What is BIOS? What are the kinds of BIOS?
What is BIOS?
BIOS is an acronym for Basic Input/Output System. It’s a firmware program that resides on a chip on the motherboard. BIOS provides the basic functionality required to start up and run the computer.
When you turn on your computer, it goes through a Power-On Self Test (POST) to make sure all of the components are working properly. If everything checks out, it loads the operating system into memory and starts it up.
BIOS also provides access to advanced settings that can be used to configure the system. For example, you can use BIOS to set the boot order so that your computer will try to load from a specific device first (e.g., hard drive, optical drive, USB flash drive). You can also set the amount of memory that is allocated to the video.
It has evolved over the years as new standard components have become available and computer manufacturers have developed their own customizations. Some of these changes are visible to the user; other settings are hidden for compatibility purposes. But no matter how much customization is done, all BIOSes (or BIOS-like programs) do largely the same thing: initialize the hardware, load an operating system, and provide configuration options for modifying hardware settings.
Small-factor operating system
The “Basic” in BIOS makes reference to its small size, which made it suitable for fitting into the limited ROM space available on early computer motherboards. Many people think of BIOS as an acronym for “Basic Input Output Service,” but that isn’t quite right — while some may indeed provide input and output services, it’s primarily designed to initialize hardware devices, load software from system storage, and allow users to configure their settings.
It has been around since the early days of personal computing, and its primary purpose has always been to initialize hardware so that the OS can take over. However, over time its role has evolved, and now it often includes features that allow you to tweak your computer’s settings. For example, you can use BIOS to set your boot order — that is, the order in which your computer looks for operating systems on startup. You can also use it to configure your mouse, keyboard, monitor, and other peripheral devices.
In addition to its basic hardware initialization duties, it also provides a basic level of security. It can help protect your computer from unauthorized access by requiring a password before allowing you to make changes to your settings. And if something goes wrong with your computer, it can often provide a way to fix it without having to boot into Windows.
Where is it stored?
BIOS is a program typically stored on one or more read-only memory (ROM) chips on the motherboard. It provides the first code that runs when you start up your computer, and it initializes the hardware so that the operating system (OS) can take over. It also provides a basic interface for configuring your computer’s settings.
In the early days of computing, ROM was much cheaper and more plentiful than random-access memory (RAM), so it was stored there. With the advent of cheap and plentiful RAM, however, most is now stored in flash memory — which can be rewritten if needed. This makes it possible to update the it without having to open up your computer and replace the ROM chip.
So what does all this mean for you?
In most cases, you don’t need to worry about it. It takes care of its own housekeeping without any interference from you, the end-user. But sometimes, it’s good to know what it is up to – especially if something goes wrong or you want to make sure your machine is running with the least amount of overhead possible.
How does it work?
There is no one single BIOS and different hardware manufacturers put their own spin on the process, but that’s how it basically goes:
When you turn your computer on – that is, when you press the ‘power’ button, several things happen in quick succession.
- First of all the power button activates a circuit that powers up your RAM (memory) – as soon as this happens you’ll see a message saying ‘Press DEL to enter SETUP’. If you do so, you’ll be greeted by a menu where settings can be tweaked and adjusted depending on what hardware is installed and what its users want. At this point, the machine is still running off an external source (e.g.: A/C adapter).
- The next step is to press a key (usually F12) which will tell the BIOS that you want to boot from an external device, such as a CD or USB stick.
It will then look for a bootable disk with an operating system on it and load that up. If all goes well, you’ll see the familiar ‘loading’ animation and be on your way!
How to update it?
Updates are typically released to address specific issues with hardware or to add support for new CPUs, chipsets, or devices. Updating it can also improve system stability and performance. If you’re thinking of updating your BIOS, be sure to check the manufacturer’s website for compatibility information and download the latest version.
