ARC path

Definition of ARC path in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is ARC path

Acronym for Advanced RISC Computing path. Syntax for naming partitions of a disk on a system, used in the boot.ini file of Microsoft Windows NT. The ARC path specifies the location of the partition that contains the Windows NT operating system files. In other words, the ARC path locates the system partition on the machine.

Example of ARC path

A typical ARC path on an x86-based computer could be the following:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT=
"Windows NT Server Version 4.00"

In this syntax

  • Multi(0) indicates that the system is using Integrated Device Electronics (IDE), Enhanced Small Device Interface (ESDI), or Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) drives and that it relies on the computer BIOS to load system files using INT 13 BIOS calls. The number in parentheses here should always be 0.
  • Disk(0) is always zero when multi() is used; otherwise, it refers to the physical disk when scsi() is used instead of multi(). (Multi() means that Windows NT must use the system BIOS to load system files, while scsi() means that a SCSI device driver must be loaded to access the boot partition.)
  • Rdisk(0) indicates that the ordinal number for the system disk is 0. This value is usually between 0 and 3.
  • Partition(2) indicates the number of the partition where the system files are located