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TOM

TOM = Top Of Memory: the end of conventional memory--an architectural design limit--at the 640KB mark on most PCs. Some early PCs may not have a full 640KB, but the amount of memory is always a multiple of 64KB. A boot-record virus on a PC typically resides just below this mark and changes the value which will be reported for the TOM to the location of the beginning of the virus so that it won't be overwritten. Checking this value for changes can help detect a virus, but there are also legitimate reasons why it may change (see C10). A very few PCs with unusual configurations or memory managers may report in excess of 640KB.

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