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Encyclopedia > BIOS
BIOS: Basic Input/Output System

Phoenix AwardBIOS CMOS (non-volatile memory) Setup utility on a standard PC
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BIOS (pronounced [ˈbaɪoʊs]), in computing, stands for Basic Input/Output System.[1] [2] For other uses, see Bios. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 71 KB) Summary Fair use rationale It is impossible to illustrate how a BIOS works without this The use of this screenshot on Wikipedia does not affect the commercial interest of the BIOS manufacture in any way Licensing This is... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with NVRAM. (Discuss) Non-volatile memory, nonvolatile memory, NVM or non-volatile storage, is computer memory that can retain the stored information even when not powered. ... D23128C PROM on the board of ZX Spectrum A programmable read-only memory (PROM) or field programmable read-only memory (FPROM) is a form of digital memory where the setting of each byte is locked by a fuse or antifuse. ... EPROM. The small quartz window admits UV light during erasure. ... A USB flash drive. ... American Megatrends Incorporated (AMI) is a Georgia, USA based hardware company that creates PC hardware and firmware. ... Phoenix Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ: PTEC) is a creator of computer BIOS software. ... For other uses, see Bios. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... RAM (Random Access Memory) Look up computing in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The term is incorrectly known as Binary Input/Output System, Basic Integrated Operating System and occasionally Built In Operating System. BIOS refers to the firmware code run by a personal computer when first powered on. The primary function of the BIOS is to identify and initiate component hardware, (such as hard drives, floppies, and CDs). This is to prepare the machine so other software programs stored on various media can load, execute, and assume control of the PC[3]. This process is known as booting, or booting up, which is short for bootstrapping. A microcontroller, like this PIC18F8720 is controlled by firmware stored inside on FLASH memory In computing, firmware is a computer program that is embedded in a hardware device, for example a microcontroller. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... “CD” redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Computer program. ... In computing, Bootstrapping refers to a process where a simple system activates another more complicated system that serves the same purpose. ...


BIOS can also be said to be a coded program embedded on a chip that recognizes and controls various devices that make up x86 personal computers. Among other classes of computers, the generic terms boot monitor, boot loader or boot ROM were commonly used. Some Sun and Macintosh PowerPC computers used Open Firmware for this purpose. There are a few proposed alternatives for Legacy BIOS on the x86 world: Extensible Firmware Interface, Open Firmware (used on the OLPC) and LinuxBIOS. x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... In computing, booting (booting up) is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. ... In computing, booting (booting up) is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. ... In computing, booting (booting up) is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. ... Open Firmware (also, OpenBoot) is a hardware-independent firmware (computer software which loads the operating system), developed by Mitch Bradley at Sun Microsystems, and used in post-NuBus PowerPC-based Apple Macintosh computers, Sun Microsystems SPARC based workstations and servers, IBM POWER systems, Pegasos systems, and the laptop designed by... The workings of the Extensible Firmware Interface The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. ... Open Firmware (also, OpenBoot) is a hardware-independent firmware (computer software which loads the operating system), developed by Mitch Bradley at Sun Microsystems, and used in post-NuBus PowerPC-based Apple Macintosh computers, Sun Microsystems SPARC based workstations and servers, IBM POWER systems, Pegasos systems, and the laptop designed by... The $100 laptop is a design for an inexpensive laptop computer being developed by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. ... LinuxBIOS is a free software project, endorsed by the Free Software Foundation,[1] aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS firmware found in most computers with a lightweight firmware system designed to perform only the minimum of tasks necessary to load and run a modern 32-bit operating system. ...


The term first appeared in the CP/M operating system, describing the part of CP/M loaded during boot time that interfaced directly with the hardware (CP/M machines usually had a simple boot loader in ROM, and nothing else). Most versions of DOS have a file called "IBMBIO.COM" or "IO.SYS" that is analogous to the CP/M disk BIOS. CP/M is an operating system originally created for Intel 8080/85 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. ... It has been suggested that Peripheral be merged into this article or section. ... Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... This article is about the family of closely related operating systems for the IBM PC compatible platform. ... IBMBIO.COM serves exactly the same purpose as IO.SYS and it is part of PC-DOS and earlier versions of MS-DOS. Categories: | ... IO.SYS is an essential part of DOS and Windows 9x. ...

