A+ Certification 220-801 03 Working with Your BIOS Settings

Robert Ramstetter By Robert Ramstetter, 3rd May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1g9-z5m3/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>Computer Hardware

This article describes some of the settings that you can change in your system's BIOS. It also enumerates some best practices for the novice and some of the safety and security features that can be configured.

You could end up with a non-functioning machine if you make inproper configuration settings.

Making changes to your system BIOS can be tricky, and you could end up with a non-functioning machine if you configure something improperly. Fortunately, there is often, depending on the BIOS manufacturer, a reset feature that will allow you to revert to the default settings. This will at least get your system up and running, although it may not be at optimal performance.
Depending on the manufacturer, you may find a brief explanation of each setting somewhere within the BIOS. As you highlight one section, the description will appear either on the right side of the screen or at the bottom. This can give you some clues as to what that particular function is. Once again, if you need to tweak some settings because your device is not functioning correctly, I recommend changing one thing at a time and booting the system after you make the change. If you make too many changes, it may be difficult to trace your steps back to the original state. In that case, instead of resolving one problem, you still have to deal with your original problem plus the additional problems that you just created.

It is usually advisable to set your BIOS configuration to auto-detect your device.

For best practices, it is usually advisable to set your BIOS configuration to auto-detect your devices, such as RAM, video, hard drive, etc. That way, you are sure that it is always set to the correct device specifications. Also, if you change hardware, such as adding additional RAM or swapping out a hard drive, you will not have to reconfigure your BIOS settings each time.

From within BIOS, you can set up some security for your system.

From within BIOS, you can set up some security for your system. There are usually two security settings. One is to password protect access to the BIOS settings. This is useful in a high security environment where you may want to block anyone’s ability to connect a flash drive to the computer. In high security settings where data is strictly confidential, it would help prevent data from being copied and leaked to an outside source.
Another security setting in BIOS is the system boot setting. With this setting, you can prevent your operating system from booting without a proper password. Although the log in settings for Windows, MAc and Linux will keep unauthorized users from gaining access, the BIOS setting provides an additional layer of protection. Since BIOS can be reset by removing the computer’s cover, many PC manufacturers will equip their hardware towers or boxes so a physical lock can be added to prevent access to the internal motherboard.
If you would like to experiment with BIOS settings, but are concerned that you could mess up your computer, there is a free download from Microsoft that comes in handy. It is called Microsoft Virtual PC. It works with Windows 7 and higher and it allows you to install a virtual system on your machine from within your Windows operating system. From this, you can access BIOS settings and make any changes that you wish without fear of causing a disruption with your actual system.

Special care must be taken with any changes that you make.

There are many things that you can do to configure your hardware settings in BIOS, but special care must be taken to insure you do not cause any operating problems.

Photo: flickr.com

Test Study Hint:

You may see an exam question asking how to set up a password that prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to BIOS. You should know, if you poked around in BIOS, that the password to boot into the operating system is called the user password. Logically, a higher-user password would prevent access to BIOS, but there may be two similar possibilities on the exam. One may be "Supervisor", while the other may be "Administrator". Which do you think is correct? See if you can figure it out before looking up the answer. Then, verify your answer by rebooting your own computer and accessing BIOS. Which option would prevent you from accessing BIOS? Please post your answer in the comments section.


A Certification, Bios, Comptia, Computers, Hardware, Windows

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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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