Additional information and help with BIOS updates
Notice: This page is a reference point and a help section regarding BIOS updates. Computer Hope cannot and will not provide users with BIOS updates. This task must be handled directly through the computer or motherboard manufacturer. See the motherboard drivers section for a listing of computer motherboard manufacturer driver and BIOS update pages or our support section for computer manufacturers.
Unlike earlier computers that date before 1996, new computers have a Flash BIOS, which enables users to update the BIOS chip on the motherboard using a software program. These programs have the capability of correcting problems that may be occurring with your computer hardware. These fixes can include, but are not limited to, the below corrections.
- Add the capability of adding new hardware to the computer.
- Additional options or corrections to the BIOS setup screen.
- Correcting issues with incompatibility with hardware.
- Update hardware capacity and capabilities.
- Missing information or instructions.
- Update to the startup logo.
- Older computers that need an update for the Year 2000 issue.
BIOS updates can be a costly mistake if all of the proper information and steps are known by the user before updated. Updating the BIOS improperly or with the wrong BIOS may cause your system to not boot. The steps below are steps that should be taken before upgrading your computer BIOS.
- Only obtain the BIOS update from the computer manufacturer or motherboard manufacturer.
- Do not shut off or reboot the computer until the BIOS instructs you to do so.
- Verify that the BIOS you have been instructed to use or the one that you are downloading resolves a problem you have. Remember that BIOS updates only fix hardware issues and will not fix software issues, unless that software is directly related to the hardware.
- Verify the BIOS version and make sure that the BIOS update you plan on using is the next version. For example, if your BIOS is 1.0a, and the manufacturer has 1.0b, 1.0c, 1.0d, etc. You should be updating to 1.0b. If you need 1.0d, update to 1.0b, 1.0c, and then 1.0d unless otherwise instructed by your computer or motherboard manufacturer.
- Verify that the computer has been scanned for viruses. It is possible for a virus to cause a BIOS update to abort or fail.
- If you are updating a laptop BIOS, make sure the AC adapter is connected.
- Finally, when upgrading a BIOS, read all disclaimers and other instructions included with the download. Many computer manufacturers void warranties if the update is done by a user without the assistance of a technician or company representative. If the BIOS causes any difficulty with the computer, you may be held responsible.
How do I download a BIOS update without a working computer?
If your computer cannot connect to the Internet to download a BIOS update, use another computer to create a BIOS update diskette.
Where can I find the BIOS version for the motherboard I'm using?
The BIOS version is often displayed when the computer is first booting. If necessary, you can press the PAUSE key on the keyboard to halt the boot process and view the messages as the computer is booting. If you are unable to see the BIOS version during the boot sequence, this information can be found in the CMOS setup.
Finally, if after following the above suggestions, you still cannot determine the BIOS version, review the motherboard manufacturers web page for additional suggestions. Some companies include utilities with the BIOS update that can detect or display the BIOS version.
How do I install my BIOS update?
Note: All BIOS updates are different, so the instructions below may not apply to your BIOS update.
- BIOS updates that are downloadable from the Internet create a diskette, disc, USB flash drive, or install the BIOS update in Windows.
In the case of a diskette, disc, or bootable USB flash drive rebooting the computer with the diskette, disc, or drive in the computer will start the update automatically.
With an update done through Windows, after the BIOS update has been completed, the computer should restart to finish the BIOS update.
- Similar to the above diskette-based BIOS update, some computers are set up by booting from a floppy diskette and running the command "install" or "update" from the command line.