Contents

How the BIOS boots

# Layer
0 Hardware
1 System BIOS
2 Operating system
3 Application

The BIOS runs from the PROM, EPROM or, most commonly, flash memory when the computer is powered on. It initializes several motherboard components and peripherals, including: It has been suggested that Peripheral be merged into this article or section. ... An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... D23128C PROM on the board of ZX Spectrum A programmable read-only memory (PROM) or field programmable read-only memory (FPROM) is a form of digital memory where the setting of each byte is locked by a fuse or antifuse. ... EPROM. The small quartz window admits UV light during erasure. ... A USB flash drive. ...

  • the clock generator,
  • the processors and caches,
  • the chipset (memory controller and I/O controller),
  • the system memory,
  • all PCI devices (by assigning bus numbers and resources),
  • the primary graphics controller,
  • mass storage controllers (such as SATA and IDE controllers),
  • various I/O controllers (such keyboard/mouse and USB).

Finally, it loads the boot loader for the operating system, and transfers control to it. The entire process is known as Power-on self-test (POST). On the original IBM PC, the hardware only needed minimal configuration and POST was indeed used for testing; on modern systems, most of POST actually consists of hardware configuration. Power-off self-test (POST) is the common term for a computers, routers or printers pre-boot sequence. ...


Once system memory is initialized, the BIOS typically copies/decompresses itself into that memory and keeps executing from it.


Nearly all BIOS implementations can optionally execute a setup program interfacing the nonvolatile BIOS memory (CMOS). This memory holds user-customizable configuration data (passwords, time, date, hard drive details, etc.) accessed by BIOS code. The 80x86 source code for early PC and AT BIOS was included with the IBM Technical Reference Manual. Nonvolatile BIOS memory refers to the memory on a personal computer motherboard containing BIOS settings and sometimes the code used to initialize the computer and load the operating system. ... A date in a calendar is a reference to a particular day represented within a calendar system. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ...


In most modern BIOS implementations, users select which device boots first: CD, hard disk, floppy disk, USB device, and the like. This is particularly useful for installing operating systems or booting to a Live CD or flash keydrive, and for selecting the order of testing for the presence of bootable media. “CD” redirects here. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... Note: USB may also mean upper sideband in radio. ... An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer. ... Gnoppix 0. ... A flash drive, related to a solid state drive, is a storage device that uses flash memory rather than conventional spinning platters to store data. ... In computer and telecommunications networks, presence information is a status indicator that conveys ability and willingness of a potential communication partner - for example a user to communicate. ...


Some BIOS's allow the user to select the operating system to load (e.g. load another OS from the second hard disk), though this is more often handled by a second-stage boot loader. An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer. ... In computing, booting is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. ...


The BIOS Chip and BIOS Recovery

ROM with BIOS
ROM with BIOS

Before 1990 or so BIOSes were held on ROM chips that could not be altered. As its complexity and need for updates grew, BIOS firmware was subsequently stored on EEPROM or flash memory devices. The first flash chips attached to the ISA bus. Starting in 1998, the BIOS flash moved to the LPC bus, a functional replacement for ISA, following a new standard implementation known as "firmware hub" (FWH). In 2006, the first systems supporting a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) appeared, and the BIOS flash moved again. Image File history File links Phoenix_bios. ... Image File history File links Phoenix_bios. ... Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... An EEPROM (also called an E2PROM)[] or Electronically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, is a non-volatile storage chip used in computers and other devices to store small amounts of volatile (configuration) data. ... A USB flash drive. ... Industry Standard Architecture (in practice almost always shortened to ISA) is a bus standard for IBM compatibles introduced in 1984 that extends the XT bus architecture to 16 bits. ... The Low Pin Count bus, or LPC bus, is used on PC-style personal computers to connect low-bandwidth devices to the CPU, such as the boot ROM, the legacy I/O devices (behind a Super I/O chip), and audio controllers. ... The Serial Peripheral Interface Bus or SPI bus is a very loose standard for controlling almost any digital electronics that accepts a clocked serial stream of bits. ...


EEPROM chips are advantageous because they can easily be updated by the user; hardware manufacturers frequently issue BIOS updates to upgrade their products, improve compatibility and remove bugs. However, the risk is that an improperly executed or aborted BIOS update can render the computer or device unusable. To recover from BIOS corruption, some new motherboards have a backup BIOS (i.e. they are referred to as "Dual BIOS" boards, Gigabyte even offers a motherboard with quad BIOS). Also, most BIOSes have a "boot block" which is a portion of the ROM that runs first and is not updateable. This code will verify that the rest of the BIOS is intact (via checksum, hash, etc.) before transferring control to it. If the boot block detects that the main BIOS is corrupted, then it will typically initiate a recovery process, by booting to a removable device (floppy, CD or USB memory) so that the user can try flashing again. A software bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program that prevents it from behaving as intended (e. ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... Gigabyte (or Giga-byte) Technology is a Taiwan-based manufacturer of computer hardware products best known for its motherboards. ...


