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Getting Support for Your BIOS

Although BIOSes are developed by just a handful of companies (IBM, Compaq, and Acer develop for their own systems, and Phoenix, AMI, and Award for others and for "clone" motherboards), each BIOS is unique to the motherboard it's matched with. Therefore, for specific help with your BIOS (errors, configuring, troubleshooting), your best bet is to go back to the system or motherboard maker.

The relationship of BIOS makers and motherboard makers is similar to the difference between standard and custom vans.

A standard van is sold by a dealer who is associated with the van maker. This is similar to the situation with Compaq, IBM, or Acer PCs: The same company makes both the PC and its BIOS.

A custom van has been modified from a "bare-bones" cargo van and sold by a third-party company. If you're having problems with the van, it's no longer the van that Ford or Daimler/Chrysler produced. You must go back to the custom van maker for help. This is the situation with Phoenix, AMI, and Award BIOSes; they have been modified by the system and motherboard makers. The BIOS makers' Web sites can provide general help, but not the specifics of your system, because the BIOS is no longer their product after it goes on a motherboard.

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