When you boot a football, you kick it really far. When you boot a computer, you simply turn it on. Kicking your computer really far is not recommended, though you may be tempted to do so at times. The term “boot” comes from the word “bootstraps,” which people at one time used to get their boots on. Likewise, “booting” a computer gets it up and running.
In simple terms, to boot a computer is to turn it on. Once the computer’s power is turned on, the “boot process” takes place. This process involves loading the startup instructions from the computer’s ROM, followed by loading the operating system from the current boot disk. The boot disk is usually an internal hard drive, but can also be an external drive, a CD or DVD-ROM, or even a floppy disk. Once the operating system software is loaded, the boot process is complete and the computer is ready to be used.