Due to the limitation on the number of times that flash memory can be flashed, a flash-based BIOS is vulnerable to "flash-burn" viruses that repeatedly write to the flash, permanently corrupting the chip. Such attacks can be prevented by some form of write-protection, the ultimate protection being the replacement of the flash memory with a true ROM.


Firmware on adapter cards

A computer system can contain several BIOS firmware chips. The motherboard BIOS typically contains code to access fundamental hardware components such as the keyboard, floppy drives, ATA (IDE) hard disk controllers, USB human interface devices, and storage devices. In addition, plug-in adapter cards such as SCSI, RAID, Network interface cards, and video boards often include their own BIOS, complementing or replacing the system BIOS code for the given component. A floppy disk is a data storage device that comprises a circular piece of thin, flexible (hence floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic wallet. ... “USB” redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Raid. ... A transitional network card with both BNC Thinnet (left) and Twisted pair (right) connectors. ...


In some devices that can be used by add-in adapters and actually directly integrated on the motherboard, the add-in ROM may also be stored as separate code on the main BIOS flash chip. It may then be possible to upgrade this "add-in" BIOS (sometimes called an option ROM) separately from the main BIOS code. An Option ROM typically consists of firmware that is called by the system BIOS. For example, an adapter card that controls a boot device might contain firmware that is used to connect the device to the system once the Option ROM is loaded. ...


Add-in cards usually only require such an add-in BIOS if they:

  • Need to be used prior to the time that the operating system loads (e.g. they may be used as part of the process which loads (bootstraps) the operating system), and:
  • Are not sufficiently simple, or generic in operation to be handled by the main BIOS directly

Older operating systems such as DOS, as well as bootloaders, may continue to make use of the BIOS to handle input and output. However, most modern operating systems will interact with hardware devices directly by using their own device drivers to directly access the hardware. Occasionally these add-in BIOSs are still called by modern operating systems, in order to carry out specific tasks such as preliminary device initialization. In computing, booting (booting up) is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. ... An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer. ... This article is about the family of closely related operating systems for the IBM PC compatible platform. ... Windows XP loading drivers during a Safe Mode bootup A device driver, or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a computer hardware device. ...


To find these memory mapped expansion ROMs during boot, PC BIOS implementations scan real memory from 0xC8000 to 0xF0000 on 2 kibibyte boundaries looking for a 0x55 0xaa signature, which is immediately followed by a byte indicating the number of 512 byte blocks the expansion ROM occupies in real memory. The BIOS then jumps to the offset immediately after the size byte, at which point the expansion ROM code takes over and uses BIOS services to provide a user configuration interface, register interrupt vectors for use by post-boot applications, or display diagnostic information. In computing, binary prefixes are often used to quantify large numbers where powers of two are more useful than powers of ten. ...


For UNIX and Windows/DOS systems there is a utility with which BIOS firmware software can be dumped at http://www.linuks.mine.nu/ree/
There is a tool to flash the BIOS from Linux at http://packages.debian.org/flashrom


The BIOS boot specification

If the expansion ROM wishes to change the way the system boots (such as from a network device or a SCSI adapter for which the BIOS has no driver code), it can use the BIOS Boot Specification (BBS) API to register its ability to do so. Once the expansion ROMs have registered using the BBS APIs, the user can select among the available boot options from within the BIOS's user interface. This is why most BBS compliant PC BIOS implementations will not allow the user to enter the BIOS's user interface until the expansion ROMs have finished executing and registering themselves with the BBS API. API and Api redirect here. ...


