Protected Mode

Protected mode is a type of memory utilization available on Intel 80286 and later model microprocessors. In protected mode, these processors provide the following features:

  • protection: Each programcan be allocated a certain section of memory. Other programs cannot use this memory, so each program is protected from interference from other programs.
  • extended memory : Enables a single program to accessmore than 640K of memory.
  • virtual memory : Expands the address spaceto over 1GB.
  • multitasking : Enables the microprocessor to switch from one program to another so the computer can execute several programs at once.
  • Although the DOS operating system is not designed to take advantage of these features, some DOS programs can run in protected mode using special drivers. More sophisticated operating system, such as OS/2, Windows, or UNIX, have built-in support for protected mode.

    Vangie Beal
    Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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