A small program which serves as a starting point for launching operating system files. Its main function is locating the active partition and launching the volume boot code from it.
Master Boot Code
A small program located in the active partition which launches NTLDR.
Volume Boot Code
Looks for operating systems listed in the BOOT.INI file and requests that the user select one. Loads the selected operating system. Configures hardware and loads low-level drivers. Turns control of the boot process over to the NTOSKRNL.EXE.
A text file which lists the operating systems installed on a computer and their hard drive location.
Optional, used to boot a DOS-based operating system such as Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows ME. It tells NTLDR where to find the IO.SYS file so the DOS-based OS can boot.
Needed to boot from a SCSI hardware device that does not load its own BIOS as part of the startup routine.
Detects information about hardware installed on a computer and reports its findings back to NTLDR. It also places a list of hardware in the registry.
The Windows OS kernel. Resides in memory at all times and provides the basic operating system services for all other parts of the operating system.