Browse Definitions :
Definition

boot sector

A boot sector is a specially assigned section of a storage drive containing the files required to start the operating system (OS) and other bootable programs. Bootable programs include some antivirus programs, drive partitioning software, backup tools and diagnostic disks as well as standard operating systems.

Initially when a computer is started, the basic input output system (BIOS), extensible firmware interface (EFI) or unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI) launches the boot loader of the assigned device or the first of a preference-ordered list of boot devices. Often this process involves copying the bootloader into faster RAM first.

On a PC-compatible platform or a storage device that has not been partitioned or logically broken up into a number of storage volumes, there is generally only one type of boot sector, a master boot record (MBR). This is the first sector on the drive. On systems that are partitioned the first sector of each volume contains a volume boot record (VBR).

While newer systems such as EFI and UEFI can run as a lightweight OS and launch shell programs without the use of a boot sector, standard operating systems continue to use this method of launching. Corruption of the boot sector is a common cause of startup issues. Boot sectors are often an attack vector as well because they launch code automatically. Hackers and boot sector viruses sometimes try to inject malicious code that will run prior to the launch of the many security layers.

This was last updated in December 2016

Continue Reading About boot sector

SearchNetworking
  • virtual network functions (VNFs)

    Virtual network functions (VNFs) are virtualized tasks formerly carried out by proprietary, dedicated hardware.

  • network functions virtualization (NFV)

    Network functions virtualization (NFV) is a network architecture model designed to virtualize network services that have ...

  • overlay network

    An overlay network is a virtual or logical network that is created on top of an existing physical network.

SearchSecurity
  • X.509 certificate

    An X.509 certificate is a digital certificate that uses the widely accepted international X.509 public key infrastructure (PKI) ...

  • directory traversal

    Directory traversal is a type of HTTP exploit in which a hacker uses the software on a web server to access data in a directory ...

  • malware

    Malware, or malicious software, is any program or file that is intentionally harmful to a computer, network or server.

SearchCIO
  • chief transformation officer (CTO)

    Chief transformation officer is an executive role, often in the C-suite, that focuses on bringing about change as well as growth ...

  • data latency

    Data latency is the time it takes for data packets to be stored or retrieved. In business intelligence (BI), data latency is how ...

  • chief data officer (CDO)

    A chief data officer (CDO) in many organizations is a C-level executive whose position has evolved into a range of strategic data...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • implementation

    Implementation is the execution or practice of a plan, a method or any design, idea, model, specification, standard or policy for...

  • first call resolution (FCR)

    First call resolution (FCR) is when customer service agents properly address a customer's needs the first time they call.

  • customer intelligence (CI)

    Customer intelligence (CI) is the process of collecting and analyzing detailed customer data from internal and external sources ...

Close