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Inside Windows® Server 2003 by William Boswell

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Functional Description of the Windows Server 2003 Boot Process

Computers are like airplanes: they are most prone to accidents during takeoffs and landings. This topic contains a detailed analysis of the Windows Server 2003 boot process for use in troubleshooting upgrade and setup problems.

What follows is the IA32 boot process. The IA64 boot process is much simpler because EFI locates and launches the secondary bootstrap loader, Ia64ldr.efi, using information stored in Non-Volatile RAM (NVRAM). If you have an IA64 system, skip to the “System Kernel” topic later in this chapter.

Initial Bootstrap

When you turn on any IA32 computer, the system starts out with a Power On Self Test (POST). Specific actions during the POST vary from system to system. ...

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