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Maila Cas | CompTIA A+ | Module 1.1 - Configure and apply BIOS Settings

By: Maila Cas | Related Course: CompTIA A+ | Published: June 15, 2016 | Modified: June 15, 2016
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NotepadBIOS 1

BIOS = Basic Input Output System – allows computer to understand command and work through problem solving. We use it to turn on the computer and select an operating system.

BIOS is located in the motherboard. A small chip on the motherboard which we can load software onto which is called firmware.

Firmware is a single piece of software which directly controls a piece of hardware which is the BIOS. It’s complicated to update the firmware.

Correct way to UPDATE/FLASH our BIOS:

1. Determine Current Version of BIOS – For windows: commands –MSINFO32 and DXDIAG

2. Find correct update – download current BIOS version and new BIOS version. – let’s say we update the BIOS with the new version. But when you turn it on again, it has more bugginess and a lot slower before we updated it. We can just flash it back to the older version.

3. Secure power source – if we’re in a middle of flashing our BIOS and we experience power outage, that’s gonna corrupt the firmware on our BIOS.

The best thing to do is:

Desktop – we want to have backup battery power. Plug it into a secondary power source – UPS – Uninterruptible Power Supply. 

Laptops – they come in with built-in battery packs.

4. Install BIOS – Flashing BIOS – go to manufacturer’s recommended steps;

NotepadBIOS: Component Information

CMOS Battery – Complemetary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor – provides constant power to CMOS memory

CMOS Memory – works in conjunction with the actual BIOS.

What does the BIOS do except turning on computer and OS?

-can give us component information on the different parts of the inside of our computer.

How do we get in on the BIOS?

1. Hit F2 key as the computer starts up. (different for every model.)

What type of information will it give us?

1. RAM – how much is installed, available, which slots on the motherboard are used and open. 

2. Hard Drive – will tell us if we just have one installed, where on the motherboard is attached.

3. Optical Drive – CD Drives, Blu-ray Players

4. CPU – Central Processing Unit – willgive us info on manufacturer, type of CPU, speed/cashing rates


BIOS gives us the ability to configure these components.

BOOT Configuration: The order where we want our computer to startup from.

Let’s assume we have a desktop with windows 8. It is typically gonna startup with windows 8 (without any interference from us.

1. Hard drive 

*let’s say we don’t want windows 8 and want Linux instead. We’re gonna install it and we have a CD for ubuntu. But we’re still getting our windows 8 on startup because of the hard drive…so even when we put a CD in there, it will still boot from the hard drive because it is the first in the order.

We can switch HARD DRIVE, CD, USB, PXE.

PXE booting is known as network booting. You are trying to connect a computer to a network to reimage it from a server that hosts imaging files. This PXE booting may be disabled and we need to go to the BIOS to turn it on and make it the first in Boot Order.


Enabling and Disabling Devices

-I/O Devices

-change WOL or Wake On Lan. – let’s say we need to access a computer which is turned off. Enable wake on lan in order to remotely tell that computer to wake up, even if it’s turned off. If it’s connected into the power and has an ethernet cable going into it and WOL is enabled.


-CPU Clock Speed: Don’t adjust too much unless you’re interested in overclocking; this can result to overheating issues. this is for intensive using, gaming users for faster processing needs. This needs a lot of research though. We can have faster CPU Clock Speeds but without proper ventilation it will turn off every 2 seconds.

-Virtualizations – programs and applications that allow you to host multiple computers in one computer. if you have virtualization support turned off, you can’t run those virtual boxes inside your computer. We can’t turn it on from the OS so we have to go inside the BIOS to turn that on.

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