How to Check the BIOS Settings

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Every computer system is equipped with a Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) which is programmed into the motherboard by the manufacturer and is used for controlling basic functions that allows the different hardware components of the machine to communicate with each other and share resourced. The communication is made possible via the default values provided by the manufacturer which the computer user can edit in order to tailor fit actual components that are installed in the machine. Adjustments of the BIOS settings however require more advanced knowledge in order to make sure that no permanent damage is done to the hardware or software component of the motherboard. Wrong assignment of values to sensitive portions of the BIOS like drive settings, boot order, clock settings, and memory timing among others may lead to an unstable computer system.

Materials Needed:
- Web browser
- Internet connection
- Computer
Step 1
Before you attempt to attempt to boot up the machine and access the BIOS settings, it is important that you have your manual for the motherboard provided by the manufacturer. If you have lost the copy, launch the Web browser and visit the manufacturer's website.
Step 2
From the website, locate, download, and install the manual that is suited for the model of your motherboard.
Step 3
Once completely downloaded, open the manual and search for the entry which provides the key on how to access the BIOS settings.
Step 4
The access keys to enter the BIOS settings are dependent mostly on the manufacturer of the BIOS programmed into the motherboard. Some of the more commonly used keys are Del, F1, ESC, CTRL+ALT+ESC, and F2 for desktop and laptop computers. So if you are not sure of the manufacturer of your motherboard, check the manufacturer of your BIOS.
Step 5
To check the BIOS manufacturer, power on the computer and during the Power On Self Test (POST) hit the Pause button. The manufacturer should be displayed on the screen.
Step 6
At the lower portion of the screen should also display the key which will allow you to access the BIOS settings. Press the Enter key and press the applicable key to gain access to the BIOS settings page.
Step 7
If the information is not displayed on the screen, reboot the machine again. Usually you will hear a short beep. Press the Esc key after that to display the necessary information and gain access to the BIOS settings.
Step 8
Usually, newer systems are built so fast that the booting process is almost unobserved. To get to the BIOS settings, press the access key immediately after hearing the beep or powering up the machine. Otherwise, the computer system may boot directly to the Operating System and you will miss the BIOS settings.