There are a few different ways to update your BIOS, but the most common is via a bootable USB stick. To create a bootable USB stick, you’ll need:
- A USB stick (minimum 2GB)
- The BIOS update files from the manufacturer’s website
- A computer that is able to boot from a USB
Once you have everything assembled, follow these steps:
- Format the USB stick as FAT32
- Extract the BIOS update files to the USB stick
- Reboot your computer and enter the BIOS setup
- Change the boot order so that USB is first, then reboot your computer again
- When prompted, press any key to start the BIOS update process
- Wait for the update to finish and then reboot your computer one last time
If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, you can always take your computer to a technician. Updating your BIOS is a pretty simple process, but it’s important to make sure you do it correctly to avoid any problems. So if you’re thinking of updating your BIOS, be sure to check out the instructions in your computer’s manual and follow them carefully.
Common problems with it
Even if you follow the instructions carefully, there’s a chance that you could still experience some problems with your BIOS update. Here are some of the most common issues people have:
- Computer won’t start after BIOS update: One of the most common problems is that the computer won’t start up after the update is complete. If this happens, try restarting your computer and see if it boots up normally. If it doesn’t, you may need to call technical support or take your computer to a technician.
- BIOS settings reset to default: Another common problem is that the BIOS settings get reset to their default values after the update. This can be a real pain if you’ve made changes to them and don’t remember what they were. If this happens, you’ll likely need to enter the BIOS settings menu and manually reset them to the values you want.
- Computer becomes unstable after BIOS update: Sometimes a BIOS update can make your computer become unstable, meaning it may start crashing or freezing more often. If this happens, you might want to consider rolling back to the previous version of the BIOS.
- Computer won’t boot from USB drive: A final common problem is that the computer won’t boot from a USB drive after the BIOS update is complete. If this happens, you’ll need to change some settings in the BIOS so that it will boot from USB devices again.
These are just some of the most common problems people have with BIOS updates. If you encounter any other problems, be sure to search for a solution online or contact your computer’s manufacturer for help. Updating your BIOS can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s usually worth it in the end, as it can help improve your computer’s performance and fix some common issues.
How to fix common issues with it?
If you’re having trouble with your BIOS update, here are a few tips to help you fix the problem.
First, make sure that you’re following the correct instructions for your specific computer. Some BIOS updates require you to enter the BIOS settings screen before updating, while others can be updated through a software application. If you’re not sure how to update your BIOS, be sure to check your computer’s manual or contact the manufacturer for help.
Also, make sure that your computer is properly connected to the power supply and that the power cord is plugged in securely. If your computer isn’t getting enough power, it may not be able to update its BIOS correctly.
If you’re still having problems after trying these tips, it may be time to take your computer to a professional. BIOS updates can be tricky, and if something goes wrong, you could end up with a non-working computer. Let the professionals handle it!
What are the benefits of updating it?
The benefits of updating your computer’s BIOS are that you might be able to fix certain problems with it, or you might gain access to improved security features. Keep in mind that BIOS updates can make your computer unstable if they aren’t handled correctly. Because of this, always do a thorough search for tips and instructions on how to properly update your BIOS before starting the process. This way, you’ll avoid an unnecessary trip to the repair shop!
Why you should update your BIOS regularly?
Updating your BIOS regularly is an important part of keeping your computer running in optimal condition. It’s the same concept as updating your Windows or any other operating system: bugs and security risks are patched and taken care of, so you don’t have to worry about them!
What are the kinds of BIOS?
There are two kinds of BIOS: UEFI and Legacy. When you turn on your computer, it will either go through the UEFI or Legacy system. These BIOS types affect how your computer boots up, so they’re one of the most important parts!
Legacy vs. UEFI
The main difference between UEFI and legacy BIOS is that the latter was made to work with older computers that don’t use more advanced technology like hard disks or USBs to boot up their systems. This type of motherboard was very common before 2015 because newer technology only started becoming available around then.
Of course, there are still some computers that use legacy BIOS even today simply because they were manufactured before UEFI became popular, so it’s good to know about both.
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is the BIOS made for modern computers that actually uses more advanced storage technologies like hard disks or USBs to boot up your computer. This type of motherboard became popular in 2015 because more people were using hard disks and USBs on their computers than before, so UEFI was made for newer technology while legacy BIOS wasn’t.
What are the common BIOS manufactures?
Now that you know more about what BIOS is, why it’s beneficial to update it, and why you should do so regularly, go ahead and get one of our expert technicians in Melbourne. They’ll help get that updated BIOS ready for you in no time flat!