A+ Certification 220-801 01 Bios Upgrades

Robert Ramstetter By Robert Ramstetter, 15th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2blirol8/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>Computer Hardware

This is the first part of a study guide for the Comptia A+ certification. It discusses procedures and best practices for performing a BIOS upgrade on your computer.

BIOS instructs your computer on how to boot and manage data flow.

The BIOS is the programming code that provides instructions for a particular piece of hardware. It can be on the computer’s motherboard, or a video card, or the main board of a printer. The BIOS (which is an acronym for Basic Input/Output System) is the code that handles the device’s startup and manages data flow.

The firmware is the code in which the BIOS is written. It is usually contained either in ROM (Read Only Memory) or in flash memory. In either case, the retention of the memory is not power supply dependent. It will keep its settings even if all power is removed from the device. It is in this method that your computer settings will not change even after it has been sitting unplugged for an extended period of time.

The system BIOS on a computer is accessed in a variety of ways after a system POST, depending on the manufacturer. It may be accessed by pressing the <del> key, the <esc> key, or by one of several function keys. If you need to access the BIOS and do not know how, a web search of the manufacturer’s motherboard will likely provide the answer that you need.

Updates and Upgrades are Necessary at Times

The manufacturer will occasionally provide BIOS updates. These are produced in order to correct bugs with the system or to add or improve functionality. Expert opinions vary as to the frequency that BIOS updates should be performed. While it may be considered prudent to keep everything on a particular system updated to the latest and greatest, it is usually best practice to update your BIOS only if you are experiencing a problem. If you are installing a new operating system, it would be good practice to update the BIOS firmware then. Updating the BIOS can occasionally fail, and your system could be rendered inaccessible by corrupt firmware, so you may not want to implement BIOS upgrades or updates as part of your regular maintenance routine.

There are two ways to upgrade the BIOS on your computer. The first and easiest is to do so from within Windows. Most BIOS updates are in an executable form, once they are unzipped. The other way, which is mostly for older computers, is to run the update from within the BIOS page itself. The manufacturer's website will have directions for their particular update.

Following the Manufacturer's Instructions is Absolutely Critical

When performing a BIOS upgrade, the most important thing to remember is that, once it has begun, it cannot be interrupted. This means that the computer cannot be turned off for any reason, including a power outage. It is imperative that you ensure that you have the most reliable power source possible. If the process is interrupted, the BIOS will be corrupt and it is unlikely that it can be recovered. Remember, the BIOS contains the boot instructions and without it, the device will not know how to boot.

It is also advised that, when you download your BIOS update, to also download the current version’s BIOS. If the update causes problems, You can always revert back to the original configuration.
A BIOS update can be safely performed, if deemed necessary, as long as you follow a few simple rules. Above all, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and make sure you follow them precisely.


A Certification, Bios, Comptia, Computer, Hardware

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author avatar Robert Ramstetter
Robert Ramstetter is a world traveler and writer of short stories, full length novels, and a vast array of technical articles.

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author avatar Carol Roach
17th Apr 2015 (#)

good article thanks

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