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Sunday, January 8, 2012

What is the BIOS or CMOS setup program?

The motherboard BIOS, which is short for Basic Input/Output System. PCs typically have what is called a flash BIOS, allowing the user to update the BIOS if necessary. The BIOS also includes a sort of diagnostic routine known as the POST (Power On Self Test). This test ensures that the computer meets the necessary requirements to boot up correctly. If the computer doesn't pass the POST you will hear a pattern of beeps that indicate the problem encountered.
CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) is the type of semiconductor chip on the motherboard which stores the system information and computer settings such as date, time, hard drive settings, boot sequence, parallel port settings, on-board audio & video, etc. This information can be accessed and changed through the BIOS/CMOS setup program which is available as the computer begins to boot up. As the computer boots, there will typically be some text on the screen such as "Press Del to enter Setup". Depending on the manufacturer, the key required to enter the BIOS setup may be F1, F2, Del, or Esc.Unlike earlier generations of PC's, the user is no longer required to go into the BIOS Setup and enter new information such as the number of cylinders, heads, sectors, etc. when changing IDE hard drives. These and many other settings are now detected automatically.

Note: If the CMOS battery dies, any changes made in the the BIOS Setup will be lost. After replacing the battery, the user will need to re-enter the Setup program and make the changes again

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