Friday, December 16, 2005

Upgrade Your BIOS

Every now and then computer/motherboard manufactures will release an upgrade to the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). The BIOS is a program that is loaded into your computer's memory when it is turned on so that it can load the OS from your hard drive. Motherboard manufactures upgrade the BIOS to fix problems and/or add new features.

To upgrade your motherboards BIOS (this process is know as 'Flashing'), you generally will have to download boot image for a floppy or CD which is use to flash the new software into your computer's BIOS. As a general rule of thumb, I would not recommend performing this upgrade unless you have to.

This operation does come with some risk, if you lose power or the upgrade program fails to complete the install properly you can disable your motherboard. Performing this operation should not be taken lightly because of the risks involved.

Since this operation will vary from motherboard manufacture to motherboard manufacture, below is a brief outline of what you should expect:
  • It is very important to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions and warnings. This information is generally contained in a file called 'README.TXT'.
  • Download the latest version of the BIOS from the manufacturer's web site. Note: it is recommended that if the BIOS flash utilities supports backing up the current BIOS that you utilize this feature.
  • It is also recommended that you download the current version of the BIOS that you have installed in your computer. This will give you an alternate method of recover if you need it.
  • Create the boot floppy or CD per the instructions, and reboot your computer with the new media that you just created. Remember to follow the installation instructions.
  • Once the upgrade is complete, remove the media and reboot your computer.
During the initial boot up of your computer, you should see the new version of the BIOS you just installed quickly display across your screen so look quick.

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