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Visit Page 2 of this article if you are only looking for information on reflashing the BIOS to update it. The BIOS setup program - an acronym for Basic Input/Output System - is a currently vital part of a PC's system, without which nothing can work. However, it will soon be replaced by a mouse-driven Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI). The BIOS configures the PC's hardware so that the operating system (Windows, Linux, OS X, etc.) can recognise all of it and install the appropriate software device drivers. The program itself is stored in a CMOS flash memory chip on the motherboard and it can be upgraded by reflashing the memory chip with the update according to predetermined procedures. Customised settings are maintained by having the chip powered by a CMOS/BIOS battery. If the battery runs down, the system reverts to using the default BIOS settings every time the PC boots. For how much longer the BIOS setup program will be used for this purpose remains to be seen, because in Apple Macs the operating system, OS X, performs that function, and some of the leading players in the PC market, namely Microsoft and Intel are working together on a replacement for the BIOS called the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which is a mini operating system that supports a high-resolution full-colour graphical interface that allows various tasks to be run before the main operating system boots, such as basic multimedia operations, scanning for viruses, and the use of diagnostic tools. In any case, even with the existing PC BIOS, the operating system (Windows 7, Linux, etc.) has assumed many of the functions that used to be be performed by the BIOS.
Change to 'Bios' will make for PCs that boot in seconds A replacement for the system BIOS setup program, known as the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), will used in new desktop and laptop PCs by 2011, making for much faster startup times and less hardware compatibility issues with new hardware components. - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11430069 Say Goodbye To Your BIOS: Hello, UEFI! : On the Verge Of UEFI http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/intel-uefi-firmware,review-31766.html December 4, 2010. - The motherboard manufacturer, Asus, has revealed its next-generation P8P67 motherboards for Intel's next range of processors, code-named Sandy Bridge, that use the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) instead of a BIOS. The EFI is much easier to use and update, with mouse control, slide-bars and drag-and-drop. For example, the user can drag-and-drop icons of the devices to set them as the first-boot device and overclocking can be achieved by using a series of sliders. It supports new technology that is beyond the BIOS, such as the ultra-largecapacity Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB hard disk drives. A BIOS, due to its technical limitations, can't support a hard-drive capacity larger than 2.2TB, but the EFI can support drives up to 9.4ZB (ZB = zettabyte, which is a 1 followed by 21 zeros - a truly immense figure). The new range of Asus motherboards are expected to be released early in 2011. For more information on this topic read this Q&A on this website: Can an ultra-large-capacity 3.0TB hard disk drive be used with Windows XP?
The BIOS setup program performs four distinct tasks: 1. - Tests the computer's main components by running its POST (Power-On-Self-Test) program to make sure that they are all functioning properly. 2. - Configures the main components that are part of the motherboard or that are attached to it so that the operating system knows what to do with them. The configuration role was essential to the operation of a computer, but it is decreasing all the time as the operating system continues to take over more and more of this role. 3. - Boots the operating system from the primary hard disk drive or from a bootable floppy disk or a CD/DVD disc at start-up. Note that the floppy disk drive or CD/DVD drive has to be set as the first boot device in the BIOS in order to make the system boot from a floppy disk or CD/DVD. The settings for this vary from one make of BIOS to another, but you should be able to locate the appropriate setting by going through the BIOS menu. (Information on how to enter the BIOS is provided further down this page.) For example, in a Phoenix Award BIOS, in the Advanced BIOS Features section, you might see settings for First Boot Device, Second Boot Device, Third Boot Device, etc. You will be able to set a floppy disk drive, CD/DVD, or hard disk drive, etc., as the first boot device. Some BIOSes allow you to set a USB flash drive or external hard disk drive as the first boot device. If the first boot device contains no boot files, the BIOS uses the next boot device until it finds one that it can boot from. For example if the CD/DVD drive is set as the first boot device and there is no boot CD/DVD disc in the drive, the BIOS will try to boot from the second boot device. The image below shows how the settings appear in a particular BIOS.
4. - Provides access to some of the computer's components and features, such as the keyboard even when the operating system is up and running. The BIOS is programmed to run a small routine that handles the keyboard at the behest of the operating system. In this way, the BIOS code provides a uniform interface to the system in order that variable hardware can function without having to make the necessary changes to the operating system when the type of hardware changes. Windows 2000, Windows XP , Windows Vista and Windows 7 only make a small number of such calls to the BIOS, but the Linux operating system makes no such calls while it is running, because it deals directly with the standard hardware it is likely to encounter, and it uses device-driver software to deal with any non-standard or special hardware it encounters. Moreover, work is under way to create a version of Linux that boots without a BIOS.
Socket AM3 is AMD's current processor socket.95 to join. If you cannot locate a higher version number that the existing version. The downside is that despite the free scan and report. Dell uses the F1 key. free of charge from their manufacturers' websites or via Microsoft Update. If the user wants to use a dual-core Socket 939 model. . If you need the latest BIOS update for your desktop or laptop computer but can't find one on the computer's manufacturer's or its motherboard manufacturer's website.5.The BIOS can be updated to remove bugs or support additional hardware by reflashing it.Features can be added by programming them into the BIOS code. etc. you should be able to download all of the available updates. For instance. BIOS files included.Visit Page 2 of this article for more information on reflashing the BIOS to update it. an update is not available. "The official BIOS and update support center for Phoenix-Award and AMI BIOS" is a good place to start. the volume of the sound. It also looks for and can download updates for the other software and hardware on the computer. An good example in which installing an update is necessary is when a Socket 939 motherboard that runs AMD's Athlon 64 processors has a BIOS that supports only the single-core version of those processors.The version of the BIOS is shown on the standard startup screen or within the BIOS setup program itself. . contrast. The standard startup screen (shown in images lower down in this article) and the startup screen showing the logo of the computer's manufacturer should provide the instruction on how to enter the BIOS or Setup. it costs $29. . which is pressed before Windows starts to load to bring up the BIOS setup program. [Note that AMD-processor-based Socket 939 motherboards are no longer being sold new. Most manufacturers use the Del key. In my experience. The major motherboard manufacturers update the BIOS for their motherboards regularly. a BIOS update is required.] The PC's motherboard manufacturer should be the only source that you should use to find BIOS updates and instructionson how to install them. many laptop/notebook computers have special function keys that are not found on standard desktop computer keyboards. so make sure that you really need it before parting wit yur money. which have nothing to do with the operating system and control the screen's brightness. BIOS Updates. which the motherboard supports.
