Part of doing hardware diagnostics in your #DellInspiron computer, be it a desktop or laptop, especially if the issue involves power- or battery-related problems, is a BIOS update. In this post, we provide the step-by-step instructions on what you need to do to successfully update the BIOS in your system.
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BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It’s a code that comes with the motherboard and not with the operating system. It runs prior to the operating system to ensure that required hardware components are functional. This independent code, also known as firmware, activates the chipset, processor and cache, RAM, hard drive/s, graphics card, audio card, and other expansion cards before operating system boots up.
Once everything is in place, BIOS then allows the operating system to take control of your computer.
That said, BIOS has two important functions:
- to ensure that basic necessary hardware requirements are met, and
- To help a user troubleshoot basic hardware issues by reporting error codes
Most modern BIOS allows a user to make some hardware adjustments including the ones below:
- Date and Time
- Boot Sequence
- Advanced Boot Settings
- System, Admin and Hard Drive passwords
- Restore the BIOS settings to factory defaults
- Turning ON or OFF modular add-on devices
- Adjusting LCD brightness (notebook computers only)
- Adjusting the number of cores the processor is using and the speed they are functioning
As part of your computer’s suite of diagnostic tools, BIOS can also report on basic hardware functionality such as RAM, processor (CPU) information, graphics card, audio card, hard drive, monitor, AC adapter (for Notebooks only), battery charge and health (for Notebooks only).
How do you update your Dell BIOS?
As a piece of code, BIOS, just like the operating system, can sometimes need an update to fix known bugs and to implement enhancements to basic hardware functions. If you are not experiencing troubles with your machine though, we won’t recommend that you attempt a BIOS update.
How to access BIOS in Dell machines
To enter BIOS mode, do the following steps:
- Restart your computer.
- When the Dell logo appears, tap F2 key until the message Entering Setup appears.
How to download a new BIOS update and install it
Dell notebooks must have the battery installed and running on AC power before you attempt a BIOS update. For some models, the battery must have at least 10% of power left so BIOS update can proceed.
- Visit the Drivers & Downloads page.
- Enter the Service Tag or Identify your Dell product by clicking on Detect Product.
- Alternatively, you can select your computer manually by clicking on View Products.
- Once you are in the Product Support page, ensure the correct Microsoft Windows Operating System is listed next to View all available updates.
- Click Change OS to select the correct Microsoft Windows Operating System that is currently installed on your computer.
- Click on BIOS from the list of categories.
- Click Download File on the most recent version of BIOS that is listed.
- Click Save and choose the path where you would like to save the downloaded file on your computer (if prompted).
- Once the download is complete, click Run.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
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