BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System. It is a basic input and output system. BIOS acts like a personal program of the computer’s microprocessor and helps the booting of the computer when you turn it on.
BIOS is also known as system setup. This program or software is found on the Motherboard in the form of a small memory chip, and this part is usually referred to as the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS in short.
The main job of BIOS is that it acts as an interface mainly between the operating system of the computer and the hardware of the computer.
For example: when a computer is turned on, the BIOS gives instructions as to whether boot the computer using the Hard drive or a network and which drive has to boot first.
Like when Windows which is software is able to control the computers’ hardware like a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer and so on.
BIOS is a very important part of your computer, and it usually comes in-built when you buy your computer and get it home! When the BIOS start your computer, the first thing it does is looks if all the attachments are in place and are operational.
These attachments are nothing but your optical drive, floppy drive, CPU, memory, etc. and they are called the ESCD (Extended System Configuration Data) and is usually stored in the form of additional non-volatile memory, or it is called NVRAM ( Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) in short.
After this, the BIOS boots the operating system into the computer’s Random access Memory (or RAM in short) from your dark disk.
BIOS is such a program that is made accessible to the microprocessor which is on an erasable programmable read-only memory card chip, also known as EPROM.
Hence, when you turn on a computer, this microprocessor passes on control to the program in the BIOS which is also located at the EPROM.
The main advantage of having BIOS is that your operating system and the applications are completely free from understanding the exact details and about the attached input and output devices.
If you ever change a device and its settings have to be changed, you can change the BIOS program only.
At times these changes can be made at the time of your system setup. Just remember that in any case, you don’t have to change your operating system or any application settings.
There are many people who over the years refer to BIOS as a CMOS and an NVRAM. But in reality, CMOs and NVRAM are different in their own ways.
For example, CMOS contains the BIOS and the settings related to it whereas the NVRAM holds the ESCD, which means if you update the BIOS it will not clear the NVRAM.
NOTE: you should really not update your BIOS unless you know what you’re doing and understand the working for a computer and the software really well.
If you’re trying to update your BIOS, first learn how to check BIOS version that exists on your system and then check if it actually needs to be updated. Let’s look at the various ways on how to check the BIOS version. After that, you can figure out If your BIOS needs to be updated.
Rebooting Your Computer
This method is one of the oldest ways on How to check the BIOS version. It is also called the traditional method of checking your BIOS version.
This method requires you to observe the screen closely once your computer starts to boot. Let’s look at the steps:
- Restart your computer, as you normally would. Here we’re talking the privilege and assuming your computer is in a good enough condition to do that! If not, you’ll have to kill the power manually and then, start the computer again. (if your computer is already turned off, all you have to do is turn it on, like you normally would.)
- Now, carefully and closely watch the computer screen when it starts to boot and simply write down the BIOS version that shows up on screen.
- Write down the BIOS version number that was shown on your screen. It might not be a 100% clear due to the cryptic lines of numbers and letters as shown on the screen is the version number, so just write down everything that could be the BIOS number.
Few Tips on How to Check BIOS Version?
A lot of computers, especially computers that are manufactured by major companies usually have a logo that appears when the computer is turned on.
The logo itself hold the BIOS version number, it’s just not visible to the naked eye. To make the BIOS version show, press the ESC or TAB and would remove the logo on the screen and displays the POST information that exists behind it.
If the screen that displays your BIOS version number of what we call the POST result disappears too soon, you can try holding down the pause keep that is on your keyboard.
This will make the motherboard pause the boot process allowing you a lot of time to read the BIOS version number.
This is by far the best tip, if you think pausing is too complicated then, pull out your smartphones and open the camera and take a video of the POST result that would flash on your screen.
Since all these cameras record at 60fps or even higher, it is definitely possible for you to see the BIOS version number due to the plenty of frames in the video.
You could also take a picture while you pause the boot process during the POST result screen. This can act as a source of reference for any future use.
The reboot method that we have just discussed above is perfect when you don’t have the benefit of a working computer, and you don’t have the privilege of trying the many more simple methods below.
Although, one might find it extremely annoying to restart your computer multiple times if you keep missing the BIOS version number as they appear and disappear very quickly.
As the versions of computers get higher and better versions, the boot time inversely decreases making it hard to spot the BIOS version number.
Using BIOS Update Tool
As mentioned above, it is not advised to manually upgrade your BIOS unless you’re completely sure of what you’re doing.
In case of an upgrade people mostly use a BIOS update Tool which would be inbuilt by your computer or the motherboard manufacturer and is definitely not your job! Hence, let’s see how to check the BIOS version using the BIOS updating tool.
You can use your BIOS update tool to look into the current BIOS version that is installed in your computer.
If your BIOS version is not ready for an update or if you’re not sure if you should update it, you can always use this to check the BIOS version.
The first step is to locate the online support for your motherboard makers or the computer maker, and then you’ll have to download and run the tool.
You don’t really have to update anything, and hence you can skip most of the steps by reading the instructions that are provided.
IMPORTANT: Use this method only when your computer isn’t turning on properly, and you’re unable to catch the BIOS Version Number.
Also, use this method only when your BIOS update tool is bootable for your motherboard. In simple terms, if your BIOS update works only from within Windows, you will most probably have to skip method 1 and directly use this method.
Using the Microsoft System Information
This is definitely one of the easiest methods on how to check the BIOS version on your computer.
This is possible through a program called Microsoft System Information. The advantages of using the Microsoft System Information Tool on how to check BIOS version:
You don’t have to reboot or restart your system multiple times to find out the BIOS version number.
The application comes pre-installed. This means you don’t have to download and install anything as we did in the previous method.
Let’s look into how to check BIOS version using Microsoft System Information.
If you’re using Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, simply top or you could even right click and at the same time hold the start button and select the RUN option.
When you get to the Run window, type this as shown or you can just cut copy paste as well. –msinfo32
This will lead to another window, titled System Information
Select the System Summary option if it already hasn’t been
Now comes the complicated part, on the right side under the ITEM option look for BIOS Version.
After that, all you have to do is write down the BIOS version number.
Using Windows Registry
You can export the BIOS version number in the form of a .txt file. Look for the file option under System Information menu and then select export (File>Export).
If you’re not able to find the Microsoft System Information application, you will have a similar application which is not made by Microsoft, but it should work in the same manner.
Use this method only when the other methods on how to check BIOS version have not been successful. Since a lot of information can be found by logging into the Windows Registry, you can use this to gather your BIOS Version Number as well. You could also gain access to your motherboard’s model number and maker using the Windows Registry.
Let’s look into on how to check BIOS version using the Windows Registry.
- Now, from the registry hive list, that you’ll find on the left expand the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
- Continue to look deeper inside the file, you can use the path Hardware > Description > System.
- Expand the System option and then select or click on BIOS.
- On the right side, under the list of Registry values, look for the file names BIOS Version.
- Look to the right side, and you’ll be able to see your BIOS version number!
- Using Command Prompt to find out the BIOS version
- This process is relatively simple and the best solution to how to check BIOS version.
- First, select the start and then type in CMD in the search box and then select the Command Prompt Option.
- You don’t have to run it, as it is an Administration.
- At the Command Prompt type in or just copy paste the following: Wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion
- This will show you the current version of the BIOS version number that your current PC has.
This brings us to the end of how to check the BIOS version on your computer. After reading all the methods, pick out the best method depending on the condition of your computer.
It’s not really hard to find the BIOS version number. Just follow the steps, and you’re good to go. Also, remember that updating your BIOS on your own is not recommended. Good luck!