are reached from the main menu page. you can always enter the BIOS at start-up and change the settings back to what they were.that option could work. because the wrong settings can prevent the system from booting. often with parameters. The following article (July 2010) reviews three Socket 1366 motherboards that run the Intel processors that use that socket type. If you are using a non-USB printer . the following article provides information on how to back up the BIOS settings to a floppy disk. which most users now have. The PnP/PCI Configurations. But if that happens after you've changed settings. Images of the pages of the BIOS showing the settings on each page are provided for each of the motherboards. However. (PnP stands for Plug and Play..one that uses the old (legacy) Centronics or LPT1 parallel port interface) . you can use a digital camera to take photos of every page in the BIOS so that you can refer to them if you want to revert to a particular range of settings. but is absent in Windows XP) or Windows has loaded. When printers were primitive and had to have their own processing unit in order to work. X58 To The Max: Three New Flagship LGA 1366 [Intel-based] Motherboards http://www. Click on those images to view the large versions. examples of which are shown further down this page. or disabled.) Every motherboard in a Windows desktop and laptop PC has a BIOS. (which starts up first in Windows 95/98/Me. both of which should remove any settings the user has enabled or disabled. . The image below shows a Sony CR2032 CMOS battery installed in a socket on an ATX motherboard. If your PC has a floppy disk drive. The Item Help section of each page provides information on the setting that is selected. with USB printers.uk/. shown above. Load Fail-Safe Defaults and Load Optimised Defaults.co. Any customised settings in the BIOS are retained when the PC is switched off because a CMOS battery keeps the CMOS chip that contains the data powered up. and other pages in the BIOS. or set one of the default options that have names such as. The keyboard has to be used because the mouse driver hasn't been loaded when the user enters the BIOS setup program. because neither DOS. The browse menu appears on the bottom of the page.. You shouldn't attempt to change the BIOS settings unless you know what you're doing. You have to do that to record what is on the pages because the print screen (operated via the Prt Sc key) option doesn't function until the operating system is loaded. and enable the system to boot. which most new PCs no longer have. The settings are either enabled. it was possible to use the Prt Sc key to make the printer print what was on the PC's screen. you cannot do that.tomshardware.The PnP/PCI Configurations page of an Phoenix Award BIOS is shown above. so you can't transfer a captured image to a Windows program. BIOS tip: Saving or backing up the BIOS settings If you have spent a lot of time to customise the BIOS settings for your PC or you want to experiment to find out what the best settings are.
You need to the disc bootable and and know how to make your computer boot from a CD/DVD in order to be able to make use of the backup. With ATX motherboards. will shorten the life of the CMOS battery.htm. The Reset Configuration Data BIOS setting Resetting the BIOS itself (dealt with further along in this article) so that the entire BIOS is reset must not be confused with its Reset Configuration Data setting (shown in the second image from the top of the page) that resets its hardware configurations.BIOS Backup . You can save a file containing your BIOS backup on a recordable CD/DVD. Such a battery can last up to five years or more. not a blank screen. which is switched on.com/article/41 You can find other such articles by entering the search tern bios backup in the Google search box at the top of this page (with its Web radio button enabled) to find many articles on how to do it. etc. Just open the BIOS and look for the boot order settings.com/nero. it does receive a trickle charge when the computer is switched on.http://www. Enter create a bootable cd in the Google search box at the top of this page (with its Web radio button enabled) to find many articles on how to do it. That setting is enabled and the BIOS resets what the BIOS knows about all of the hardware components and peripheral devices (printers. However. The following problem is the type of problem that can be resolved by using the Reset Configuration Data setting in the BIOS: "I was changing the screen resolution on an older Intel Pentium III computer running Windows XP Pro when the screen went blank and said.bootdisk. A dead or disabled CMOS battery usually produces an invalid-settings or settings-lost message at startup. motherboards can be sold with the jumper in its disabled position. giving a fresh start that can resolve many hardware misconfiguration problems. which renders the PC that uses a motherboard in that state unable to retain customised settings. This extends the life of the battery considerably if the computer is used regularly. The motheboards are shipped from China with the CMOS jumper it its disconnected position to prevent the battery from discharging. to be able to go from being fully charged to being fully discharged and then recharged repeatedly. Most motherboard vendors and PC manufacturer's set the jumper in its enabled position when the motherboard or PC containing the motherboard is sold. . 87Hz. However.) and then disables the option so that its isn't repeated with every system startup." A CR2032 CMOS battery is not designed to be rechargeable. The user would then have to enter the BIOS and enable and save its default or failsafe or optimal setting every time the PC starts up. which allows me to enter the BIOS. otherwise the screen remains blank.hardwaresecrets. The BIOS has to be set so that the first boot device is the CD/DVD drive in order for the system to be able to boot from a CD/DVD disc.' Only the first boot screen appears. All of the existing hardware configuration data is erased and then replaced. 'not supported. Here is one I found: http://www. that is. A user who unplugs the PC from the mains or switches the power off at the mains supply. the power supply provides power to the CMOS chip if the PC iitself is switched off but is attached to the mains supply. because it keeps the CMOS BIOS chip powered up. However. it discharges completely in a few weeks if the computer isn't used.
and you can't enter the BIOS because it has become corrupt. .com/bios_manufacturer.or any of its contents. for example. Note that if you see the term CMOS in relation to the BIOS. it is not the chip itself .This Q&A on this site deals with the problem that its title describes: Why is my computer running slow after I replaced a flat BIOS battery on the motherboard? The startup screen for a system running an American Megatrends (AMI) BIOS and an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor is shown below. DEL: Setup: Pressing the DEL key enters the BIOS setup program. which you would use if the computer won't boot past the start-up screen. and pressing the F10 key runs the BIOS recovery utility. pressing the Tab or Esc key during startup. DRAM Clock = 400MHz: The system's DRAM clock is shown as 400MHz. you should be able to disable the logo in the BIOS itself. Note that if you see the logo of the motherboard's manufacturer or the developer of the BIOS instead of such a startup screen. this stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor. The different brand-name computer manufacturers and BIOS setup program developers use different key combinations to enter the BIOS. The figure in Checking NVRAM. so DDR400 (PC3200) RAM) is installed. or even mistakenly used as a term for the BIOS. Some BIOS setup programs allow the logo to be temporarily disabled so that you can see the startup information by.. The standard startup screen of the kind shown below will then display. Visit this page if you need to know what the entry methods used by all of the main brands of PC and the major BIOS developers are: http://michaelstevenstech. This is the material that the BIOS chip is made of.htm Pressing the F11 key brings up the Boot Menu. Click here! to go to more information on Page 2 of this article on disabling a logo startup screen. 1048576KB OK is 1GB of RAM that was found to be present and checked during the POST (Power-On-Self-Test) set of hardware tests that all computers initiate on starting up..
