Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How to get into your BIOS and change settings

Sooner or later you will have to go into your computers bios and change certain settings and especially if you want to format your computer. The bios is the first piece of software on your computer before the operating system is installed. Without the BIOS you would not have a working computer.  The BIOS (basic input operating system) is a set of programs, which controls the PC hardware and is stored in a memory chip on the motherboard. The chip is a Read Only Memory (ROM) chip, which keeps its contents even when the power is off. When a computer is turned on, the CPU will execute all of the instructions in the BIOS, which are stored in the ROM. These instructions will then load the Operating System.

What is the main reason you would enter the BIOS?

The main reason I go in there is to set the boot sequence or boot order of the computer. This means that you tell the computer to boot up to C: drive (windows on the computer) or to a cd or dvd drive. For example you might want to boot to an operating system CD when you format your computer with windows XP. Different computer makes and models have different version and types of bios however they all have the common basics, but may call them different things. I do not know why they could not follow the same menu and features but don’t panic because they are similar.
How to access my computer BIOS?
To access any bios on any computer you must watch the startup screen on the computer. It will usually say “To enter setup press…….” Some common keys you may have to press are F1, F2, F10, or maybe the delete key. You must press this key when the startup screen is showing. There will be a message on the bottom of the screen flashing by saying “press ??? to enter setup.” If you miss this you have to restart again.

Tips to getting in your BIOS:

  1. Watch the screen when you are starting the computer. Be calm and don’t worry if the computer starts before you get to press the right key and the keyboard.
  2. Restart the computer and now that you know the key to press, have your finger on it ready to push when you see the details screen.

Some examples of different brands of bios software:

In the screen shot below you can see a Phoenix BIOS. You need to select the boot menu at the top, then get the CD rom to the top of the list you see there to make it the first boot device.
With the American Megatrends Bios, choose Boot from the top menu, then click on Boot Device Priority. Then you will see a list of devices and you need to make the cd or dvd drive the first priority. To adjust these settings you will see instructions on how to control your keyboard in the right column and also in the bottom bar.
Once you have entered the bios there will be a menu to choose from. Some Bios have Boot sequence as a menu item, but if they do not you have to find it under another menu name. As you can see the BIOS brands above have a boot menu. Once you have found what you are looking for, change the cd rom to be the first to boot to, then hard drive as the second. Save and Exit the bios. This is for when you format your computer. To change it back, repeat steps and change it to boot to hard drive 0.

NOTES on how to get into your BIOS and change settings:

  1. For tips on how to control, change, and save bios settings look at the bottom of the screen. It tells you which key to press.
  2. Do not change anything you are not sure of. Changing the settings can easily cause your computer to stop working or have major annoying problems.
  3. When you are not sure what you have done you can go in and choose to restore to system default settings. This is a good way to get out of trouble.
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