What is ROM used for? Although ROM is a crucial component of the modern computer and its ability to store data, its actual function has remained a mystery to many users, and it is often confused with another form of computer memory, RAM. ROM is a storage system that holds valuable data that your computer needs to run properly.
Read Only Memory
"ROM" is an acronym for "Read Only Memory." As the name implies, ROM holds data that can be read, but not written. In this way, it differs from the more flexible RAM, or "Random Access Memory," which is always changing depending on what you're doing on your computer. However, ROM is permanently stored in the computer, and an electrical outage or improper shutdown will not impair its status. ROMs can be removed from a computer, but they will retain data for years, decades or even millennia. ROM is also relatively virus-proof, as it cannot be altered easily.
Remembering The Important Stuff
A computer relies on ROM to store information for the computer's most critical programs. Many of these programs and platforms provide instructions to the hard drive, and they are designed to open each time a computer is booted up. A component known as the BIOS system is stored in ROM, and this gives the computer instructions on how to boot up. In this way, ROM helps your computer wake up.
Can ROM Be Altered?
A true ROM cannot be altered, and this is why the ROM is special. It contains programs that are too important to be changed. However, a memory platform known as PROM can be written once. "PROM" stands for "Programmable Read Only Memory." Also, "EPROM" is an acronym for "Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory," and it is flexible enough to be manipulated. Each of these types of ROM are used with firmware, which is a type of software whose information applies to a single piece of hardware and can rarely be changed.
ROM handles some of the most touchy data and instructions in a computer's or a device's brain. As such, its functions are invaluable. Learning about ROM can help you understand how your computer works and retains information.