- 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
How BIOS Updates Are Performed
Two different ways of updating a motherboard BIOS are available.
Replacing the physical BIOS chipWith older systems, a physical chip swap (also called a BIOS chip upgrade) is necessary. The original BIOS chip is removed, and a new BIOS chip is inserted in its place. The new BIOS must be customized to match the old system's motherboard and chipset, use its existing CPU, and provide the enhanced features specified by the upgrade BIOS manufacturer. The typical cost range is around $30$60 for a single BIOS chip.
Performing a flash upgradeWith newer systems that have a flash-upgradeable BIOS, the update software is downloaded and installed onto a disk, which is used to boot the computer. Then the new BIOS code is copied to the BIOS chip in a process that takes about 35 minutes. If the BIOS update comes from a source other than the original system or motherboard maker, it will also cost as much as $60 for the update.
In either case, the system might need to be reconfigured, especially if the new BIOS was physically installed or if either a chip-based or flash-based BIOS is a different brand of BIOS than the original.