THE A – Z GUIDE OF THE COMPUTER BIOS
Personal computers are increasingly becoming an integral part and parcel of our homes. This is mainly due to the fact that most persons prefer to work from home. This trend is also boosted by the increased adoption of and dependency on the internet technology. Indeed, every modern home today has at least a laptop, tablet, or a desktop.
This is why it pays for all to get to know how these wonderful gadgets operate. Such knowledge with definitely come in handy in time of maintenance or troubleshooting. We are going to dig deeper into the BIOS in our proceeding discussions.
We are going to do so by examining its definition, how it works, and its major roles. We do hope this shall give you the head start you require to confront any relevant issues well.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For a start, the term BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It is basically a software program like any other. However, it differs from the ordinary software program in that it is largely inaccessible by and unutilized by the end user. Instead, it is used by the computer system mainly to get started. In this regard, it boots the system and powers it all together.
HOW BIOS WORKS
Even though the BIOS may work differently on different devices, the following are the main steps the system takes to undertake its roles:
- Step I: Inspects the CMOS SetupFirst and foremost, it inspects the CMOS setup. CMOS is a complementary metal oxide semiconductor chip. It stores information that is unique to that computer system. The BIOS utilizes this information to make any necessary changes to your system.
- Step II: Loads the Interrupt Handlers and Device Drivers Next, the BIOS loads the two components mentioned. Interrupt handles are software programs that act as mediators between your computer’s hardware and software components. Device drivers, on the other hand, identify the precise hardware component which your system utilizes at any given time.
- Step III: Initialize Registers and Power Management It then proceeds to examine your registers and power management component of your computer. It may decide whether to use the power management or not. It may also determine the amount of time to set aside for standby and suspend.
- Step IV: Perform the Power-on self-test (POST) Thereafter, the runs a fast scans of all the computer’s hardware components and peripherals. This is to see to it that they are not only in good shape but also functional. It will alert you in case of any errors or issues.
- Step V: Display System Settings After running the scan, the BIOS will then display the system settings. These include such aspects as the date, battery levels, time, disk space available, and so on. This is to give you a rough picture of how your system is at any given time.
- Step VI: Ascertain the Bootable Devices It will then proceed to determine which devices in your computer are bootable or not. In most instances, the hard disk, RAM, and other secondary storage devices are the ones that may be booted.
- Step VII: Commence the Bootstrap Sequence
Lastly, it will commence the booting process. After completing the booting process, it will prompt you to log in and begin using your computer.
ROLES OF BIOS
As hinted, the primary role of the BIOS is to power the PCs. It is what actually breathes life to your computing device. It basically does this by enabling the operating system and other software programs to communicate with the computer’s hardware components. It also communicates and works with the central processing unit to operate other portions of the computer.
Manages Data Flow
The BIOS also manages the flow of data between the central processing unit of the computer and the hardware components. These include the monitor, keyboard, mouse, hard disk, and other peripherals such as printers, scanners, and video adapters. It is actually the heart of the computer system as it manages all the vital transactions the computer performs.
Tests the Various Components
From time to time, the BIOS scan and test the various components of the computer to ascertain whether they are indeed functioning optimally or not. The common of these is the power-on-self-test (POST). In case it detects any errors, it will usually send out a prompt to the user to take the appropriate course of action.
Boots the System
In the course of starting up the computer, the BIOS boot the system. This basically entails loading the operating system of the computer into its main memory or the random access memory, whichever case applies. Other than this, it also sees to it that the operating system is correctly loaded to avoid any errors and inconsistencies. It, therefore, plays a crucial role in starting up a computer system.
Facilitates the Flow of Data
Over and above managing the flow of data, the BIOS can also facilitate the flow of the data. It can, for instance, prioritize certain streams of data by bypassing certain connections. For instance, it can make arrangements for data to flow directly to the memory from external storage devices. This is especially the case if t speeds are to be realized.
We are now pretty confident that you have indeed received the head start you require to make further independent research in the field. Please note that owing to the constraints of time and space, we could not exhaust the topic entirely. It, therefore, goes without saying that the information we have furnished is by no means exhaustive. It is thus in your best interest to take over from where we have left.