Evolution of the role of the BIOS

Older Personal Computer operating systems, which were developed for 16-bit CPUs, such as MS-DOS, relied on the BIOS to carry out most input-output tasks within the PC. A variety of technical reasons eventually made it inefficient for more recent operating systems written for 32-bit CPUs such as Linux and Microsoft Windows to invoke the BIOS directly. Larger, more powerful, servers and workstations using PowerPC or SPARC CPUs by several manufacturers developed a platform-independent Open Firmware(IEEE-1275), based on the Forth programming language. It is included with Sun's Sparc computers, IBM's RS/6000 line, and other PowerPC CHRP motherboards. Later x86-based personal computer operating systems, like Windows NT, use their own, better-performing, native drivers and also made it much easier to extend support to new hardware, while BIOS still relies on a legacy 16-bit runtime interface. As such, the BIOS was relegated to bootstrapping, at which point the operating system's own drivers could take control of the hardware. An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer. ... In computer science, 16-bit is an adjective used to describe integers that are at most two bytes wide, or to describe CPU architectures based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. ... The central processing unit (CPU) is the part of a computer that interprets and carries out the instructions contained in the software. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... 32-bit is a term applied to processors, and computer architectures which manipulate the address and data in 32-bit chunks. ... This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... “Windows” redirects here. ... Open Firmware (also, OpenBoot) is a hardware-independent firmware (computer software which loads the operating system), developed by Mitch Bradley at Sun Microsystems, and used in post-NuBus PowerPC-based Apple Macintosh computers, Sun Microsystems SPARC based workstations and servers, IBM POWER systems, Pegasos systems, and the laptop designed by... Forth is a programming language and programming environment, initially developed by Charles H. Moore at the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory in the early 1970s. ... The IBM pSeries, formerly called RS/6000 (for RISC System/6000), is IBMs current RISC/UNIX-based workstation and server computer line. ... Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) was an early PowerPC hardware reference design. ... In computing, Bootstrapping refers to a process where a simple system activates another more complicated system that serves the same purpose. ...


There were a similar transitions for the Apple Macintosh, where the system software originally relied heavily on the ToolBox—a set of drivers and other useful routines stored in ROM based on Motorola's 680x0 CPUs. These Apple ROMs were replaced by Open Firmware in the PowerPC Macintosh, then EFI in Intel Macintosh computers. The Macintosh Toolbox was a set of resources, drivers, routines and APIs stored in the ROM of Old World ROM Apple Macintosh computers. ... PowerPC is a RISC microprocessor architecture created by the 1991 Apple–IBM–Motorola alliance, known as AIM. Originally intended for personal computers, PowerPC CPUs have since become popular embedded and high-performance processors as well. ... For other uses, see Macintosh (disambiguation) and Mac. ... The workings of the Extensible Firmware Interface The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. ...


BIOS had taken on more complex functions, by way of interfaces such as ACPI; these functions include power management, hot swapping and thermal management. However BIOS limitations (16-bit processor mode, only 1 MB addressable space, PC AT hardware dependencies, etc.) were seen as clearly unacceptable for the newer computer platforms. Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is a specification which replaces the runtime interface of the legacy BIOS. Initially written for the Itanium architecture, EFI is now available for x86 and x64 platforms; the specification development is driven by The Unified EFI Forum, an industry Special Interest Group. The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification is an open industry standard first released in December 1996 developed by HP, Intel, Microsoft, Phoenix and Toshiba that defines common interfaces for hardware recognition, motherboard and device configuration and power management. ... Power management is a feature of some electrical appliances, especially copiers and computer peripherals such as monitors and printers, that turns off the power or switches the system to a low-power state after a period of inactivity. ... Hot swapping or hot plugging is the ability to remove and replace components of a machine, usually a computer, while it is operating. ... The workings of the Extensible Firmware Interface The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. ... The Unified EFI Forum or UEFI Forum (where UEFI stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is an alliance between several leading technology companies including Intel, AMD, Microsoft, IBM, Dell, HP, Apple, Lenovo, American Megatrends, Phoenix Technologies, and Insyde Software. ... This article belongs in one or more categories. ...


Linux has supported EFI via elilo boot loader. The Open Source community increased their effort to develop a replacement for proprietary BIOSes and their future incarnations with an open sourced counterpart through the LinuxBIOS and OpenBIOS/Open Firmware projects. AMD provided product specifications for some chipsets, and Google is sponsoring the project. Motherboard manufacturer Tyan offers LinuxBIOS next to the standard BIOS with their Opteron line of motherboards. MSI and Gigabyte have followed suit with the MSI K9ND MS-9282 and MSI K9SD MS-9185 resp. the M57SLI-S4 modems. elilo is the standard Linux boot loader for EFI-based PC hardware. ... LinuxBIOS is a free software project, endorsed by the Free Software Foundation,[1] aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS firmware found in most computers with a lightweight firmware system designed to perform only the minimum of tasks necessary to load and run a modern 32-bit operating system. ... OpenBIOS is a free software, portable Open Firmware implementation which is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. ... Open Firmware (also, OpenBoot) is a hardware-independent firmware (computer software which loads the operating system), developed by Mitch Bradley at Sun Microsystems, and used in post-NuBus PowerPC-based Apple Macintosh computers, Sun Microsystems SPARC based workstations and servers, IBM POWER systems, Pegasos systems, and the laptop designed by... Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ... This article is about the corporation. ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... The Opteron is AMDs x86 server processor line, and was the first processor to implement the AMD64 instruction set architecture (known generically as x86-64). ... Micro-Star International (MSI) is a Taiwanese computer and components manufacturer. ... Gigabyte (or Giga-byte) Technology is a Taiwan-based manufacturer of computer hardware products best known for its motherboards. ...


