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POST (Power On System Test): A test program that runs when your computer is first powered up. One manifestation of it is the counter that runs while RAM memory is being tested.

The POST test program is stored in the (EE)ROM (or possibly the CMOS battery backed RAM) of your computer and is run as part of the BIOS program (or it runs before the BIOS program??). -- RandyKramer

The POST is alternatively (possibly more commonly) known as the "Power-On Self-Test". According to the Webopedia, "the POST is a series of diagnostic tests that run automatically when you turn your computer on...", usually testing your computer's "RAM, the keyboard, and the disk drives".

If the tests are successful -- and the user does not choose to enter the machine's BIOS configuration menu (via the F2, Del or other keys) -- the computer will continue booting itself and load an operating system.

If any of POST's tests is unsuccessful, the computer will report an error by beeping and possibly displaying an error message or code and/or a request to press a key to continue.

Detailed references can be found at the Webopedia's definition for POST. --MacADd


  • RandyKramer - 15 Jan 2002
  • MacADd - 19 Mar 2002
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