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My best guess as of now is "partition and mount point layout". But it feels like there's more to it, since the bootloader can identify the HBOOT by name.

I've been flashing custom ROMs for quite a while now, but I still haven't quite grasped what HBOOT really is or means.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

HBOOT is bootloader. It lives inside NAND's first partition, mtd0 (if partition map is MTD). It is loaded in memory (RAM) when device is switched ON. Its jobs are:

  • Check the Hardware.

  • Initialize the Hardware.

  • Start the Operating System (Either Android or Recovery).

HBOOT can also support doing more than this like flashing ROMs.

Something More: Nandroid backup and restore don't touch HBOOT.

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Curious, is HBOOT manufacturer specific or is it the common name for the bootloader? –  CatShoes Nov 20 '12 at 20:34
    
@CatShoes HBOOT is manufacturer specific term.. generally used by HTC. –  Sachin Shekhar Nov 20 '12 at 20:49
    
@SachinSekhar Thanks, I have an HTC phone so I see it all the time, but didn't seem to find it with other devices, just wasn't sure. Thanks, again. –  CatShoes Nov 20 '12 at 20:54
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