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What is... the BIOS?


Autoconfiguration of the BIOS

This paragraph comprises diverse options that are provided to facilitate the configuration of the BIOS, of which the most common are:

  • PRAISE BIOS DEFAULTS: it loads a series of values for defect with small or void optimization, generally useful to return to a position of sure game and to solve problems observed on having started.
  • PRAISE SYSTEM DEFAULTS: an option which effects change of a few BIOS to others. In a few cases it loads a few values for defect insurances (as PRAISE BIOS DEFAULTS), in others it loads a few already optimized values to obtain a suitable yield, or even can serve to load the last series of values kept by the user.
  • PRAISE TURBOCHARGER DEFAULTS: it loads the values that he considers ideal to increase the yield.

In any case, it must be born in mind that the changes are not usually do not kept automatically, but they must be confirmed on having gone out of the BIOS.


Other utilities

The BIOS can still do more things, depending on the model in particular; some of the most usual are next.

Autodetection of hard disks IDE

This option allows to detect the hard disks that are connected to the system, as well as his configuration. It turns out to be very useful to simplify the task of installing a new disc, as well as when the information of the disc is not finished or does not seem to work in our BIOS.

Pantallazo showing the screen "IDE HDD Autodetection" of a classic BIOS

His use is the simplest: one enters this menu and there is detecting each of four possible devices IDE to itself. Aim at the options that him should appear and try to use them; remember to use the way LBA for discs of more than 528 MB.

Bear in mind that often only for entering this utility there falter automatically the values of configuration of the disc, so, after going out of her, he verifies if the changes correspond to those that he wanted to realize.

Control for password

Namely for an access key in the shape of secret word that only you know. Bear in mind that if he forgets it one will see in serious problems, up to the point of having to erase the whole BIOS to be able to use the computer again, so aim at it in some sure place.

One is usually able to select, well in a specific menu or in the BIOS Features, between having to introduce the key whenever the computer is started or only when information of the BIOS is going to change. The first thing the ideal method is for safety, and also it is free; the second thing is useful when the inexpert people but big mitts have access to the computer (for example, his sobrinito the tocalotodo).

Hard disk formatting at low level

Or, in English, HDD Low Level Format. It is a question of a formatting much more intense than the normal one; not only it eliminates the information, but it reorganizes the proper structure of the disc. Generally only it must be used when the disc is failing very often or has been infected by a tremendously resistant virus, and nevertheless it does not turn out to be advisable.

If it will be hard, that to realize it: be usually a motive of loss of the guarantee of the hard disk! Anyway, if it dares, arm with the information of configuration of the disc (cylinders, heads...) and pray for not having to interrupt it for anything of the world, included light cuts.


No, do not believe that with this option it will be able to save itself buying one of these programs antiviruses so sadly necessary in the PCs. In fact, the only thing that usually does this option (that sometimes has a proper menu and in others is included under the Standard Setup, perhaps with the name of Virus Warning) is not to allow to write itself on the table of divisions or the sector of starter of the hard disk, only well during the starter or in any moment, depending on the concrete BIOS model.

The idea is to prevent a virus from destroying the hard disk without giving him opportunity to load a starter diskette with an antivirus to disinfect the system; the infection will not prevent, but a measurement is more safety and free. Certainly, it can be necessary to disable this option during the installation of the operating system or on having formatted the hard disk, do not be that the BIOS believe that it is a question of a viral attack.


To go out of the BIOS

Since it is simple, but let's check it for those who do not understand English by no means. Generally two options exist:

  • Save and Exit Setup: or Write to CMOS and Exit or something similar; since that, to record the changes and to go out, with which the team is begun again. Should he ask him for assertion, in the shape of "Y/N?" (Yes or Not).
  • Exit Without Saving: or Do Not Write to CMOS and Exit or Discard Changes and Exit or similar; the opposite, to go out without recording the changes. Also he should ask for assertion.


To update the BIOS

The BIOS handles topics as critical as the support of one or another microprocessor; also, as program that is, is not exempt from mistakes and is checked periodically to eliminate them or to add new functions.

Formerly, the only way of updating a BIOS was to extract the BIOS chip and to replace it with other, which I do not recommend it to anybody, both for the possible incompatibilities and for the delicate and expensive of the operation.

Nowadays there has appeared BIOS that can modify with a simple program software; they are named Flash-BIOS, and there are no contemptible invention. What is more, the existence of one of this BIOS or it should not be a weight argument at the time of buying a motherboard, at least between the computer handymen. Bear in mind that to support a record of updated BIOS is a service that only the big manufacturers of basic badges offer... and nevertheless not always it is possible to find the necessary update.

Be going to Update the BIOS to know the concrete steps to be continued; of course, I warn him that he will have to make sure that the update operation is not interrupted by anything of the world, so nothing of does multitask, to put hurry or to touch the keyboard while it is updated; there are a few seconds, but of critical importance. Does it foresee what day of the year is going to jump the light? Really, I joust when I am updating his BIOS.


The BIOS and the battery


As we said, the battery preserves the information of the BIOS when the computer is subdued. It lasts very much (approximately three years of average), but in the end it becomes exhausted. To change it, aim at all the information of the BIOS, disconnect everything and replace it with the equal one, or with an external bundle of batteries that get connected to a jumper (a microswitch) of the motherboard; it should find both things in electronics shops.

Later connect everything, start the computer, between in the BIOS and re-introduce all the information, since they will have resigned. One imagines if did not have a written copy what adventure? It happened to me years ago, and I had not left any more remedy to be learned on BIOS... well, every cloud has a silver lining.


How does the password of the BIOS to to skip

No, it is not a question of doing illegalities in foreign computers, it is a question of knowing what to do if the sudden one suffers amnesia or if the BIOS brings an already introduced password; for example, a BIOS against which I fought once had as password for defect "AMI", the name of his manufacturer. Also, in second-hand computers it happens not seldom.

The methods are small; really the only one, and very radical: to erase the entire BIOS. For it three forms exist:

  • For software type "hacker": some programs specialize in destroying BIOS, and if it is lucky perhaps even say to him what the password is without having to erase the BIOS. Look in the "low funds" of Internet...: and be careful with these programs and with the possible viruses!
  • By means of a jumper in the motherboard: in someone, not all, a jumper exists that on having closed (after both sideburns to get connected), and after a few minutes of waiting, it allows to erase the BIOS cleanly.
  • Disconnecting the battery: drastic, brutal, but absolutely effective.

Anyway, be as it is, remember to have his copy in role of the BIOS and of the password not to have to go to these extremes.

CONGRATULATIONS! If it has come so far, now he is the whole guru of the BIOS. But since not everything was going to be here, to extend knowledge I recommend to him to visit the linkage indicated in the column of the left.

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