What is Boot Firmware?

Boot firmware is the ROM-based software that controls a computer from the time that it is turned on until the primary operating system has taken control of the machine.

The main function of boot firmware is to initialize the hardware and then to "boot" (load and execute) the primary operating system. Secondary functions include testing the hardware, managing hardware configuration information, and providing tools for debugging in case of faulty hardware or software.

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Last Modified: February 9, 1996