which also provide replacement chips. A CMOS-based BIOS chip is a low-power device. and show it to the salesman so that you are assured of being given the correct replacement. the first diagnostic step to take to deal with a checksum error is to replace the battery. or the code will become corrupt and unusable. Just remove the old one carefully by inserting the flat head of small screwdriver in where the battery makes contact with its socket's metal connector.loses enough of its charge . error messages that the BIOS throws up typically use the term CMOS instead of BIOS. A bad system crash or electrical spike can corrupt the BIOS file.defaults loaded. When the BIOS program runs. the BIOS reverts to using its built-in default settings.For instance. A replacement chip will probably cost almost as much or more than a new motherboard. but it still has to be supplied with power in order to retain its settings when the computer is switched off. Here is an example . so I personally would replace the motherboard if the BIOS chip cannot be restored to working order. any customisation of the settings will be lost and will have to be reset. the fault will probably cause the checksum error to recur and wipe them out again. it uses a mathematical technique called the "checksum" to make sure the code it contains is sound. You can find a replacement at any good computer shop. The default settings can often get the system going again. A service available from sites such as FlashBIOS. which is usually part of the BIOS chip circuitry. but this is rare. Take the old battery with you. the battery also powers the system clock. or replaced. If a new battery doesn't solve the problem. coin-shaped BIOS battery mounted on the motherboard. the BIOS chip may need to be reflashed. Nothing serious because those settings can be set manually from within the BIOS setup program itself." This means that the BIOS settings have become corrupt.the BIOS will not be able to retain its settings. When the BIOS battery . and a checksum error will be reported. The process of reflashing a BIOS chip is provided in this article. but the system date and time may be incorrect.usually installed on the motherboard . Note that whatever fault caused the BIOS to become corrupt will probably still be present. Incidentally. But the BIOS chip can be completely reprogramed with special EPROM-programming software that can be purchased an used. The most common cause of this kind of error is a dead or dying BIOS battery. Therefore. The BIOS setup program is the first component to start up when you switch a computer on. But if the default settings are loaded. and the default BIOS settings have been loaded instead of the user's customised BIOS settings.org and BadFlash. so if you have saved the BIOS settings with a utility that can do so and you restore them. If the code fails to pass the checksum test. or used on your behalf by a professional. Most computers use a standard."CMOS checksum error .com. . reprogrammed. The bright sparks that program BIOSes probably instinctively want to confuse things as much as possible in order to make what they do as mysterious and as inaccessible as possible.usually when it is somewhere between three and five years old .
which in turn means that most BIOS programs no longer prevent writing to the BIOS flash memory by default. the user's customised settings will be deleted as soon as the CMOS chip loses its source of power. If the battery is removed. try resetting the BIOS to its default settings.Also try entering the search phrase "BIOS checksum error" (including the quotation marks) . The BIOS component in a computer stores the hardware configurations that are needed to configure the system at start-up so that its hardware (and thus its software) can run. How to fix a fast Windows clock problem If the clock in Windows is fast. . This is so easy to do. the new BIOS file. However. and the three MS DOS system files that make the disk bootable. The user will have to re-enable any settings you prefer to the default ones. Doing that often fixes the problem.or any other BIOS term .will soon be hidden in the flash memory of the BIOS chip. which could take several minutes.hidden software that Windows cannot detect that can be used to implement digital rights management technology or be used to hide viruses and Trojan backdoor server software . which in turn means that such systems are vulnerable to being infected by a Rootkit that installs itself in the flash memory of the BIOS. A fast clock can be a nuisance if you use a PC with a TV tuner card and schedule it to record TV programmes. therefore reinstalling the operating system cannot remove a Rootkit installed in its flash memory. MS DOS is not available in the Windows XP versions of Windows. BIOS NEWS Experts say that Rootkits will soon be installed in the flash memory of the BIOS January 29. is kept alive by a battery when the system is switched off." Even if a computer's BIOS or a jumper on the motherboard itself is set to disable writing to the flash memory. You'll probably be presented with a large number of accessible links.Security experts are warning that Rootkits . and the computer will start up with the default or failsafe settings. because Windows takes its time from the BIOS clock. To update the BIOS now involves running the downloaded software that obtains the update and sets the system to install it the next time the system is started. The idea is to make the process as user-friendly as possible. so most of the motherboard manufacturers have created software that is downloaded from their websites. Greg Hoglund. . a BIOS file update is usually flashed into the chip by making use of a floppy disk that contains the flash utility. an insider could flash a computer's BIOS chip with such a Rootkit before leaving a company in order to be able to gain access to the corporate network at a later date. in readonly form on a ROM chip. The BIOS has programming in it that manages the clock's operation. You have widely available tools. a Rootkit expert and CEO of the reverse engineering company HBGary. and high-level languages to write the code in. The BIOS chip on a computer's motherboard stores the system configuration information that is required to boot the system. had this to say on the subject: "It is going to be about one month before malware comes out to take advantage of this. free compilers for the ACPI language [used to program BIOS files]. and the voltages. For Windows 9x versions of Windows. The configuration information. the processor's fan speed.in the Google search box at the top of this page. 2006. Many modern BIOSes are also capable of monitoring motherboard activities such as the processor's temperature.
