How to Maintain a PC’s BIOS

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How to Maintain a PC’s BIOS

In this chapter we will explain the function of the BIOS, describe the CMOS setup utility, describe ROM options, troubleshoot POST, and learn how to properly maintain your BIOS and CMOS.

BIOS stands for Basic Input Output Services cannot easily be erased and is stored even when the device is not powered. This is important in starting up your computer and loading your operating system.

The Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS maintains accurate date and time. This device is kept alive by battery and can be customized through BIOS settings.

Option ROM refers to loading your own BIOS data on an external device. This could mean using a device to install a new operating system or running an operating system on an external device.

The Power-on self-test, or POST, is a way for the computer to determine if all the components of the computer are working together. If a component is not working, POST sends an error and halts the process, typically producing a code for each type of error via audible beeps. Text errors are more useful than these beep codes. POST cards can be used to monitor the POST process when identifying faulty components. POST issues help to identify hardware issues.

When booting, the first thing that occurs is your power supply checking for voltage and turning on. After this, your ROM begins the POST process. After POST, the ROM boots an operating system by reading your CMOS settings. You can boot from your hard drive or any other memory device in your computer. Some computers can boot from network storage via a preboot execution environment or PXE boot.

BIOS and CMOS are crucial for a healthy PC. A PC may experience errors from issues with power that cause problems with CMOS. If you are experiencing issues with your CMOS, try replacing the battery on your PC or troubleshooting.

The BIOS operates on flash ROM, which involves flashing the BIOS with the BIOS file from an external device. Never remove a device during flashing, and only flash your BIOS if it is completely necessary.

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