DETAILED ARTICLE ON BIOS AND ITS COMPONENTS.



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DETAILED ARTICLE ON BIOS AND ITS COMPONENTS

Today i am going to discuss something about bios( basic input output system).  So lets get started.

A computers basic input output system (bios) is a embedded software on a motherboard.  It is the first software a pc loads to use components such as cd drives, mouse keyboard practically the moment you turn it on.

The bios is responsible for controlling or managing low-level but extremely important process like  the power on self test.  It is the boot process and the interaction of components on the motherboard.

  the topic will help you to flash (update) you bios by taking right precautions and have a walk through each step.  Not all computers have the same bios manufacturer, let alone the same exact process,  but they all share steps and precautions.

UPGRADING THE SYSTEM BIOS

When the system was designed, the bios program code will work with all specific devices.  As the computer technology changes we need to update its capabilities .  Generally the bios dictate a system's capabilities.

For example, if the bios on the old pentium is aware of only an 8gb drive.  When we install 20 gb drive in the system,  it is required to upgrade the bios first so that the system knows how to refer to a drive of the size.

In the past, with older systems, you would upgrade the bios by completely replacing the bios chip.  Back then bios was stored on a rom (read only memory) chip which could not be written to .   In order to "rewrite" the code, you are required to replace the entire chip.

Todays system uses a modified version of rom chip, an eeprom chip.  To upgrade the program code on an eeprom chip, you do not need to replace the chip physically.  You just run a software program that is designed to rewrite the program code.

To upgrade the bios , you need to get the upgrade program from the manufacturer.  You can usually find the program on manufacturers web site(and it is usually downloadable ) or you may be able to order a cd from the manufacturer.  Be sure to follow the manufacturers directions on how to apply the update to your bios.  If you decide to perform a bios upgrade, consider the following caution:

IDENTIFYING THE CURRENT BIOS VERSION

The easiest way to find the bios version is to find the bios version is to open up the system information app in windows - type msinfo32 into the search bar (for windows 7/ vista) or the run box(xp) , and click system summary , the bios version should now show up on the right under your processor speed.  Record your version number.

CHECKING THE PC/ MOTHERBOARD MANUFACTURERS WEBSITE FOR BIOS UPDATES - 


Most pc manufaturers handle bios updates based on your specific line and model, so read the manufacturers support page and check its listing for your pc because if you downloadand install bios intended for a different model, your pc probably won’t work. 

If there isa bios update file available, grab it along with any documentation it comes with because often warnings and specific instructions are considered in the read me docs.  For the assembled pc, you need to look for bios updates from your motherboard manufacturers website.

  If you do not your motherboard model number you can look it up without opening up the case by downloading and running cpu-z and clicking on the mainboard tab.

READING THE INCLUDED DOCUMENTATION –

The bios updaters read me file will most likely include a list of fixes and new functions often to support new hardware.

UPDATE YOUR BIOS :

Most new pcs have a fairly easy bios update procdure.  You need to download the .exe file from the pcs manufactureres website, quit all open programs, run the .exe file it will handle the patch; then reboot.

In older pcs, you need to set up your own bootable disk to update the bios yourself.  You might still be able to download an app that configures usb thumb drive, blank cd/dvd , or even a floppy disk so that you can boot off of it to update the bios , or an iso image file that can be used in your disk burining app of choice (if you don’t have such an app, try iso reader for windows xp or the version of windows7 /vista) to create a bios update cd.

Other system will have you a copy a few files to your bootable disk,  restart and open up the bios during startup (typically by pressing a specified key of setup options), and chnge the boot order so your system looks for a bootable usb drive or cd before loading the os from your hard drive.

BIOS COMPONENTS :

At startup,  the bios will attempt to detect the devices and components at its disposal.  The information that it gathers, along with the current state of the components, will be available for review in the bios settings.  Some of the components and the types of information available with respect to these devices and components are covered in this section.  You can view and adjust a computers base-level through the cmos setup program, which you access by pressing a certain key at startup such as f1 or delete (depending on the system).  The most common settings to adjust in cmos include port settings (parallel, serial, usb), drive types, boot sequence, date and time, and virus/security protections.  The variable settings that are made through the cmos setup program are stored in nvram, while the base instructions that cannot be changed( the bios ) are stored on an eeprom chip.

RAM –

Most systems today detect the am amount and speed automatically.  Some motherboards can use different types of ram, such as parity and non-parity or different speeds and the cmos setup program may provide the opportunity to change the settings.  However, ram settings are becoming a read only part of cmos setup programs, as the system will detect additional memory added or a change in memory type.  This does not preclude you from ensuring you are installing the correct type of memory for the system.

HARD DRIVE :

Some cmos setup programs have a feature that polls the ide channels and provides information about the ide devices attached to them.  You can use this feature to gather the settings for a hard disk.

  however, most hard disks these days are fully plug and play, so they automatically report themselves to the cmos setup.  Hard drives can be auto detected by most systems if the setttings is set to auto.

 the settings detected may include the drives capacity; its geometry cylinders, heads and sectors (chs); and its preferred pio(program input output), direct memory access (dma), or ultra dma operating mode. 

You can also configure a harddrive by entering its chs volume manually , but doing so is almost never necessary anymore.  Chs is also called the drive geometry, because together these three numbers determing how much data the disk can hold.  Most cmos setup programs are able to automatically detect the chs volumes.

OPTICAL DRIVE

Optical drives, such as cd, cd-r cd-rw and dvd players, are also detected and reported by the bios.  You can even set the computer to boot from one of these drives if desired.

THANK YOU FOR READING



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