The BIOS has not recognised the system's AMD Athlon XP 2600+ (Main Processor). it is 512MB (524. There is much more information about reflashing a BIOS further down the page. a BIOS update may be required before a computer with a BIOS created to run on Windows 98 can be run on Windows XP. The BIOS setup program is accessed by pressing the key or keys shown (usually at the bottom of the screen) just after the memory count at start-up. See the image below of a start-up screen indicating at the top of the window that the system is configured by an Award BIOS.288KB). is usually a round one inserted into a holder on the motherboard. The BIOS will have to be updated by reflashing it with a BIOS file programmed to recognise the new processor. is the most commonly used one. used by Award and AMI BIOSes. and the ALT-F2 to enter AWDFLASH means that you . because it was released after the BIOS was created.The BIOS also supports software. which lasts at least five years. The Delete key ("Press DEL to enter SETUP"). The four headings starting with Primary Master show which of the motherboard's IDE drive channels (used for hard disks or CD/DVD disk drives) have been enabled. or an external battery unit that is plugged into the motherboard. For instance. The Memory Testing feature shows a running count to the amount of RAM used and detected by the BIOS as functional. such as a particular operating system. The string of numbers and letters shown under Press The Press DEL to enter SETUP in the bottom left-hand corner means that you have to press the Delete key to open the BIOS program. In this case. The long-life battery.
Below is the much clearer start-up screen showing that the Pentium 4 2800MHz (2. on the motherboard's website.8GHz) processor installed in the system has been recognised by the Award Medallion BIOS. As you can see. This means that you can use this utility instead of a special (DOS) boot floppy disk to flash the BIOS. The Memory test shows a count of 262.144KB (256MB) of RAM is installed. The instructions on how to use it will be provided with the BIOS update file. DEL to enter SETUP can be used to identify the BIOS chip.C motherboard (Revision 1007). and an Asus 52x CD-ROM drive (CD-S520/A ). and has been recognised by the BIOS. recognised by the BIOS as being installed as the Primary Master and Primary Slave devices on the Primary IDE channel. There are no drives installed on the Secondary IDE Channel. which is used to reflash the BIOS chip with a new BIOS file. With this BIOS. Below is what appears on the screen at start-up for a computer running an AMI BIOS issued in 1998. This means that you can use this utility instead of a special boot floppy disk to flash the BIOS. and so displays the word "Skip".can run the program that reflashes a BIOS update file into the BIOS chip by pressing the ALT and the F2 keys. and has a Maxtor 6L040JZ hard disk drive. or in the motherboard's user manual. the BIOS belongs to an Asus P4T533 . you still use the Delete key to open it. the Secondary Master setting of which has been disabled. The BIOS update will have been obtained from the motherboard's website. . and the ALT-F2 keys are pressed to run the built-in EZ flash utility.
Once the operating system has started loading. you cannot access the BIOS. or an alternative operating system such as Linux. You have to reboot to enter the BIOS when the operating system is running.And below is the BIOS settings' menu that comes to the screen if the Del key is pressed before Windows. starts up. . because it can only make changes to itself when nothing else is loaded.
which uses similar headings to the AMI BIOS shown above. As I said at the top of this page. As long as the start-up screen appears. or even the Auto Configuration with Optimal Settings option. For this particular BIOS the important navigation options are: . you can always re-enter the BIOS to change the settings if they don't work or cause problems. and which is also entered by pressing the Del key. or Load BIOS Defaults instead of Load Fail-Safe Defaults and Load Optimised Defaults respectively. and more detailed instructions appear on all of the main pages listed on the main menu page. but pre-year-2000 versions may use terms such as Load Setup Defaults. if you suspected that the BIOS settings were responsible for any problems. you would enable the Auto Configuration with Fail Safe Settings option.Using this particular AMI BIOS. Award BIOSes have similar settings. Below is the settings' menu of an Award BIOS from the year 2005. The basic navigation instructions appear at the bottom of the main menu page. because the driver for the mouse has not been loaded by the operating system. you have to navigate using the keyboard.
and the navigation options may differ from one type of BIOS to another. Windows Vista Home Premium. which is twice the amount of minimum memory recommended to run Windows XP. an Award BIOS and an AMI BIOS. scroll down to ASUS. say. it requires twice the amount of memory as a 32-bit version. which is the same amount recommended for Windows XP. If the Crucial memory you receive does not work." The best way to choose RAM memory for a brand-name desktop or laptop computer. open the menu. up to 4. it is said to have been reflashed into the flash memory. For more information on computer memory. A video-editing application is an example of memory-intensive software.0GB. How to Use the Crucial Memory Advisor For example. If. Windows Vista and Windows 7). and do likewise. or which removes bugs from the installed version. you are guaranteed a refund and standard shipping is free. you have a Dell computer. or adds new features. say. The memory requirements of the versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 Most of the versions of Windows Vista require more RAM memory to run optimally on a computer that doesn't use memory-hungry applications than Windows XP. and click GO. or memory for a paricular make/model of PC motherboard is to make use of the Crucial Memory Advisors (provided under the brief guideline on the minimum memory requirements for Windws XP. Only Windows Vista Home Basic has a recommended minimum amount of memory of 512MB.5GB. As such. Look under FREE . it can be upgraded with a replacement file that provides support for new hardware. It is just a matter of getting used to the differences between. the names for the settings. here is a good free utility Belarc Advisor . The safest way to upgrade RAM memory: Use the UK and US Crucial Memory Advisors Paul Mullen.uk . Visit Page 2 of this article for information on reflashing the BIOS."I have recently been buying my memory only from Crucial Technology.co. BIOS updates: Reflashing the BIOS BIOS software in the form of a file is flashed into permanent flash memory on the BIOS CMOS chip of a similar kind that is used in flash memory cards. which can only use a maximum of about 3.that creates an analysis of the hardware and software on a personal computer. but the content will be more or less the same. if your computer has an Asus motherboard. the most popular version. Note that most motherboards now allow the user to restore a corrupt BIOS file from a USB flash drive that contains a backup or downloaded BIOS file. When a BIOS file is updated.The screens. read the RAM pages of this site. I would rather pay the extra cost than waste time trying to track down the obscure program faults that bad memory can cause. If you don't know the make and model of the motherboard installed in your computer. Note that if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows. and Windows Vista Ultimate require a recommended minimum of 1GB (1024MB) of memory. scroll down to DELL. which includes information on the lower memory requirements of Windows 7. You will be taken to the relevant information on Crucial's website. who was the highly-respected computer guru of the Helpfile at ComputerShopper.
