Updated on June 21, 2000 by Thomas
modifying settings in your BIOS you can improve performance,
reduce boot time, fix incompatibility problems & many
other things. This guide will take you through the BIOS
& how to update it, change setting to improve
performance, etc. & how to overclock your system using
BIOS settings too.
You should begin by updating your BIOS to the latest version. This
can fix issues with certain motherboards, add more features
or just improve performance. Although BIOS flashing is a
little more dangerous than say, updating drivers as if you
do it wrong you may need a new motherboard or BIOS chip. As
a result I'd recommend that if you're happy with your PC as
it is then you can probably skip this section. Given the potential risks involved with this its highly recommended you backup
important data. You can find a list of motherboard
manufacturers (& their BIOS updates) at Windrivers.
Your manufacturers website may also contain instructions on how
to flash your BIOS.
NOTE - BIOS flashing can only
be completed in DOS
mode & not
What to do
Begin by downloading the BIOS
update & a BIOS flashing utility, e.g. Award Flash
Make a bootable floppy disk
(startup disk), Windows 2000 (& other) users can
download one here.
A standard Windows 98 bootdisk will suffice.
Extract the files from the
BIOS update & the BIOS Flashing utility & copy them
onto the floppy disk (BIOS update will end with the .bin,
binary file extension).
Restart your system & boot
from the floppy drive (you may need to make changes in your
BIOS to do this, its also recommended that you Load
BIOS defaults before doing so).
Ensure that no memory managers are running by typing in MEM /c or MEM /d at the
command prompt. If they are you may need to edit the config.sys file on the disk to remove the references to them (EMM386.EXE
& HIMEM.SYS). You'll need to load up Windows to do this. Open A:\config.sys
with Notepad & delete those lines. Reboot then using the bootdisk.
Type A:\ to go into the floppy drive where you can being the Flashing
Update the BIOS via the Flash
utility, e.g. To use the Award Flash utility you should
enter in AWDFLASH.EXE. Substitute in the appropriate filename if necessary.
You will be asked for the file
name to program, enter in the name of the *.bin
file on the disk, e.g. NEW.BIN.
Hit Enter to
You may be prompted to save
your current BIOS. Do so at your own discretion, e.g. Save
it as BACKUP.BIN.
The BIOS update procedure will
now begin. Do NOT
interupt this procedure in any way. You will be told what to
do & when to do it.
Reboot when prompted to finish the update. Enter the BIOS
& Load BIOS
defaults. Save the changes & exit. Boot Windows as
usual now & once all is working fine you can start
tweaking the BIOS settings.
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