BIOS Setup Utility

BIOS Setup Utility

The computer BIOS setup utility (also known as the CMOS setup) is the place where you can change a few basic computer hardware settings. The BIOS and CMOS often get confused but there is quite a difference.

The BIOS contains all the settings and the CMOS memory is a piece of RAM that remembers all the info.

In the case of many computers pressing delete or F10 in the booting process will bring you to the BIOS setup utility. If these don’t work, then your computer will specify on startup such as (press ******* to enter setup) or it will be mentioned in your manual. There is no harm in looking at the setup, so find your key and have a look (just make sure you don’t save on exit).

Bios Setup Utility

When your in the setup, you can change many options. You can change the order of booting, which device do you want the computer to boot to etc. You can decide whether to disable particular devices (such as onboard sound or network cards). You can change the date or time and you can also reset the CMOS back to factory settings. This will return the BIOS back to default, which isn’t the greatest idea in the world unless you know what your doing.

The settings in the BIOS depend on each manufacturer. Here I will give you a little run down on the Tabs and what they could have in them.

Advanced Tab

In the advance tab you often find information on the IDE configuration, the Floppy Configuration, the Boot Settings configuration. You can further investigate by pressing enter over the IDE configuration and then looking at the items listed. It will have all your hard drives and cd/dvd drives listed here. If you have two hard drives connected then two will show up here.

This is a great place to check if your hard drive is being recognized. If the new hard drive or cd/dvd drive is not recognized in here, then your operating system will definetely not find it. If your hard drive is recognized here but not by windows then there is some problem with your operating system, but not your computer.

advanced tab bios settings

You can zoom in even more by pressing enter and have a look at a specific hard drive in detail. You can see its exact size, the vendor and the mode and other specifications.

Power Tab

The power tab is self-explanatory. It just gives you power options that you can change. I would recommend leaving these as they are.

Boot Tab

The boot tab of the BIOS setup gives you all the options for when you boot up. You can order the preference in booting. You can choose whether you want to boot from the Floppy Drive, CD drive, or hard drive and in what order. This is probably the most changed setting in the BIOS setup. I would also leave as they are unless you need to specifically boot from another location.

In more recent computers you can change it to boot via a network, or through USB. Check out this page on the boot process for more information on what a computer does when it starts.

boot tab bios settings


Security Tab

In this tab you can change all the passwords, or assign passwords to the BIOS. This can be a risky thing to do because you could forget your password, but if you do there is a way of fixing it. Follow this tutorial to learn how.


Exit Tab

The Exit tab is more completed then you would expect. There are a number of options here. You can exit saving your changes, you can exit discarding changes, you can load optimal defaults and also the failsage defaults. I wouldn’t recommend going back to these defaults as they will change everything, unless you know what your doing.

exit tab bios settings

This ends this page on the Bios Setup. I hope you learnt some valuable information. What I showed you was a really basic Bios utility. Most of your computers will have many more functions like turning off integrated graphics and sounds and making very precise changes.


One word of advice don’t change anything unless you know what your doing and if you accidently do then just ext without changes.



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