the Asus P5E64 WS Professional Socket LGA774 motherboard (for Intel dual. Note well that you should know what you are doing before you experiment with overclocking a computer. Some motherboard's have BIOSes that are designed for overclocking. Advanced Guide: Flashing a Video Card BIOS http://www.pcstats.cfm?articleID=1633 The BIOS and overclocking Click here! to visit the information on this site that deals with overclocking the processor.have a BIOS setup program that accesses a BIOS chip on the card in the same way as the system's BIOS setup program accesses the BIOS chip built into a computer's motherboard. doing nothing more than updating the BIOS can make a low-end card function like its high-end relative.using ISA.DOWNLOAD . The overclockability of a desktop or laptop PC's processor depends on the overclocking settings provided by the BIOS and on whether or not the processor is unlocked. PCI. the main system BIOS detects the video BIOS and adds it to its start-up routine. If you observe the start-up screen. Another utility that also provides detailed information on the memory itself is CPU-Z. But note that you cannot access the settings of the BIOS of a video card as you can access the settings of the motherboard's system BIOS by pressing the entry key(s) at start-up to run the BIOS setup program. Updates for the BIOS file can be made available for both the motherboard's system BIOS and the video card's BIOS from the motherboard manufacturer's and the video card manufacturer's sites respectively.does not have its clock multiplier locked so that it can't be changed via the BIOS. you might be able to see the video card being acknowledged by the system BIOS in the same way as it acknowledges the disk drive(s).http://www.and quad-core processors) has intelligent overclocking settings in its BIOS that allow the user to adjust the voltages of the . because the manufacturer often uses the same video chip on high-end and low-end cards. Instructions on how to update the BIOS are usually also supplied. and it's the BIOS that limits the low-end card. AGP.com/articleview. etc.com/. graphics card.belarc. Often new features can be added by updating a video card's BIOS. and PCI Express motherboard slots . For Example. If that is the case. Updating a video card's BIOS can also sometimes solve problems that are otherwise insolvable. At start-up. The video/graphics card's BIOS setup program All video/graphics cards .
It's an officially endorsed Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) driver file. the processor. Windows accesses the computer's hardware directly. You can download the user manuals for Asus motherboards from http://www. and reinstalling the game and video-card's driver file. the maker of the game. and the computer continually rebooted. Indeed. which are both applicable to an AGP video card of the kind you were using to begin with and use now. and I had the latest DirectX 9. Much also depends on the manner in which the video card interacts with the motherboard's chipset.0c installed. Can you enlighten me on the working of the BIOS in this case? Answer There is a very thin dividing (error) line between providing high performance and system stability with regard to high-end video cards. I decided to buy and install a video card made by MSI with an nVidia 5900ZT chip. but it picks up the timings that are set in the BIOS when the computer first starts up. Deus Ex kept on crashing during the boot sequence. but also advised me to reflash the BIOS with the latest file. The timings set in the BIOS for the motherboard's chipset are of crucial importance for trouble-free use. MSI also provide good manuals for their motherboards.asus. Windows 95/98/Me/XP all bypass both the video card's own BIOS and the motherboard's BIOS. The timings have names in the BIOS setup program such as AGP master wait state write. These timings can often be tweaked in the BIOS itself. MSI.tw/ if you want to see the BIOS settings that they provide. It was a painless operation. which requires pixel shading. and it fixed all of the problems. but I soon discovered that the vivid colours of my screeensaver were no longer showing. Eidos. However. but I have no idea why it did. provided the same suggestions. but not only did it not fix the screensaver problem. defragmenting the hard drive with the Windows Disk Defragmenter. told me to do the usual uninstalling of the game. I did so in order to play Deus Ex 2. and followed the instructions that were included in the Zip file. and AGP bus read wait states. but the blue screen of death and Microsoft's crash analysis both suggested a problem with the driver. The computer has an Asus A8V Deluxe motherboard. most problems with video cards come about because the driver writers don't get the trade-off right. One or more of these timings can be the cause . the maker of the video card. so I downloaded the latest BIOS file for the make and model of motherboard from the Asus site. obtained from nVidia's site.North Bridge chip. A video-card problem problem caused by a buggy BIOS Problem I found out how easy it is to overlook the BIOS when attempting to diagnose the cause of a computer's problems. It began when I downloaded and installed the latest driver file for my GeForce 2 video card. MSI motherboards usually have BIOSes that are restricted to the kind of basic settings the changing of which won't get the user into the kind of trouble that results in high support costs.com. The the Asus P5E64 WS Professional motherboard is a good example of one that has been designed with overclocking in mind. the FSB. and the RAM memory to achieve the most precise settings to match changes in the settings for the FSB and the clock multiplier.
note well that this feature will cause problems with the installation of certain software. not the entire hard disk drive. this feature will cause the installation routine of Windows 95 and Windows 98 to fail.000D stack dump. and bingo! When I restarted the system it went straight into a clean installation. put it all back as was. then. I have another PC that I built with the same equipment. that read as follows: Standard mode bad fault in dos extender. Note that this only protects the system's boot sector and its partition table.) Therefore. tye PC boots with the Windows XP OEM CD. Moreover. Information on how to reflash a BIOS is provided on Page 2 of this article. one module of 512MB of PC3200 DDR RAM. Windows 2000.3004 IP 2443 CS=0053 FL3097 SP=00F2 SS004B. and Windows 98 won't install on my PC The following problem was caused by a faulty BIOS: I have a problem with a PC I am building that has an Asus K8 NE Deluxe motherboard. and another copy of XP Home Edition. but with an Athlon 64 3000+ processor and an SATA hard drive. I followed the EZ Flash utility instructions from the manual. a floppy drive. but it only got as far as the Windows 2000 Pro screen with the progress scale complete. same result. If present. I download a beta BIOS for the motherboard from the Asus website . an Antec 350 SmartPower power supply. The man who had this problem discovered the cause of it himself: I decided to clear the CMOS. a Sempron 3100+ 64-bit processor. 2 floppy drives. many hard disk drive diagnostic utilities that . and doing so doesn't solve the problem. I connected the SATA drive from this PC in the problem PC. loading Windows 98 SE. reset the jumpers. There was an error message that appeared onscreen. Raw fault frame.036c 0000 0070. the BIOS will flash a warning message whenever there's an attempt by a virus (or legitimate software) to access the system's boot sector or its partition table. I have tried 3 hard drives. the Windows installation did the format.the latest update. alas. However. and a DVD writer. it stopped. disable it before installing such software.of a particular problem such as yours. A faulty BIOS problem: Windows XP. For example. reflashing the BIOS with an updated file that has been reprogrammed can often do the trick. and I got the Windows screen followed by a stalled blue or black screen. loading Windows 2000 Pro. This PC has worked really well from day one. a 20GB Maxtor PATA IDE hard drive. it is recommended to have this setting enabled. If tweaking the timing settings is possible. With the BIOS settings set to default. In your case it did just that. Boot sector virus protection: Disable it before installing Windows 95 and Windows 98 When the Virus Warning setting (usually in the BIOS Features Setup menu) is enabled. 2 CD drives. same result. with Windows 2000 Pro installed on it. It does not start the format. This produced some progress. fault.EC. when enabled. and RAM. motherboard. removed the BIOS battery. I think during a Windows 98 installation. flashed the BIOS. but the installation only gets to the format drive stage then hangs. (It doesn't affect the installation routine of Windows XP.