The BIOS business

The vast majority of PC motherboard suppliers license a BIOS "core" and toolkit from a commercial third party, known as an "independent BIOS vendor" or IBV. The motherboard manufacturer then customizes this BIOS to suit its own hardware. For this reason, updated BIOSes are normally obtained directly from the motherboard manufacturer.


Major BIOS vendors include American Megatrends (AMI), Insyde Software, and Phoenix Technologies (which bought Award Software International in 1998). American Megatrends Incorporated (AMI) is a Georgia, USA based hardware company that creates PC hardware and firmware. ... Insyde Software is listed on the second board (the GreTai) of the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), stock code 6231. ... Phoenix Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ: PTEC) is a creator of computer BIOS software. ... Award Software International (ASI) was a major manufacturer of computer BIOSes until 1998 when they were acquired by Phoenix Technologies. ...


See also

A microcontroller, like this PIC18F8720 is controlled by firmware stored inside on FLASH memory In computing, firmware is a computer program that is embedded in a hardware device, for example a microcontroller. ... The workings of the Extensible Firmware Interface The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. ... LinuxBIOS is a free software project, endorsed by the Free Software Foundation,[1] aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS firmware found in most computers with a lightweight firmware system designed to perform only the minimum of tasks necessary to load and run a modern 32-bit operating system. ... Clockwise from top: The logo of the GNU Project, the Linux kernel mascot Tux, and the BSD Daemon Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions only... Open Firmware (also, OpenBoot) is a hardware-independent firmware (computer software which loads the operating system), developed by Mitch Bradley at Sun Microsystems, and used in post-NuBus PowerPC-based Apple Macintosh computers, Sun Microsystems SPARC based workstations and servers, IBM POWER systems, Pegasos systems, and the laptop designed by... Base address is also called I/O port, I/O address, I/O port address and base port. ... The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification is an open industry standard first released in December 1996 developed by HP, Intel, Microsoft, Phoenix and Toshiba that defines common interfaces for hardware recognition, motherboard and device configuration and power management. ... In computing, booting (booting up) is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. ... BIOS Interrupt Calls are a facility that MS-DOS programs use to invoke the BIOSs facilities. ... Power-on Self Test (POST) is the common term for a computers pre-boot sequence. ... Nonvolatile BIOS memory refers to the memory on a personal computer motherboard containing BIOS settings and sometimes the code used to initialize the computer and load the operating system. ... ARCS is a firmware bootloader (also known as a PROM console) used in most computers produced by SGI since the beginning of the 1990s. ...

Sources

HowStuffWorks is a website created by Marshall Brain but now owned by the Convex Group. ...

External links

Notes and References

  1. ^ IBM Personal Computer Technical Reference manual, IBM Corporation, First Edition, Revised March 1983, page iii
  2. ^ Mukherjee, Anindya & Narushoff, Paul (1993), Programmer's Guide to the AMIBIOS, Windcreat/McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-001561-9
  3. ^ Source: Howstuffworks

  Results from FactBites:
 
FSF - Campaign for Free BIOS (1285 words)
The BIOS was impossible to replace because it was stored in ROM: the only way to to put in a different BIOS was by replacing part of the hardware.
The BIOS in ROM was, indeed, not a problem.
Today the BIOS is no longer burned in ROM; it is stored in nonvolatile writable memory that users can rewrite.
BIOS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1276 words)
The primary function of BIOS is to prepare the machine so other software programs stored on various media (such as hard drives, floppies, and CDs) can load, execute, and assume control of the computer.
BIOS can also be said to be a coded program embedded on a chip that recognises and controls various devices that make up the computer.
The BIOS runs off the PROM, EPROM or, most commonly, flash memory when the computer is powered on and it initializes and sometimes performs the Power-on self-test, a set of diagnostic tests on the hard drive, memory, video, chipset and other hardware.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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