Update BIOS: what is it, how is it done, what is it for and when to do it

update bios

Update: To this excellent article on everything you need to know regarding updating such a fundamental and unknown part of the computer as the BIOS, we have added a section where we advise, once updated, what to do you can adjust to get better performance, as long as you have experience in it, because if not it is better that you leave it as it is.

To many users, update bios (or UEFI, to keep updating the term) of a computer can almost sound like Chinese since it is not something that is done every day.

Although they go unnoticed by most, the BIOS or UEFI, like any other driver or firmware of the equipment, needs to be updated to maintain proper hardware performance management and maintain a stable and secure behavior on the computer.

A few years ago, carrying out this process required some technical knowledge and it was a process that implied a certain risk, since a false step could cause the computer to be unable to start. These days, it’s almost as easy a process as installing a program.

we tell you what is bios and what is it for why should you update it to get the best performance from your equipment and how to update the BIOS of your computer.

How to update the BIOS of your computer, step by step:

What is BIOS?

BIOS is the acronym for Binay Input Output System. After this name is a key component for computer operation since it is the one that is in charge of starting each component so that the computer boots. Nothing more and nothing less.

Actually, all the magic of the BIOS is housed in a small non-volatile memory chip located on the motherboard of the computer in which a piece of code is stored that forms the firmware of the motherboard of your PC.

When you press the power button, the first thing that is activated is this firmware that first identifies and checks the status of the components that you have installed on the motherboard, to then start them and give way to the operating system boot. That is, it is a type of software that acts outside the operating system.

As we have already indicated, reference is also made to the BIOS as UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). Despite being two different software components, their function at computer startup is the same, but UEFI is an update that comes to replace the BIOS that have been in circulation since the first IBM PC over 42 years ago.

One of the most obvious improvements for UEFI users is that, at a graphical and usability level, the UEFI simplifies PC setup, since you can even use the mouse and the options are more graphic and easy to use than the intricate ones BIOS setup menus.

Not to mention that some UEFIs even allow you to connect to the internet to download your own UEFI updates without having to enter the operating system.

Why do you need to update?

The BIOS or UEFI update it helps the whole system work better together by improving the recognition and adjustment of the hardware you have installed on the motherboard.

This is especially recommended as time passes from the purchase of the board or equipment, something very important when updating its components.

update bios

For example, it adds new instructions and support for hardware that didn’t exist when you bought your computer’s motherboard, but that you probably now want to install as a ssd drive, a more powerful processor or certain RAM memory modules.

There are not a few cases of motherboards could not upgrade to a more modern processor, despite the fact that the socket allowed it, simply because the motherboard did not recognize it. Miraculously after a BIOS update, the processor was already compatible and could be used with all guarantees.

In addition to the more obvious enhancements that add compatibility or improve the tuning of the most current hardware in the computer as a whole, the UEFI and BIOS updates they can incorporate small modifications in the voltage or in the frequency of the components that correct problems of stability of the system

What does the BIOS update consist of?

BIOS updates are developed by the motherboard manufacturer, if you bought your computer in parts, or by the assembler of the equipment if it is a brand-name computer already assembled or a laptop.

Put simply, updating the BIOS consists of writing a new block of code that contains the new instructions for your computer’s hardware, into a non-volatile memory chip on your motherboard. This writing of the new code block is always done from outside the operating system.

This process is especially delicate since, if something goes wrong during the writing process to the chip, the motherboard would not have the necessary instructions to recognize the installed hardware and it would be impossible to boot the system.

However, with a few basic precautions, updating the UEFI and BIOS is much safer than it was on computers a few years ago, thanks in part to the wizards and tools that manufacturers have developed to make updating BIOS simple. this component.

How to know what version of BIOS you have installed on your PC

Before you start update the BIOS of your PC It is convenient to know some basic information such as what BIOS version is installed on your computer either what model of motherboard does your pc use.

