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linux loaders(lilo or grub)

what do loaders like lilo or grub really mean and what they do in the operating systems.
my other question is that if loaders are important componenet of every operating ystem then what is name of the loader in win 98,2000,xp and nt.
1 Solution
windows has its own boot-loader. I am not sure if  they call it windows boot-loader. I am using it to dual boot Linux and windows 2000.
 On powering on the CPU tests itself and perform "Power On Self Test". It sets up some interrupt routines into the BIOS, and then it reads the first sector of either the floppy drive or the hard disk. Then It loads first sector in memory and passes control to this code.
The code in the first Sector then load the kernel(OS). This code can be a bootloader which let you boot the OS you want or a jump to OS.

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