To access the Device Manager in Windows XP. and can therefore be the cause of unnecessary hardware conflicts.x system you do that by double-clicking the Computer heading at the top of the window. only 16 IRQs (0 to 15) are available to the processor. save yourself a lot of hassles by checking the motherboard/PC manufacturer's website for a BIOS update. A large percentage of operating-system upgrade problems would be avoided just by reflashing the BIOS with the latest update file.access the boot sector can also trigger the error message.x systems.x system. You can examine the allocation of the IRQs in the Device Manager. as is the case with Windows 9. and then click the Hardware tab followed by the Device Manager button. Computer Management is part of the much larger MS Management Console (MMC). To access the Device Manager via it go Start => Control Panel => Performance & Maintenance => Administrative Tools => Computer Management. instead of the 23 that are available with this setting enabled. This reduces the amount of hardware that can be run on the system to the level of Windows 9. The APIC mode BIOS setting APIC mode (Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller) is a BIOS setting made available to Windows 2000 and Windows XP systems that increases the number of IRQ (Interrupt Request) lines available to the processor. There are a number of ways to access IRQ information in Windows XP. In a Windows 9. Always update the BIOS before making a major change of operating systems If you are planning to change your operating system from say Windows 98 SE to Windows XP ( a major change). When APIC is disabled in a Windows 2000/XP system. . See the Disk Drives page of this site for more information on UDMA (IDE ATA) and SCSI hard disk drives. The Virus Warning setting should be disabled before using such utilities. right-click My Computer => Properties (as in Windows 98). Boot sector viruses will bypass the system BIOS and write directly to such hard disk drives. This BIOS setting is useless for hard disk drives that run from controllers on PCI adapter cards and other external controllers (such as SCSI controllers and UDMA 66 controllers) that have their own BIOS.
and other BIOS beep codes. because that is not a major change. you will also have to purchase a new case. If you cannot obtain a BIOS update for the existing motherboard. because Pentium 4 motherboards require a special power-supply unit and special case mountings. And given how fast technology is changing. you will almost certainly have to purchase new RAM. provide a BIOS that supports several different languages.and all of the other components. It is not considered a major change to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista. such as those made by Asus. but Windows XP uses a totally different architecture. A multi-language BIOS Some new motherboards. because the RAM and processor on the old motherboard won't be compatible with the new motherboard.But you probably wouldn't have to take that action if you changed from Windows 98 to Windows 98 SE. try making the changeover. Obviously this will only be of any benefit if the sound system it uses is working. and a new processor for that motherboard. . which speaks its error messages. but if it doesn't work out. you will be at least be able to reuse an ATX case if the existing power-supply unit meets the processor's power requirements. you will probably have to install a new motherboard with a BIOS that supports Windows XP if you want to use it as the operating system.) If not. And if you choose an Intel Pentium 4 (Socket 478) motherboard over an AMD (Socket A) motherboard. But if you choose an AMD solution. because the architecture of both versions is similar. A talking BIOS Some motherboards are now offering a talking BIOS. it would have to make use of the small speaker built into the computer's case that issues the start-up beep. Since the sound card is not available until DOS (with DOS sound card drivers loaded) or Windows have started up. See the Build a PC set of pages on this site for information on how to install a PSU . The extract below is from the user manual of the Asus A8N-E Socket 939 motherboard for AMD Athlon 64 processors. Both versions of Windows 98 use the same architecture. they you will just have to install a new power-supply unit into the case. (Check AMD's website for recommended cases and PSUs. or dual-boot Windows 98 and Windows XP to experiment safely.
and recovery tools and other utilities.http://www. On both sides of this text you can see many links to click on to access our reference lists and other material. or now even by issuing voice messages. BIOS BEEP CODES Bioscentral. people who want to solve computer hardware or firmware problems.Place the name within double quotation marks in the Google search box provided at the top of this page to find links to sites that provide information on this motherboard.com/ts/x/sys/beep/ List of BIOS beep codes [A forum "sticky". a text error message is of no use. so most BIOSes issue a beep code to alert the user to an error in configuring the video card.sysopt. entering the search phrase "bios beep codes" in the Google search box at the top of this page should produce many links to sites with beep-code information.com/forum/showthread. test cards. and anyone who wants to submit or read a competent review on PC maintenance products like diagnostic software. .bioscentral. You are still welcome if you are a computer neophyte. There are many sites that provide the beep codes used by the two major BIOS manufacturers Award (now part of Phoenix) and AMI. The beep codes The BIOS can provide error-alert messages to the user of the computer by using sounds (usually one or more long or short beeps provided by the speaker built into the computer's case). the Supermicro 845G P4SGA motherboard is fitted with a talking BIOS. Here are some sources. It is intended to be a technical reference home site for technicians and advanced computer users who troubleshoot computers using Power-On Self-Test cards or diagnostics. users who want to flash their BIOSes.com .com/ BIOS Beep Codes: http://www. developers or technicians who want to find or add POST code information." .To name one.php?s=&threadid=146656 Should you need it. You may learn some useful and interesting things here. text messages."BIOS Central is not for everyone.pcguide. . plus comments]: http://www. Obviously if the video card doesn't work for some reason.
