Not only professionals but also ordinary users know what the BIOS is. At least, they know that there is such thing as the BIOS and that its settings can be tweaked to optimize or speed up their PC’s certain components. Undoubtedly, you need a more exhaustive answer to the question “what is BIOS,” which, by the way, is covered thoroughly on RocketFiles.com. From our article, you’ll learn some general information about the BIOS firmware.
If you take a closer look at your motherboard, you’ll notice a small chip on it. That’s home to what we call the BIOS, which stands for the Basic Input Output System. As its very name suggests, this software helps initialize your hardware and provide runtime services for your operating system, all programs, and applications currently installed on your PC. There are plenty of reasons that may prompt you to access your BIOS. Through the BIOS, you can optimize your hardware and troubleshoot some errors your system may throw from time to time.
The BIOS boasts non-volatile memory, which means that you can save its settings and retrieved the stored information when your system or standby power is off.
- Note! The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is often confused with the Basic Integrated Operating System or Built-In Operating System. Be sure to distinguish between the terms and software when dealing with the BIOS.
BIOS’ Main Functions
As we have already noted, the BIOS performs the initialization of your PC’s hardware and tests all hardware components. It’s also responsible for loading a boot loader from an MSD, which, in its turn, performs the initialization of your OS.
You may also need to access the BIOS, when it’s necessary to initialize or configure such components as memory, processor, floppy drive, optical drive, hard disk, and lots of others.
Accessing the BIOS on Your Computer
You will need to access the BIOS Setup Utility prior to incorporating any changes into your BIOS settings. In contrast to the majority of installable software, such as operating systems that come on disks or other storage devices, the BIOS is pre-installed firmware, which means that it possesses default settings and functions the way it was predetermined by a manufacturer.
You can find the BIOS on the majority of modern personal computers as part of motherboard hardware. Regardless of the Windows or Linux version you’re running on your PC, the BIOS will function independent of it.
Presently, there are not some many reliable and time-tested manufacturers of the BIOS firmware. Among the most popular are Phoenix Technologies, BYOSOFT, Gateway, IBM, American Megatrends, Insyde Software, Dell, and Asus.
How to Use BIOS
You already know that the BIOS allows you to configure required software through the setup utility. To do it, you need to access the BIOS, save the new changes, and reboot your machine. When you computer loads, the changes will come into effect and your BIOS will start instructing the hardware differently.
Other things you can do in most BIOS systems include:
- Change the Boot Order
- Load BIOS Setup Defaults
- Create or change a BIOS Password
- Change the Date and Time
- Change Hard Drive Settings
- View your Memory capacity
- Enable or Disable the Quick POST
- Enable or Disable the CPU Internal Cache
- Enable or Disable the Caching of BIOS
- Change CPU Settings
- Change Memory Settings
- Change System Voltages
- Enable or Disable Onboard USB
- Enable or Disable Onboard Audio
- Enable or Disable ACPI
- Change the Power Button Function
- Change Power-on Settings
- Change Which Display is Initialized First on Multi-Display Setups
- Enable or Disable BIOS Control of System Resources
- View CPU and System Temperatures
- View System Voltages
How to Reset the BIOS
Experienced users sometimes resort to resetting their BIOS to restore factory settings. Resetting the BIOS settings is more of a necessary measure you may need to take if facing critical errors, problems with the entire system, or some specific hardware component.
So, to reset the BIOS, you’ll need to locate the following jumpers on your motherboard:
CCMOS, Clear CMOS, or Clear RTC. Make sure that the power is off when resetting the BIOS.
Once you locate the required jumper, move it to the other two pins. For example, if the jumper is covering the first and second pins, move it so that it is covering the second and third pins.
Make sure to pull the jumper straight up to remove it. After you boot up your PC, you’ll discover the BIOS has been reset.
It’s also possible to reset your BIOS by removing the CMOS battery. To do it, unplug your PC from any power sources, open your case, and remove the CMOS battery that’s usually located next to your PCI slots. If you’re unable to locate the battery, make sure to check under expansion cards and cables. If the battery don’t remove, which is also possible, don’t use force to pull it out. Instead, opt for the jumper tweak described above.
Nicole Hicks a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto but travels much of the year. Nicole has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Nicole is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing.