- What the BIOS Is and What It Does
- When a BIOS Update Is Necessary
- How BIOS Updates Are Performed
- Where BIOS Updates Come From
- Precautions to Take Before Updating a BIOS
- How to Recover from a Failed BIOS Update Procedure
- Plug-and-Play BIOS
- Other BIOS Troubleshooting Tips
- Soft BIOS CPU Speed and Multiplier Settings
- Determining Which BIOS You Have
- Determining the Motherboard Manufacturer for BIOS Upgrades
- Accessing the BIOS Setup Programs
- How the BIOS Reports Errors
- Microid Research Beep Codes
- Other BIOS and Motherboard Manufacturers' Beep and POST Codes
- Reading BIOS Error Codes
- BIOS Configuration Worksheet
Determining Which BIOS You Have
It's important to know which BIOS brand and version a computer has, for two reasons.
First, if a boot failure occurs, BIOS error codes, which vary by brand and model, can be used to help you find the cause of the problem and lead you to a solution.
Second, knowing which BIOS brand and version you have can enable you to get help from the BIOS or system vendor for certain chipset configuration issues.
To determine which BIOS you have, use the following methods:
Watch your system startup screen for information about the BIOS brand and version, such as Award BIOS v4.51PG.
Use a hardware test-and-reporting utility, such as AMIDiag, CheckIt, or others.
Note that the best source for machine-specific information about error codes and other BIOS issues is your system manufacturer. Major vendors such as IBM, Dell, Compaq, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, and others maintain excellent Web sites that list specific information for your system. However, if you are working with a white-box clone system made from generic components, BIOS-level information might be the best information you can get.
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By Cisco Networking Academy