It's a freebie and easy to use.drivermuseum. The zip file contains the program and instruction document. it stops taking a charge and has to be replaced. The chip stores the BIOS settings in the same way that a mobile phone stores its settings. After four or five years. the battery may still be working but may just have run down. You can obtain it with the latest BIOS update for a make and model of motherboard from the motherboard manufacturer's site. Alternatively. the following error message started presenting itself whenever I switch on my desktop PC: "CMOS checksum error . but the clock shows 0. so the computer has to load the default settings.zip. Del to enter Setup". cmosram2. . Most of the motherboards of desktop PCs have a jumper that clears the CMOS settings when it shorts two specific pins. I've used it and it works fine. the settings are lost.zip . You could also take digital photos of each of the BIOS pages to save the optimal settings. but I don't want to reset my customised/customized settings Question I need to replace my motherboard's BIOS battery. Answer It looks as if you have to replace the BIOS battery that powers the CMOS chip that contains the clock's settings. The BIOS battery is rechargeable. If you remove the battery in a mobile phone or it runs out of charge. The image above this table shows a Sony BIOS battery installed in its socket on the motherboard. the PC starts up as usual.00. the blue object in the centre of the image below that also shows the BIOS/CMOS battery in its container on the left of the jumper. so can anyone recommend a program that will save the settings so I can restore them after I replace the battery? Answer The flash utility that you use to reflash a BIOS can usually save the old BIOS file so that it can be restored if reflashing the BIOS causes a problem.Defaults loaded.I need to replace the motherboard's BIOS battery. If the PC hasn't been used for a few weeks or months. recharging while the computer runs. and in the Control Panel's Date & Time.com/files/utils/system_u.http://www. Leaving the PC on for a day should recharge it. Press F1 to continue. The chip also stores the customised BIOS settings. which are hard-coded into it so that they are always accessible to the startup process . try using cmosram2. but I don't want to have to reset my customised settings. the date is always January 1 2003.html BIOS CMOS checksum error on startup Problem Three days ago. When I press F1.even when the BIOS battery is flat.
Replace only with the same or equivalent type recommended by the manufacturer. If that jumper is left in the 'clear' position or is missing. the computer will produce that checksum error message. Click here! to visit an illustrated article on how to replace a BIOS (CMOS) battery. Keeping the system running for a while should recharge it and allow you to customise the settings so that they remain every time the computer boots. The motherboard's manual would specify that the battery is rechargeable if it is. I wasn't aware of the danger: "Caution. (There is a Google search box at the top of this page that searches the web when its Web radio button is enabled. Danger of explosion if [BIOS] battery is incorrectly replaced. The jumper is near the BIOS battery and is often labelled as such. Many people don't bother reading the manual and so are not made aware of that fact. This Q&A on this site deals with the problem that its title describes: Why is my computer running slow after I replaced a flat BIOS battery on the motherboard? Motherboard manufacturer's warning Note well: I came across the following warning in the motherboard manual for an MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI Socket 939 motherboard. So. . You can identify the motherboard's make/model with a utility such as CPU-Z and then locate its manufacturer's site with a search engine.The motherboard's manual shows the jumper's location on the motherboard. Until then. it would be because the CMOS battery has run down." Rechargeable CMOS/BIOS batteries Some new CMOS batteries are rechargeable and therefore shouldn't need to be replaced. The battery is charged while the computer is running.) The motherboard manufacturer's site should provide a manual for that model. and the system loads with the BIOS defaults settings. such as Google. if the computer hasn't been used for a while. Brand new motherboards can have the jumper set to clear the BIOS in order not to run the battery down.
is different in laptop PCs because of their highly-integrated designs which make accessing the motherboard so difficult that only trained technicians should attempt doing so. It is shown in the first image above. The reset jumper setting cuts the power from the CMOS battery to the CMOS chip that holds the BIOS settings. .) Unlike the RAM memory that holds customised settings. (The CMOS chip can be reflashed with an updated file. flash memory retains data without being powered. read the item at the end of this section on resetting the BIOS.How to reset the BIOS itself. the BIOS resets not itself but what it knows about all of the hardware components and peripheral devices (printers. it finds none (if the BIOS has been cleared) and it makes the BIOS copy the default settings from the flash memory into the RAM memory area that is usually kept alive by the BIOS battery. The BIOS settings are also cleared if the battery is disconnected for about five minutes. However. read the item at the end of this section on resetting the BIOS. It might be necessary to make use of the reset-BIOS feature if you have set incompatible BIOS settings that can render the computer unbootable . All of the existing hardware configuration data is erased and then replaced. To keep customised BIOS settings. there is almost always a Reset CMOS jumper on a motherboard that can be set to activate or clear the BIOS settings. and how to reset the BIOS password How to reset the BIOS In a desktop PC. When that setting is enabled. not the main BIOS settings. giving a fresh start that can resolve many hardware misconfiguration problems. When the PC starts up and tries to access the BIOS settings. etc.) and then it disables the option. If you want to reset the BIOS of a laptop PC. If you want to reset the BIOS of a laptop PC. Note that some motherboard manufacturers have the Reset CMOS jumper set to disabled in order to disconnect the BIOS battery so that it doesn't run down during storage. Only the current BIOS settings that the computer has been using are cleared by using the reset-CMOS jumper setting. thereby removing them. However. the situation of resetting the BIOS itself (not its configurations of components and devices) is different in laptop PCs because of their highly-integrated designs which make accessing the motherboard so difficult that only trained technicians should attempt doing so. The option to reset the entire BIOS itself to its default settings must not be confused with its Reset Configuration Data setting that resets the hardware configurations. the jumper has to be placed over the two pins that allow power to go to the CMOS chip.or something else has gone wrong with the settings. which are permanently placed into flash memory when the BIOS's CMOS chip is flashed.
