In a cold boot, the computer system runs a series of programs that includes a self-testing process called POST (power-on self test). This test verifies that certain hardware components are operational. Next, the computer searches for the operating system programs, which are typically stored on the computer's internal hard disk. Once located, select operating system files are copied into the computer's memory. Some of these files are called the kernel of the operating system and include programs that perform basic operations such as assigning computer resources and starting application programs. The kernel is memory resident, which means that it remains in memory as long as the computer is on. Finally, the operating system displays the user interface on the monitor. To learn more about booting your computer system and POST, click the link below and view the animation booting your computer system and POST.