What is a BIOS Update?

by Jerel Jacobs

After the operating system is loaded, the BIOS is referenced for instructions when the computer needs to interact with its internal components. Motherboard and computer manufacturers sometimes issue BIOS updates to increase performance, or to fix bugs in the BIOS code.

What It Is

BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System; the BIOS chip contains the instructions that are executed when the computer is first powered on.

History

The BIOS chip was pioneered for use on PC computers that originally used the MS-DOS system.

SIgnificance

The BIOS chip is an important part of the modern computer, containing the instructions used by the motherboard to interface with system components.

Updating The BIOS

A BIOS update, which alters the instructions contained on the BIOS chip, is available as a downloaded file from the Internet and also via compact disk. Check with your computer manufacturer for details.

When To Update

The BIOS may need to be updated if you wish to add a piece of hardware that was not originally supported by the motherboard (such as a significantly faster CPU), or if your computer is experiencing boot problems or performance issues.

Warning

Corrupting your BIOS file can render your computer unusable. If you are unsure of how to proceed, have your BIOS updated by a professional computer technician.