Sunday, August 7, 2011


Steps To Safely Modifying Your Computer's BIOS Settings

The operating system is often regarded as the most important built-in program present on a computer during its manufacturing process. But in reality, there is one program that is pre-loaded on the machine, during its manufacturing process and that is the BIOS. To learn how to access this program to change certain computer settings, scroll below.

What happens when you turn on your PC? Lights come on the keyboard and monitor, the computer's brand logo may appear on the screen, then the operating system loading message appears. This is all occurring on screen, but in the background, your computer is actually powering on and preparing its external and internal parts. Many assume the Operating System (OS) is the first program a computer loads and operates on but the actual start-up program is the BIOS.

Warning: Accessing the BIOS of a computer's system can be done to change certain basic computer settings and workings, but should be carried out with caution.

Once you have actually accessed the BIOS and are facing the lovely light blue screen, here's a word of caution; fiddling with BIOS settings is not for novices or the ill-informed. One of the best practice while modifying BIOS settings is, to write down what you are changing, in case you need to go back and re-change it. Use the arrow keys and function keys to navigate and select options within the menu.

BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System, which is inbuilt in every PC during manufacturing and is loaded, run and executed when you press the power ON button of your PC. The BIOS is a sort of firmware interface for a computer.

Different components, such as pen drives, graphics card, keyboard and mouse and disc drives attached to a computer, need to be initialized and identified to the computer. The BIOS does this in the form of a check-list ("turn USB ports on", done) and this procedure is known as POST (power-on self-test).

The operating system itself is a software program, which needs to be loaded and executed. This too is performed by the BIOS, which locates the OS program on the computer's hard disk and runs the program. One needs to enter the BIOS interface to change various system-level settings, such as changing the system clock, changing the boot up drive and managing memory. Listed below are the steps on how to access the computer's BIOS setup.

Steps To Get Into Your Computer's BIOS:

If your BIOS is password protected, watch the below video to know how to by pass the BIOS password.

By-Pass BIOS Password

There are proprietary access keys to enter the BIOS screen, based on the brand of the computer. Some computer systems and their BIOS access shortcuts are:

  • Acer: F1, F2, CTRL+ALT+ESC
  • Compaq : F10 (newer), F1, F2, DEL (older models)
  • Dell 400 : F3, F1
  • Dell 4400 : F12
  • Dell Inspiron : F2
  • Dell Latitude : Fn+F1, Fn+ESC
  • Gateway 2000 : F1
  • Hewlett-Packard (HP) : F1, F2, ESC (for laptops)
  • IBM : F1, F2 (E-pro laptop)
  • Micron : F1, F2, DEL
  • Packard Bell : F1, F2, DEL
  • Sharp : F2
  • Sony VAIO : F2
  • Toshiba 335CDS : ESC
  • Toshiba Portégé : ESC
  • Toshiba Satellite : F1
  • Toshiba Tecra : F1 or ESC

The above mentioned access keys may differ from computer to computer, so always verify the information prior to usage. The correct access keys are provided as a part of the computer's documentation. bench3 does not assume any responsibility for any issues that could occur by using the above information.

The BIOS is a rather sensitive part of your computer's internal makeup, so pressing a lot of keys at the boot up screen is not a good idea, unless you know what you are doing. So do not press any or all keys in tandem or with force to enter your computer's BIOS. Instead, refer to your computer's manual and look for System Settings or similar headings to find the correct BIOS key. You can even search online using your computer's model number and make.

The vast majority of PC motherboard suppliers license a BIOS "core" and toolkit from a commercial third-party, known as an "independent BIOS vendor" or IBV. The motherboard manufacturer then customizes this BIOS to suit its own hardware. For this reason, updated BIOSes are normally obtained directly from the motherboard manufacturer.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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