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Booting Up - How to Start a Computer?

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What is Booting Up a Computer?

Have you ever thought about the mystery of what happens when we turn on a computer? It all seems like magic when the monitor displays the screen. 

Booting is the starting process of the computer. Booting is done by either a hardware push button, or a software. Computers need software to operate. The booting process will allow the user to load that software into computer memory. Booting is also known as Boot, Booting up and Bootstrapping. Let’s learn more about Bootstrapping.

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Definition of Booting

The process of turning on a computer and launching the operating system (OS) is known as Booting. The Booting process is automatic when we press the power button.

Note: The operating system is the software program that allows all of the software applications and hardware to communicate with one another to finish the required tasks.

Switching On and Switching Off a Computer

Before knowing the booting process, it is necessary to know how to switch on and off a computer. Let’s see the details below.

Step by Step Process of Switching On a Computer:

Step 1: On the Socket Switch connected to the computer

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Step 2: Switch on the UPS

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Step 3: Switch on the CPU by pressing the Push button. When the CPU is ON, you can hear a fan sound from inside.

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Step 4: Click the start button present on the bottom side of the monitor. Wait for sometime, you can see the computer screen turning on.

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Step 5: Hurray! Your Computer is completely switched on now. You can see a mouse pointer (an arrow) on the screen.

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Step by Step Process of Switching Off the Computer:

You can’t switch off the computer directly like how you turn off a light or a fan. Because it harms the computer parts. Switching off the computer in a proper way is called “Shut down”. We have to follow certain steps to Shut down the computer.

Step 1: Click on the “Start” button present at the left corner of the Monitor by moving the mouse.

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Step 2: You can see an option to shut down the Computer. Check for the “Shut down” or “Turn off the computer” option and click on it.

A pop up window appears and shows three options

  • Sleep/ Stand by

  • Power Off/ Shut down

  • Restart

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Step 3: Click on Power Off/ Shut down option by moving the mouse pointer. After some time, the computer screen will turn off automatically.

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Step 4: Switch off the Monitor and UPS and then turn off the Socket switch.

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The Process of Booting

Booting Process in Technical Terms

Pre-Boot: When the booting process starts, the Basic Input/Output System popularly known as “BIOS”, checks whether all peripherals are working properly or not by running a “Power On Self Test” (POST).

Master Boot: After pre-booting, BIOS reads bootable instructions from CMOS (a semiconductor chip) and looks for the master reboot in the bootable disc.

Boot Strap Loader: The BIOS will find the required floppy disc drive, the operating system loader also called Boot strap loader loads the operating system (OS) into the memory (Read Only Memory - ROM).

Let’s overview the whole process what happens when a computer is turned on:

Step 1: Turn on the CPU after switching on the socket switch.

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Step 2: When you turn on the computer, the power supply sends the power to the motherboard which starts the booting process.

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Step 3: When a computer is booting up you can hear sounds from it.

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Step 4: Inside the CPU, the fans rotate and the electronic chips blink with a light.

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Step 5: You can see the flash on the keyboard and mouse. 

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Step 6: You can see the monitor screen turning on and displaying a black screen with white font like this. It checks whether all hardware parts are fine or not.

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Step 7: Booting process will be automatically completed and you can see the normal computer screen.

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Types of Booting in Computer

1. Warm Boot/Soft Boot: 

  • When computer systems reach a state of no response or hang, they are allowed to restart during the on condition, which is known as warm or hot booting. 

  • This is also known as Soft booting or Reboot.

  • Example: When a new software is installed, the computer will ask to reboot to work at its best. 

  • Ctrl + Alt + Del button is used to perform warm boot.

2. Cold Boot/ Hard Boot: 

  • When a computer starts from its dead state or after shutting down where all the computer parts have no power, it is called Hard boot. This is also called Cold Boot.

  • During the cold booting process, the system reads all of the instructions from the BIOS, and the Operating System is loaded into the system automatically.

  • It usually takes more time than Warm Booting.


We learnt about the process of booting and types of booting in this article. To boot up a computer means to supply the electric power to all parts of the computer, so that it checks whether all hardware components are working. When the booting process is done, the operating system will be loaded and we can see the computer screen. When you go to higher classes you will learn more technical details about the booting process. Keep on learning.

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FAQs on Booting Up - How to Start a Computer?

1. What is Dual Booting

Dual Booting is a type of Multi Booting. The term “Dual Booting” refers to two operating systems installed on the same system. It allows the users to switch between two different operating systems installed in the computer. Compared to the single booting system, Dual booting system occupies more space in memory.

2. What is meant by Operating System?

You might have heard about windows. When you turn on the computer with a windows operating system in it, it will show the windows logo when the screen starts on. An operating system is a type of software like Windows, Mac, iOs… which controls the operations of computers and processes several programs to finish the required tasks.