Posted 23 December 2010 - 05:30 AM
A standard IBM PC compatible BIOS can boot any operating system that the computer can natively run. Any OS that runs on IBM compatible hardware is started by a bootloader whose first instruction resides at a fixed location and running the code at that location is the only thing the BIOS needs to do to start the OS booting. Then the bootloader code is responsible for loading and initialising the OS, whether it's any Windows version, Linux, OS/2 or whatever. An OS that cannot run natively on the hardware needs an extra layer of emulation to be set up, this is not the role of a BIOS.
I'm not aware of any situation where a Windows 7 computer would be unable to run Windows XP without a different BIOS, can you provide any illustrations of this?
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