BIOS - Basic Input Output System


BIOS is built-in software that runs by the computer when it powering on. BIOS was invented by Gary Kildall and first appeared in the CP/M operating system in 1975.
This program is usually stored in motherboard ROM and it stores information about the computer hardware. In the computer starting time the BIOS loads configuration data into the main memory and performs a routine hardware diagnostic test, this test is called POST (Power on Self-Test). POST will produce beep sound when it found any error or malfunctions.
POST Beep Codes - CompTIA A+
Beep Code
Error Type
Steady, Short Beeps
Power Supply may be bad
Long continuous beep tone
Memory failure
Steady, long beeps
Power Supply may be bad
No beep
Power supply bad, the system not plugged in, or power not turned on
No beep
Some issue with the 'beeper' itself.
One long, two short beeps
Video card failure

Functions of BIOS
The main function of the BIOS is to initialize and test all hardware components attach to the computer and load the part of the operating system. BIOS also provides a medium that facilitates the application programs and operating system to interact with the keyboard, display and other I/O devices.

The following are the list of activities performed by BIOS:

BIOS handles the power management and initialize registers.
It checks and loads the device drivers and interrupts handlers to the RAM.
It is used to display system settings.
BIOS specifies the devices that are Bootable.
BIOS initializes the Bootstrap sequence.
CPU - Central Processing Unit
CPU Ratio
This option is used to overclock the CPU. It allows changing the frequency multiplier of the processor.
CPU Voltage
Processor over clocking requires higher voltage this will help to little adjustment.
Host Clock / PCIe Clock
This is used for adjusting the processor's onboard PCI Express controller frequency. It will help to improve some graphics performance.
C#State Options
These are processor power levels. It is useful to turn off when attempting extreme overclock to keep the processor from switching power states.
x86 Virtualization
This option will help to enable Virtualization Technology in the computer. We need to understand BIOS instruction to configuring this option correctly because this option may change as per the vendor. (In Intel- VT-x, AMD - AMD-V).
Graphics: These options are normally for switching the graphics adapter from primary to secondary and also can change the memory of the adapter.
Onboard Peripherals: This option is used to configure the onboard peripheral features.
E.g. enable front panel audio
Memory – Internal and External
Memory Frequency
This option will help to change the operating frequency of the memory. Better to use the same frequency RAM.
IDE: This is a backward-compatibility feature. Use the IDE option when the OS doesn't support SATA. E.g. Option IDE - Install Windows 98 on a SATA HDD.
AHCI: This option is used to enable SATA's features.
RAID: This option will help to configure RAID using SATA ports. Otherwise, it acts like AHCI.
S.M.A.R.T: Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology detects and reports on various indicators of drive reliability, with the intent of enabling the anticipation of hardware failures.

Legacy USB Support: This option only provides support of the USB ports during boot up and for other activities when the OS isn't fully loaded.
System Power Configuration
Power Option
S-State configuration: These are the power level of the computer systems.
S1: Power on suspending- CPU stops executing instructions, but both it and RAM remain on.
S3: Standby/Sleep/Suspend to RAM- The contents of RAM are kept and remains powered. S4: Hibernate- The contents of RAM are stored in the HDD/SSD, then the system powers off completely.
ERP S5: Shutdown the system completely.

Wake on LAN: Turning on the system using the Wake on LAN protocol through a network.
State after Power Loss: If the computer has a loss of power, the computer can do the following once power is restored

Last state: If the computer was off, the computer will remain off. If it was on, it'll power back on.
Always on: The computer will always power on after power loss.
Always off (default): The computer will remain powered off.
Boot Devices and Security
Boot and Security
Fast/Ultra-Fast Booting: This will minimize POST times.
Num Lock on Boot: Num lock should be on or off on boot.
Boot/POST beep: Produce beep alert the computer doesn't boot up.
Boot Order: This configures which storage devices to boot from in order.
Setup Password: Set up a password that must be entered for booting and configure BIOS.



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item BIOS - Basic Input Output System
BIOS - Basic Input Output System
BIOS is built-in software that runs by the computer when it powering on. BIOS was invented by Gary Kildall n first appeared in the CP/M OS in 1975.
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