BIOS stands for Basic Input-Output system. The BIOS plays an important role in the functioning of the computer. When you switch on the computer, it is the function of the BIOS to activate various computer components and ensure they are functioning properly. It then passes the functionality to the bootloader or the operating system.
With the advancement of technology, the older version of BIOS is replaced by UEFI which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. If your motherboard has an older BIOS version, you may be required to upgrade the BIOS to UEFI in order to enjoy the benefits of GPT disks or fix any bugs in the BIOS. Generally, motherboard manufacturers offer BIOS upgrades to fix any bug that hampers the performance of the system.
Things to remember before updating your PC’s BIOS
Updating your PC’s BIOS might seem straightforward enough but experts advise to do so only when absolutely necessary. For example, you have a hard disk of more than 2TB capacity and you want to take advantage of GPT partitioning offered by Microsoft. You can also consider updating BIOS to fix any bugs. Here are some precautionary measures you need to take before updating your PC’s BIOS.
- Back up your BIOS. Many motherboard manufacturers allow you to back up your current BIOS code which can be used to revert back to if the BIOS upgrade is unsuccessful for any reason. Since the BIOS backup instructions differ with motherboard manufacturers, check the information booklet provided with the motherboard for detailed instructions
- Record your BIOS settings
- Read the instructions carefully related to flashing BIOS
- Make sure the computer is connected to an uninterrupted power supply while updating the BIOS. If you are upgrading the BIOS on your laptop, make sure it is fully or has sufficient charge left for the BIOS upgrade task
Note – Be careful while updating your PC’s BIOS. If the system freezes or loses power, the BIOS will become corrupted and your system will become unbootable.
Now that you know the precautionary steps, here are the steps to follow to upgrade your PC’s BIOS.
Steps to upgrade BIOS
Step 1 – Find the BIOS version of your motherboard
Before updating your BIOS, you need to know the BIOS version of your motherboard. This information will be useful when you go to download the BIOS update for your PC. There are different ways to find out the BIOS version which may differ between motherboard manufacturers.
You can see the BIOS version in the BIOS setup itself. Press Delete during startup to enter BIOS setup.
Windows 7 users follow these steps to find the BIOS version
- Click Start Menu
- Type System information in the search box and select System Information from the results
- In the System Summary, look for the BIOS version
Windows 8 users can find the BIOS version by following the steps given below
- On the Windows 8 and 8.1 Metro screen, type run, and press Return
- In the Run box, type msinfo32 and click OK
Windows 10 users can find the BIOS version by following the steps given below
- Type msinfo32 in search box
- Press Return
Windows users can find the BIOS version from the command prompt. Here are the steps to follow:
- Click Start menu and type cmd to launch the Command prompt
- In the command prompt window, type wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion
- In the results, you will see the BIOS version which you will need to take a note of
Step 2 – check whether any BIOS updates are available
- Once you have the BIOS version, you can go to the motherboard manufacturer’s website to see if any BIOS update is available. If you have a branded PC or laptop, you need to check the PC/laptop manufacturer website for the BIOS update.
- Once you have opened the manufacturer’s website, go to Drivers and Downloads section. Since the BIOS update is specific to the motherboard model or laptop/PC model, you need to select the right product to visit the right Drivers and Downloads section. The manufacturer might be offering the search or filter option to find the BIOS update for your motherboard or laptop model
- In the Drivers and Downloads section, look for a section like BIOS update, utilities, and firmware. On the BIOS update page, you might find more than one BIOS update version. The BIOS update version might be available in different formats – exe or zip file.
- Select the right BIOS update version and download the correct format of the file which you plan to use it
Step 3- updating BIOS from Windows
- If you have downloaded an exe file, you can update the BIOS from Windows. Disable Antivirus and close all applications before you begin the process
- Click on the executable file and wait untill the process is completed
Step 4- updating BIOS from BIOS setup
If you have downloaded the zip file, you need to copy it to a USB drive and unzip the contents. Many motherboard manufacturers offer an option to flash BIOS in the BIOS setup. To update the BIOS you need to enter the BIOS setup mode and select the right option to update the BIOS. For example, the ASUS motherboards have EZ Flash utility to update BIOS, ASRock motherboard have Instant Flash utility and Gigabyte motherboards have Q-flash utility. Refer to the motherboard instruction booklet to find more about updating the BIOS using this utility.
Updating the BIOS is not difficult but you need to be attentive and careful while doing it. If you make a mistake, you will face into more issues than you started out with so be sure to read this article thoroughly before attempting a BIOS update.