If you’ve ever been asked to boot up or reboot the computer and you were not exactly sure as to what they meant, here is the skinny on that! Booting the computer is nothing more than switching it on. It’s been derived from the word bootstrap which was used at one time to help people put their boots on. Bootstrapping has passed into general usage from there and refers to the process of using something small to start something much bigger. Which is exactly what happens with a computer when it is switched on. When the computer is switched on, a small computer program will run a basic test on all the essential hardware to ensure that it is responding correctly, wake up the motherboard and hard disk and call the system files of the operating system as part of the boot process. The operating system will then take over from the boot file and load all the required system files and driver software for the hardware. Once all the required files are loaded through this process, known as the boot process, the operating system is ready for use.