How to Set BIOS & Video RAM on a HP Pavilion

by Andrew Aarons
motherboard image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com

Changing the amount of video RAM on your system is usually necessary only after the installation of a new video card. It's a good idea to flash (or update) your BIOS after installing new hardware to ensure maximum compatibility, but consider that a second step. The BIOS on most HP Pavilion computers allows you a bit of flexibility with regard to your video settings and the amount of available video cache; if you can't adjust these settings to your preference, you'll need to update the BIOS to the most recent version.

Changing Video RAM

Step 1

Turn off your system. Turn it back on, pressing "F2" repeatedly as soon as you've hit the power button. This will give you access to the BIOS on an HP system built before 2006; if you've updated the motherboard on your system or changed the processor you'll need to visit the manufacturer's website or check the reference material that came included to find the BIOS entry key.

Step 2

Press the right-arrow key to access the Advanced menu of your BIOS setup program. Press the down-arrow key to scroll through the menu until Video Memory is highlighted. Then hit the "Enter" key to access the sub-menu. Highlight the value you wish to use and press "Enter" again to accept the change.

Press the "F5" key to save your settings and exit. The computer will reboot and apply the new video memory settings.

Updating the BIOS

Step 1

Visit HP Support and download the HP Pavilion BIOS update program (see Resources). Not all versions of the original BIOS for Pavilions included a video memory option, so you'll need to update the BIOS to add the option. If you've just put in a new video card, a BIOS update is recommended. Choose your model from the HP support page and type "BIOS update" into the search bar. Click the link to download the BIOS update file.

Step 2

Insert a floppy disk into your Pavilion's drive. Open My Computer. Right-click the floppy drive (A:) and choose Format from the menu. Click the check box beside Copy System Files Only and then click "OK."

Step 3

Locate the downloaded BIOS utility self-extracting file. Double-click it and click to accept the terms of the license agreement. The program copies all the necessary files to the floppy drive.

Leave the floppy disk in the drive and reboot your computer. The system automatically looks to the floppy for boot files and the flash BIOS utility program will run. Make sure the BIOS program matches your system ID and press "Y" to begin. After installation completes, eject the floppy disk before the computer reboots. A checksum error message will appear. Press "F1" to enter the BIOS program, then press "F5" to restore defaults. Press "F10" to save and exit, then reboot. You can now access the BIOS at any time and change your video memory as outlined in Section 1.

Items you will need

  • Blank, formatted floppy disk (for BIOS flash)

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