Click here! to see an illustrated extract (on this website) on this subject from an MSI motherboard's manual. and 64 FX X2 dual-core processors. Press the button in the middle of the connector top side to clear the data. it may come with a secondary BIOS chip that plugs into the board and overrides the BIOS chip that is fitted to it. . Motherboards are available that support the new Socket LGA1366 Intel Core i7 quad-core processors that first became available in November 2008. Pressing a button on the motherboard or on its ports panel to clear the CMOS chip's BIOS settings The motherboard manufacturer MSI is familiar with the problems that are caused by overclocking.tomshardware. having installed the motherboard. so now it includes a CMOS erase button on many of its motherboards. The MSI MS-7522 motherboard of the company's X58 Platinum Series.. to clear the CMOS chip that holds them.If this is the case. use the SW2 (Clear CMOS Button) to clear data.com/reviews/. but the default BIOS settings will be loaded and used every time the computer boots. you just have to press the button and the BIOS will revert to using its default settings. The motherboard's manual will have diagrams that show where all of the different components. you would have to set the jumper setting to activate the BIOS. or you would have to reset any customised BIOS settings (you have enabled or disabled in preference to the default settings) every time the computer boots. With the CMOS RAM. you just have to plug the secondary chip into its socket in order to recover the BIOS. If you want to clear the system configuration. has a Clear CMOS Button on the motherboard's ports panel that shows at the back of the PC's case. jumpers. 64 FX. the system can automati. If that is the case. and those buttons are located. The following page provides illustrated information on how to reset the BIOS: http://www.cally boot OS every time it is turned on. Clear CMOS Button: SW2 There is a CMOS RAM [BIOS chip] on board that has a power supply from external battery to keep the system configuration data. a Socket AM2 board that runs AMD Athlon 64. An example of such a motherboard is the ECS KA3 MVP. connectors. The computer would boot if the CMOS jumper is set to clear the BIOS. It has a button on the motherboard next to the BIOS CMOS chip that you press to reset (clear) the BIOS so that it uses its default settings the next time the system is started up.. If you have enabled settings that prevent the system from booting. Some motherboards provide a secondary plug-in BIOS chip If you have a very recent motherboard. Here is what it says in the manual of a K9N Platinum motherboard. such as the K9N Platinum series.
The information provided is usually brief and inadequate. identify the motherboard's manufacturer and download a copy from its website for that make and model of board. If the information isn't provided in the PC's user manual.http://www. a brief description of the purpose of each setting is provided along with if it is the a default setting or one that can be enabled if the user chooses. the computer's motherboard has a jumper setting that can be set to clear the password(s). but that can't be done easily with laptop PCs because of their highly integrated designs. http://www. In fact. and read this thread for more information: Dell BIOS admin password removal . Instead. Is there any way onboard of re-setting the BIOS? Answer In a desktop PC. CmosPwd decrypts the password stored in CMOS BIOS chip used to access the BIOS Setup Program.htm How can I reset the password-protected BIOS in a Samsung R40Plus laptop PC? Question I have a Samsung R40Plus laptop PC running Vista Home Premium. The settings of each menu page are named.com/vb/topic18780. it is advisable not to attempt to reset the BIOS of a laptop. and want to replace it with Windows XP Professional.cgsecurity.usually has a section in it devoted to the BIOS settings. you would consult its user manual of its motherboard to locate the jumpers the pins of which are used to activate or reset the BIOS. . If you don't have a manual.techspot.How to reset the BIOS password If you've made use of the Set Supervisor Password and/or the Set User Password options and you forget the password(s). You have to consult the motherboard's manual to find out how to set the jumper.org/wiki/CmosPwd BIOS settings and information provided by the motherboard's manual Note that the motherboard manual . but the BIOS setup program is password-protected and the password is not mentioned anywhere in the documentation. or just want to disable having to enter one or both of them. How to reset the BIOS password in a Dell desktop PC Apparently it is difficult to reset the administrator/supervisor password in the BIOS of a Dell PC. ask Dell's technical support for information on how to do it.that comes with a new PC or can usually be downloaded from the motherboard manufacturer's website . make use of software that cracks the password.
Click here! to go directly to the BIOS-related sites listed on the first of the four Links pages on this site. on the motherboard).unrecognised device .Inadequate BIOS information has resulted in numerous BIOS websites aimed at meeting the need for more detailed information.Wim's BIOS Page. To make a note of it.x system. and most of them are reserved. This is usually done by removing unused devices (such as one or both of the COM ports) and disabling them in the BIOS. Using the BIOS ID number or free utilities to identify a motherboard "Many users don't know the name of their clone motherboard. This is because the company name is not mentioned anywhere (in the manual. The computer assigns a device or collection of devices (IRQ sharing) an IRQ line so that each device can request attention from the processor. you really have to know the motherboard manufacturer. Or you could make use of the Google search box provided at the top of this page to find them and many others. "Luckily each Award or AMI BIOS has a unique BIOS ID (= BIOS Number) which identifies the manufacturer and chipset of the board. use the Pause key to freeze the screen. If you want to view the 16 IRQ assignments in a Windows 9. Click here! to go directly to more hardware and software ID utilities on the second of the four Links pages on this site. For Award and AMI BIOSes. because if you take the wrong BIOS upgrade your system could stop booting. This will reassign the IRQs just once and then disable itself. and then have to find a way to free an IRQ line for the device." . disable the PnP OS setting and enable the Reset Configuration Data setting. when adding a device you may run into an IRQ problem. If you want to upgrade your BIOS. double-click the top Computer heading in your computer's Device Manager. Note that should you experience difficulties with the IRQ assignments of the devices that appear in the Device Manager. This string of numbers and letters also appears briefly at the bottom left side of the screen at start-up. Windows XP . this ID number appears under the heading Chipset above.0 memory stick . If you are having IRQ assignment problems with a device and you want the BIOS to configure the devices instead of Windows as a way around the problem. Luckily there are several excellent free utilities that you can download and run that identify a computer's hardware and software.USB 2. you can enable the Reset Configuration Data setting. Since there are only 16 IRQ lines available. Wim's BIOS Page has the information on how to decode BIOS ID numbers.
if possible.Problem You have purchased a USB 2. Answer A USB 2. flash it with the latest update.0 to just USB 1. But when the settings in the BIOS setup program are changed from USB 1. the stick works but very slowly.0 Enhanced Host Controller is present to show that USB 2. also known as a Flash Drive or Micro Vault.0 memory stick. when the stick is plugged into a computer running Windows XP Pro.1 + USB 2. it reports an unrecognised device.0 is installed. You should disable any Legacy USB setting in the BIOS and. . You have checked in the Device Manager to make sure that a USB 2. will function very slowly no matter which type of USB connection is used.1. However. These finger drives are naturally very slow devices.0 memory stick so that you can transfer files between several computers that run Windows XP without having to network them.
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