January 6th, 2003, 11:34 AM
BIOS upgrade - hardware tutorial
BIOS upgrade tutorial
Most computers contain several BIOS (basic input / output system). For example the video BIOS that interfaces your CPU and video card - but the most fundamental is the system BIOS. The system BIOS is stored on a ROM (read-only memory) chip on the motherboard and is copied at boot time to a 64K segment of upper system RAM for faster system access.
Every time you turn on your machine, the BIOS runs a power-on self-test (POST), during which it completes a series of diagnostic tests. This initialisation can be seen on your screen.
· Power-On Self Test (POST) - to test and initialise the hardware
· Loads the operating system
· Manage Setup for enhancing computer behaviour
· Helps operating systems and application programs to manage PC hardware via
BIOS Run-Time Service routines
BIOS needs to be upgraded on a regular basis, because a bios upgrade will usually contain one or more of the following:
1) New or additional Bios Features
2) Fixes for various bugs and/or compatibility problems
3) New or additional CPU support
These are the major BIOS Manufacturers:
List of BIOS Manufacturer
What do you need to know before a BIOS upgrade?
1)Go to your Motherboard manufacturer’s website and find out if you’ve got the latest Bios.
2)You need to find out which bios you’ve got on your machine. That can be done by either looking at the CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) chip on your motherboard / When system starts up (start up screen). The BIOS make is shown during the first screen when power is applied to the motherboard. The BIOS date is displayed on the third line from the top. An example is below.
Award Modular BIOS v6.0PG, An Energy Star Allay
Copyright (C) 1998-2002, Award Software Inc.
Or from your motherboard website (please check the motherboard model number).
How do I upgrade?
There are two ways of upgrading the bios chip:
1) You can do it yourself: -
Most motherboard manufacturers provide flash utilities. These are softwares that can be downloaded and used to upgrade your motherboard bios. Before upgrading it yourself, you’ll need to do lots of reading because it’s easy to screw up your bios. Have a look at this sites for more information:
2)You can change the CMOS (costly but easier and safer). New CMOS bios chip can be bought from:
there are pc sites that reprogram the old bios chip for $5 to $10 !
shop around for the cheapest!
Also check out this freeware :
Displays a wide variety of information about the current system including serial numbers of component parts (to the extent that they are machine-readable), BIOS information (capabilities, version, etc.), CPU information (capabilities, version, etc.), Slot information, Physical memory and Cache information, Port connectors, Motherboard information, and numerous other information.