Otis F. Cooper

Article Summary:

A guide to updating your PC BIOS.

How to Update Your System BIOS

Before you update your bios, compare the updates on your bios web site to see what changes and improvements you should experience.

When you push the power button to boot up your computer, bit searches for the BIOS or Basic Input/ Output System.This is a small set of instructions the computer must use to check the components in your computer and to get everything working together.

If your BIOS is outdated, your computer may not be able to use certain features of your hardware. This will, in turn, cause your PC to run inefficient and eventually fail to run some devices at all.To update your BIOS is to increase your computer's speed and compatibility with newer hardware.

Your BIOS can be updated by downloading a small software patch and "Flashing" the software onto the BIOS memory chip located on the motherboard. This software should be downloaded onto a floppy disk for fast installation.

As with all software you update on your computer, stop and take the time to copy or backup your bios. Should something go wrong while you are updating your current bios, you will have a backup copy on hand. Use a backup utility such as cmos.zip to backup a copy of your bios or use print screen to have a written copy of your bios.

You can find the latest update for your BIOS by first knowing the latest version of BIOS installed on your computer.To find out the type and version of BIOS you have, check your documentation for this data.Or you can contact the manufacturer by phone, email, or visit their website to gather this information.

Other ways to know the type of BIOS you have is to select Start, Programs, Accessories, System, and System Information.Then select Windows Report Tool from the tools menu.Then select Collected Information from the options menu and scroll down to the BIOS.

The bios will be found in the "System Settings To Copy" section. Write the manufacturer and date of your bios.You can now perform a search on the Internet to locate the bios web site and download any updates that may be available.This procedure is to be followed if you have Windows 98.

For Windows Me and Windows XP, select Start, Programs in Windows Me and All Programs in Windows XP.Then select Accessories, System Tools, System Information, System Summary Section, section and BIOS.

Once you know the version of BIOS you have, go to their website and download the latest version onto a floppy disk. Once the download is complete, leave the diskette in the floppy drive, and close your Internet connection.

Now you re-boot your computer and if the computer reads the floppy, it will erase the old BIOS from the Flash Memory and install the new software.This same procedure is used regardless of what operating system is installed on your computer..

The Bios is quick to install but you must take great care in not allow power lose in the middle of flashing or stalling the new software.If power is lost by such lighting during a storm or your 6 year old pulling the surge protector from the wall outlet, you will have to use your bios backup to replace the old bios.

If you don't have a backup, you may have to take the PC to the manufacturer to have the bios installed. It will well worth updating your bios if you simply ensure there are no senseless means of power lose.

You may consider upgrading your BIOS to risky but its really easy, fast, and well woth the time.Your PC should perform much better and provide you with the standards to support the most up to date software and hardware

Otis F. Cooper is the author of the award winning PC Super Pack, the Computer Training By Video course. For hundreds more free PC repair tips,sign-up for his bi-monthly newsletter and learn computer repair at www.ultimate pc repair.com.

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