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What is BIOS?
BIOS stand for Basic Input/Output
Services and are a specialized program that resides on a ROM or Read
Only Memory chip mounted on the motherboard. If CMOS keeps track of
hardware on the computer that is changeable, BIOS holds numerous small
programs for computer hardware that is considered permanent. Examples
of permanent hardware are keyboards, serial and parallel ports,
Strictly speaking, BIOS that can
be flashed is not stored on ROM but on EEPROM which stands for Electrically
Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory.
This type of memory is still mostly read only but can be
erased and written to under specific circumstances. This means not
throwing the baby out with the bath water or in other words, you do
not have to get rid of the motherboard when you get rid of the old BIOS.
Originally, it was impossible to upgrade BIOS. If you needed upgraded BIOS, you needed a new computer or at least a new motherboard. Today it is possible to flash BIOS and to upgrade it. BIOS upgrades can be downloaded across the Internet from a motherboard or computer manufacturers site. Since BIOS is programming (software) and device (hardware) linked together, it is commonly known as firmware. If it becomes necessary to repair or replace a motherboard, it would be advisable to upgrade the BIOS at the same time. If not, the computer may not work at all or work only with limited functionality. A motherboard with BIOS that needs to be upgraded may not be able to apply other software upgrades such as device drivers.
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