The CPU (central processing unit) cannot directly access the programs and data on the hard drive

The programs and data must be copied into RAM first, and that is where the CPU can access its programming instructions and the data to be operated on by those instructions. During the boot process, a computer copies specific operating system programs, such as the kernel and init or systemd, and data from the hard drive into RAM, where it is accessed directly by the computer's processor, the CPU.

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