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Your PC: BIOS Configurations and Upgrades

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PC repair guru Scott Mueller tells you what your computer's BIOS chip is and what it does. Then he teaches you how to know if you need an upgrade, and how to do it.
This chapter is from the book

What the BIOS Is and What It Does

The ROM (read only memory) BIOS (basic input/output system) chip on the computer's motherboard is designed to provide the essential interfacing between hardware (such as drives, the clock, the CPU, the chipset, ports, and video) and software (the operating system). Although video, some SCSI, and a few IDE add-on cards might also have BIOS chips that help manage those devices, whenever we refer to the computer's BIOS chip, we mean the one on the motherboard. The BIOS chip is often referred to as the ROM BIOS because, in its traditional form, it was a read-only memory chip with contents that could not be changed. Later versions could be reprogrammed with an EPROM programmer, and, beginning in the mid-1990s, BIOSes using flash memory (flash BIOS) began to appear. Flash BIOSes can be reprogrammed through software, and virtually all BIOSes on Pentium-class machines and beyond are flash-upgradeable.

Regardless of its form, the BIOS chip on the motherboard is also known as the system BIOS.

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