To do this you just have to press the windows key from your PC and type System information. As a result of the search, access to this function appears and the service window will open in which all the details of the installed software will be listed.

update bios

In section BIOS version and dateyou will find the name of the BIOS manufacturer, the BIOS version and its release date.

If what you are looking for is the exact model of the motherboard or computer to be able to download the appropriate BIOS for it, you just have to look at the section system model. With these data you have everything you need to download the proper BIOS.

How to update the BIOS on your computer

In reality, there is no single process to update the BIOS since each manufacturer chooses its own tools to do it.

Three basic update systems stand out:

  • Using a bootable USB. It is a “classic” system that is already falling into disuse due to its complexity. It consists of creating a bootable USB that must be started before the operating system to run a program that writes the new firmware in the BIOS.
  • From the UEFI update functions. This system is more common in UEFI, since they have better connection options that allow them to detect USB flash drives, storage systems, and even download the update file it needs on its own.
  • Using an update wizard program. This is probably the most common method. It uses a program that guides you through the update process and is executed from the operating system preparing the entire environment for the update. You just have to tell it where you have downloaded the BIOS update file and restart the PC.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on any of the BIOS update methods that is used.

In our case, the motherboard manufacturer uses an update wizard, so we will need to download both the BIOS update file, like the assistant program itself. You can get both on the support page of the manufacturer of your computer, laptop or motherboard.

To do this, you only have to access the manufacturer’s support page using as a reference the data of the motherboard model or the equipment that you obtained in the previous section. It is very important to pay attention to this point since the update is done precisely for each model, since their hardware components may vary.

update bios

Once located the BIOS setup wizard and the latest BIOS version, you just have to download them to your computer. Try to avoid Beta versions of BIOS updates, unless absolutely necessary. Better to stay with the latest stable version, even if it is older.

It then proceeds to install or run the wizard on your computer and uses the BIOS update file to tell it that this is the new firmware to install. If the file you have downloaded is not valid for your computer or you already have a newer version of the BIOS installed, the software will detect it and will not perform the update.

update bios

You will probably be prompted to reboot your computer to perform the update from outside the operating system running software before it will load again after the reboot.

During this process, make sure that the laptop is connected to a power outlet and that it has enough battery life to ensure that power supply will not be interrupted while the update is in progress. If it is a desktop computer, do not turn off or interrupt the process as it might not boot normally again.

Configure the BIOS of your computer

After complete BIOS update, it returns to its default values. This means that it is adjusted so that all components work safely and stably.

With this configuration it is possible that the full potential of your components is not being used.

For example, that the frequency of the RAM memory is working with values ​​lower than those allowed by the component or, if you have applied some overclocking the processorit is possible that this usage profile has been deleted and works again with the factory settings.

Settings you should change in BIOS

In addition to more complicated configurations, there is a series of adjustments that you should take into account so that everything works better.

Obviously each of these settings they will be in a different place in each BIOSsince the interface is different, but we can make a idea of ​​what is good to modify.

  • Change start: Many times it will be great for us to be able to start the computer from a USB or a DVD, due to an error or because we are looking to install something directly. So we need to make the bootloader read the external drives first before the hard drive or SSD. This option is often called Bootable Device either Hard Disl Boot Priority.
  • Frequency: we must go to the section Advanced Memory Setting of the BIOS and in these options you will find the way to configure the RAM memory in System Memory Multiplier (SPD). That is where we are going to configure the frequency so that it is appropriate.
  • latency: before modifying this part we should know the manufacturer’s specifications and how far we can take it. If we know these data we should find some part of the BIOS that puts Timing Setting. If you don’t know how far to push the latency, don’t change it.
  • Password: if you want to put a password at startup you will have to go to the section Security Setting and there is a choice between SETUP Administrator PassWord, POST Password or a HDD User.

Now you understand much better what it means and that is to update the BIOS, in addition to knowing changes that can be made to it, as long as we know what we are doing, since otherwise we can damage a fundamental part of any computer,

Updating the BIOS is important, there is no doubt about that. Tell us what you think of this article and how it has served you on our social networks.

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Written by Editor TLN

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