Definition

dual boot

A dual boot system is a computer system in which two operating systems are installed on the same hard drive, allowing either operating system to be loaded and given control. When you turn the computer on, a boot manager program displays a menu, allowing you to choose the operating system you wish to use. A boot manager works by replacing the original Master Boot Record (MBR) with its own so that the boot manager program loads instead of an operating system. Some popular boot manager programs are LILO, System Commander, and Partition Magic. Common combinations of operating systems used on dual boot systems include Linux and Windows NT and Windows 98 with one install of Windows being in a different language, such as Spanish. Since more than two operating systems can be installed on a computer, the term multiboot system is sometimes used.

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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