POST test

A power-on self-test (POST) is a process performed by firmware or software routines immediately after a computer or other digital electronic device is powered on.

This article mainly deals with personal computers, but many other embedded systems such as those in major appliances, avionics, communications, or medical equipment also have self-test routines which are automatically invoked at power-on.

The results of tests run by the POST may be displayed on a panel that is part of the device, output to an external device, or stored for future retrieval by a diagnostic tool. Since a self-test might detect that the system’s usual human-readable display is non-functional, an indicator lamp or a speaker may be provided to show error codes as a sequence of flashes or beeps. In addition to running tests, the POST process may also set the initial state of the device from firmware.