Without a Bios, your PC wouldn’t be able to start. Discover how it works
When a PC is first switched on there’s a short delay before the familiar Windows loading screen appears.
During this time, the PC may display a manufacturer’s logo or a series of messages but what exactly is happening behind the scenes?
The answer lies in a tiny but immensely important program called the Bios. This stands for Basic Input/Output System and, as the name implies, it deals with the PC at a very basic, yet fundamental, level.
The Bios is stored on a chip on the computer’s motherboard and, without it, the computer wouldn’t be able to start or load Windows. In this article we’ll reveal how to make changes to the Bios to improve your PC’s performance.
The role of the Bios
The first job for the Bios is to perform some checks and tests before it allocates resources and starts loading the operating system (typically Windows). It continues to play an important background role managing those resources even after Windows takes control.
It’s possible to change certain Bios settings to improve the PC’s security and performance. These settings are accessible from the Bios setup utility, a program that can be accessed after the computer has been switched on.
Look for a message inviting you to press a key to enter ‘Setup’ or the ‘Setup utility’. This key will be the Delete button or a function key such as F2 or F12 and pressing it will gain access to the Bios. You may have to tap the key a few times when the message appears before the Bios utility will open.
Be clear, the Bios setup utility is aimed at experienced computer users. As such, it’s not a place for novices to poke around and experiment. If you decide to proceed, always follow instructions carefully and to the letter.
Also bear in mind that tweaking the Bios is done at your own risk. If you are unsure about a setting, there is always the opportunity to quit without saving. The exact text for this option varies from computer to computer.
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