Previous post:

Next post:

Entering BIOS settings

January 1, 2005

in All Articles,Miscellaneous

All personal computers have BIOS, a Basic Input / Output System that allows you to control some simple but important functions. At certain times (those involving troubleshooting, major system changes or boredom), you’ll need to enter the BIOS (sometimes called “entering CMOS”).

When you change BIOS settings, you push a special key when your computer starts up. After that, you’ll be presented with a special series of screens. Using the keyboard, you can navigate through the menus and view certain aspects of your system, and change a few important things.

There’s only one problem. That “special key” mentioned above is different for most computer brands. Sometimes you need a little trial-and-error to get the right one.

To enter your computer’s BIOS:

1) Turn on your PC.

2) If you’re lucky, your PC will show you a brief message right when it starts, something like “Press F2 to enter BIOS“. At that point, hit that key and you’re in.

To find the BIOS key:

1) If you don’t know the special BIOS key, or it seems like your PC boots too fast and your operating system is loading before you have a chance to do anything, then you’ve got to turn on your PC, try a key, and turn off and try again if that doesn’t work. (Make sure you physically turn off your PC, don’t just reboot. Some computers need to be completely turned off and on before they’ll enter BIOS.)

2) Here are common BIOS keys. Try these first. Turn on the PC, and press one of these keys – about one press each second – until you either enter BIOS or your operating system boots. If the OS boots, then shut it down, power off, power on, then try the next suggested key below.

Control + Escape
Alt + Escape
Control + Alt + Escape
Control + Alt + Enter

3) No luck? Then you need to check with your computer manufacturer. Look in your system manual or online and see if you can find specific instructions for how to do this. Don’t give up – all computers made today have a way to access this important pre-boot area.

A final warning: Entering BIOS gives you access to some important system features, and depending on brand, could give you life-or-death control over your computer. Be careful when you make changes, because you can permanently mess things up.

Previous post:

Next post: