of the initialization of the CPU is to look and check the system’s ROM BIOS in regards to its first instruction on the startup program. The first instruction is stored by the ROM BIOS. This instruction initiates it to run and execute the (POST) Power-On Self Test, in an assigned memory address. POST starts by checking and verifying the BIOS chip, and then tests the CMOS RAM. If the POST process doesn’t see and detect any battery failure, it will then continue to start up the CPU. It then checks the installed hardware devices like the video card, ports, hard drives, and floppy drives, and all the other hardware peripherals, namely the mouse and keyboard, to verify if all are functioning properly.
When the POST is successful in determining that all processes and components are functioning in the right order and working properly, the CPU will have completely and successfully initialized and then the BIOS will search for an Operating System (OS) to load.
The BIOS basically gets the location of the OS from the CMOS chip. In most PCs, the Operating System loads normally from drive C even though it can actually get the Operating System from a regular CD, ZIP drive or floppy disk. The boot sequence is the order that the CMOS goes through from available drives in order to find the Operating System, which can be customized in the CMOS setup. In locating the right boot drive where the OS is located, the BIOS will interact with the boot record first, which gives data to where the start of the OS is located. And other needed programs or files that would start the Operating System.
Once the Operating System successfully initializes, the BIOS makes copies of its files into its internal memory and the Operating System basically takes over and controls the boot process. The Operating System will perform another check of the inventory of the system’s memory and available memory, which was already checked by the BIOS and loads all the needed device drivers, scanner, and printer to enable control of the said devices. This is the final stage of the computers boot process, leading to the user’s access to the system and its applications to run and perform tasks.
The Operating System is the program designed for the computer to operate and run other programs. The Operating System is the most important program installed. It is basically the backbone of computers and its operation. It manages both hardware and software resources. The Operating system is the one responsible for every process. From controlling and memory allocation, it recognizes input from all external devices and transmits the output to the display of the computer. The Operating System manages the files on a computer hard drive and controls peripherals, like scanners, printers and the like.
There are several kinds of Operating Systems; these are real-time operating systems, multithreading, multitasking, multiprocessing and multi-user. Multi-user operating systems enable programs to run simultaneously by multiple users. This kind of operating system is used also by just a few inpiduals or even just hundreds. There are even some operating systems accommodating thousands of users running programs simultaneously.
Multiprocessing operating systems allow programs to run with more than one (CPU) Central Processing Unit at a time. It can be useful in some environments of work, some are home-computing situations, schools, and for multi-tasking operating systems that operates a little bit different, it makes it even possible to run multiple programs rather than one program only. These kinds of systems on the other hand are more different, it allows varied parts of a program to be executed simultaneously.
The Real-time operating systems on the other hand are designed for computers to respond and process inputs instantly. General-purpose operating systems, like (DOS) Disk Operating System, are not real time systems, as they require seconds or even minutes to respond from input. The Real-time operating systems are basically used when the computers must interact to consistent input and information without delay. One example for real-time operating systems are those used in navigation systems.
The Motherboard plays an important part in the smooth operation and processing of data in the computer. Little damage or even minor malfunctions to this board can cause the entire computer system to fail. All hardware’s are installed in this board making it a crucial part of the computer system. Other connected hardwares are the hard drive, RAM, video card, and optical drive wherein everything is combined into one device.
There are other important parts of the Motherboard, the CPU Socket is one of them which is also an essential component and it is used in an area with plenty of processors and contains a small hole for use of the pins of the processor. Another is a RAM slot which is used to install needed memory modules. Modern motherboards usually have 4 slots with a capacity of 8GB DDR2 PC 6400 and also a dual-channel configuration.
The Power Ports of an old type board use a 20×4 pin, while the newer ones have a 24×4 configuration. ATA-Ports are also present, new types of motherboard have these kinds of ports. Normally, there are 4 to 8 of this are available. It is used for SATA interface hard drives. Cables are also needed and are generally smaller than the previous IDE cable. Technology of SATA’s are growing in a fast rate now and the next generation of SATA’s the SATA-2’s are ideal for data rates going up to 3Gbits/second.