BIOS


Today I like to explain something about the BIOS of your computer. My what now? I hear you say.. Indeed my dear reader, the BIOS of your computer.

This is not a part  you order or need to install, it’s something that is present in each and every computer.
To be exact, on your motherboard. It is in fact a small chip…

BIOS stands for basic input output system and this is a set of basic instructions for your computer.

It regulates and check a few things before the actual operating system is loaded. When you power on your computer, first of all the POST (the irony :’)) test is performed. Stands for, power on self test. And will check a few things (is RAM ok? is CPU present? Is cooler running? etc..).

Next the bootloader is called by the BIOS. This is usually present on the first sector of the hard drive. By doing so the computer is instructed to load the operating system present on your hard drive.

There are a few options you can set yourself in the BIOS (not too many since most producers of hardware don’t really like their customers to fiddle with these settings). The most commonly used settings are:

  • Setting the boot priority (here you can define if the computer should first check the CD or floppy or HDD for bootable media
  • Date and time (this is also where the operating system will get the date and time intially)
  • Some allow a few settings for the cpu (voltage, speed, etc..)
  • There are also a few options about other components on the motherboard like USB, sounds, GPU, etc… You can for example choose to disable the internal sound card of the computer.

The BIOS is present on a chip on the motherboard. This is actually a small piece of software. You cannot change anything to this software, however you can update your BIOS.
Easiest way to find a new version of your BIOS is to navigate to the manufacturer of your motherboard and locate the newest version.
The process of updating BIOS is called flashing (sounds like a  whicked party to me :D).

It may seem very insignificant, but it is one of the most important things in your computer (the BIOS chip + software).

Greatness, as most of the time, is achieved by something small.

If you enter the BIOS screen (generally, if you boot your PC you’ll get a small message “press F10 to enter setup” or any other button). You’ll get to a screen which looks  like this (and yes I snatched it of the internet again, shame on me).

Looks very basic.. Yet it can do massive damage :P.

Let me know if you have questions!

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One thought on “BIOS

  1. Pingback: Destroying the core « Tech-o-rama

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