Zephyr - sorry but I think that error that upset you was about as clearly stated as it could have been. Just using very specific terms.
First, from Here
is a quick explanation stated better than I could by far.
What is ARC Firmware? |
ARC firmware replaces what traditional IBM PC's called BIOS, or basic input/output system. Designers of high end operating systems, namely UNIX, didn't need the hardware manufacturer to write a BIOS for them, they would handle the code themselves. For this reason, Firmware on our RS/6000 systems provides almost no "help" in starting an operating system that is used to having a BIOS. Because Windows NT was designed to be cross platform, they decided to create the BIOS for the machine instead of modifying NT. The result is an industry standard (though no-one has used it besides Microsoft) called Advanced RISC Computing. ARC functions in much the same was as a BIOS in terms of starting the computer and getting NT loaded, but to the user that is mostly transparent.What ARC really replaces in the users eyes is the BOOT.INI/NTLDR from it's Intel cousin. ARC allows you to setup multiple copies of NT and boot to each via a boot menu identical to the BOOT.INI menu from x86 NT.
ARC path examples
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0) 1st drive on 1st controller
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1) 2nd drive on 1st controller
multi(1)disk(0)rdisk(0) 1st drive on 2nd controller
The remainder of the ARC path name uses normal disk directory notation. For instance, if you have 2K installed on the second IDE
disk attached to a single IDE
controller, and the drive has one primary partition, the ARC path name of the SystemRoot directory is:
When you start an Intel computer, the system BIOS
reads the MBR (master boot record) from the first sector of the system partition. The boot sector code then loads and starts NTLDR (NT Loader).
NTLDR starts running and immediately switches the Intel CPU
from DOS real mode to 32-bit mode.
NTLDR reads and interprets the BOOT.INI file, which contains a list of bootable operating systems. Based on information in BOOT.INI, NTLDR can present a menu of operating system choices.
NTLDR then uses the ARC Path to locate the OS files and proceeds with loading windows from that location.
In the example message you posted, NTLDR (or ARC Firmware if you were running a RISC processor) just didn't know where to look.
HAL is Hardware Abstraction Layer and is the method M$ used to somewhat safeguard NT systems. It basically traps any hardware calls made by applications and passes along "NT Safe" instructions to the hardware. Unlike the DOS systems, a program cannot directly control hardware.