Today’s Windows 10 tutorial will give you the steps on how to update the BIOS. This task is not regularly required but if your PC has been showing unexplained glitches or slow performance issues while booting up lately, it may be high time consider checking if the BIOS needs an update.
Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.
What is BIOS?
BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System and is an integral software for every computer today. BIOS is a code that runs independent of the operating system. In fact, this code should run ahead of the operating system. It’s job is mainly to ensure that all critical hardware components such as mouse, keyboard, graphics card, sound card, RAM, hard drive, etc are up and running before the operating system loads. BIOS holds basic instructions for a machine like what device to use to boot from, what the system’s time and date should be, among others.
Like any software, it constantly needs to be updated in order to improve its performance or allow more effective and efficient processes. Updating the BIOS though is not straightforward like how Windows do it. If you want to know how to update the BIOS on your Windows 10 machine, read on.
Steps to update your Windows 10 BIOS
Below are the sequence of steps that you must follow to successfully update the BIOS:
Step 1: Know the exact BIOS version
Before you update your computer’s BIOS, you have to make sure that you know the current BIOS version. This is an important step before you visit the manufacturer’s website.
To get the current BIOS version, kindly do these steps:
- Right-click on the Start button. This should be at the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Select Run.
- Type in msinfo32 in the box.
- Click on System Summary (if it’s not selected yet).
- Find the line that says BIOS Version/Date or just the BIOS version.
- Write down the BIOS version in a piece of paper or copy it to your computer’s clipboard. You’ll need this information later.
Step 2: Know more about your Windows 10 machine
For many average users, this step can be skipped or ignored especially if their machines are purchased as a bundled pre-built system. For instance, if your Windows 10 laptop is a Dell, you have a clear cut case of a pre-built system. In this situation, you’ll have to visit Dell’s website and download the correct BIOS update.
However, if you happen to have custom built machine, you’ll need to know more about some specific information in order to update the BIOS properly. This means knowing the motherboard brand of your computer and visiting the website of the manufacturer for the update. For instance, if your Windows machine was built from the ground up by someone and you’re not exactly sure what its motherboard brand is, simply check the information you’ve written previously. The BIOS version usually includes the name of the manufacturer.
Knowing the correct BIOS version is critical. Updating the current BIOS with a different one can spell doom on your machine.
When downloading the BIOS updater, make sure to also include some important documentation that comes with it. The manufacturer may include some Read Me files so you ought to read them to avoid converting your computer to a paperweight.
Step 3: Back your computer’s BIOS up
Another important thing to do is to ensure that make a copy of the current BIOS version. This will be your insurance should something goes wrong during the update. Steps for creating a BIOS backup varies by manufacturer so try to use Google to know how to do it on your machine.
Step 4: Back your personal data up
Although BIOS updates usually turn out fine, another good thing to do before doing this drastic tweak on your computer is to create a backup of your personal data. Bricking the motherboard after a faulty BIOS update won’t necessarily affect the hard drive where your files are stored but it can take some time to get the entire system up and running again. If you have important files or documents that you must have access to every day, be sure to move them to another separate storage device like a USB flash drive or an external hard drive. This way, you’ll still be able to access your files using another computer if it can take a while for you to get a busted motherboard replaced.
Step 5: Prepare for a possible power outage
A surefire way to brick your PC during a BIOS update is to interrupt the process by cutting the power off. Power loss while doing a BIOS update has been known to kill motherboards 99.9% of the time so you want to be sure for this eventuality.
If you have a desktop computer, make sure that you connect it to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system to give you time to cancel the update properly. UPS kicks off automatically once AC connection from the wall outlet is cut off so it’s a good safety net for unplanned power interruptions.
If you’re using a laptop, we suggest that you charge the battery to 100% first, then plug the system to the wall outlet during the entire updating process. Like a UPS, your laptop’s battery will ensure that the system has power even though there’s a black out.
Step 6: Run the BIOS updater
By this time, we assume you’ve already downloaded the correct BIOS update so what you need to do next is to open the files and run the updater. Usually, BIOS update software will read the the current BIOS version first and compare it to the latest. If the current version is older, then the update will proceed. Otherwise, no update will be performed.
Step 7: Restart your Windows 10 PC
Once the update has been completed, don’t forget to restart your computer. Generally, update programs will show a prompt to update the machine after an update but if your BIOS updater won’t do that, do the reboot manually.
Step 8: Clear existing BIOS (optional)
Some BIOS may require that you manually clear the current BIOS first before any changes can take effect so make sure to consult the documentation that came with the updater. Clearing the existing BIOS is not always necessary but some manufacturers require it in order to prevent unauthorized automated BIOS updates from occurring.
This procedure can be performed after you’ve set the computer to restart. While the PC is trying to power up, you must open the BIOS utility software. The way to do this, again, depends on your machine, model, and make. If you haven’t tried pulling up your computer’s BIOS utility software before, use Google to find the steps.
Once you’ve opened the BIOS utility software, look for options that says Restore Defaults or Load Fail-Safe Defaults. In order to navigate with the tabs and options, use the arrow keys. Some modern BIOS utility software already allows a mouse to navigate with the options, just like when you’re on Windows.
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