Loader (Computer Science)

A loader is a specialized program responsible for loading software from the storage medium into the computer’s primary memory, which is RAM. It is a part of the operating system that transfers software from the storage device into the main memory. Loaders come in many different forms, such as boot, link, and device drivers.

The boot loader usually is the first program to control the flow of the execution process of the computer system. It is also responsible for setting up the operating system kernel and other associated programs. The boot loader is usually located near the beginning of the computer’s main memory, known as the Master Boot Record (MBR).

Link loaders, or link editors, are programs responsible for linking object files together. They take part in the loading process by linking together multiple object files and linking the resulting executable object code with the machine code of the host processor. In addition, they will also rearrange the linked code to generate the final executable result.

Device drivers are programs which are used to control peripheral devices, such as network cards, printers, and tape drives. Device drivers take the form of device-specific appropriate instructions. It is their job to manage and control the peripheral device, as well as provide a programming interface between the device and the operating system or applications.

In conclusion, loaders are programs that are essential in the loading process of software from the storage device to the primary memory. The different types of loaders that exist are the boot loader, link loader, and device driver. They manage the loading process in different ways, and are essential in ensuring that the system runs smoothly.

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