(Pocket-lint) – If you are having problems with your computer, maybe updating your BIOS could be the solution.
In general, most people will advise that BIOS updates should be the last thing you should try, as they can lead to bigger problems if it goes wrong. However, motherboard manufacturers often roll out updates that are worth installing for improved system stability, improved features, and unlocks for things like new chips for your specific motherboard.
So if you’re upgrading your computer, this is a solid first step, but it can also be a valuable thing to troubleshoot. So we are here to talk about how to update your BIOS easily and safely.
Update your BIOS carefully
Before we begin, it’s worth remembering that BIOS updates can be risky. If there is a power outage or some other type of failure in the middle of updating your BIOS, it could brick your computer. If the update process crashes while it’s happening, it can disable the motherboard and may mean it won’t work at all.
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That said, we have successfully updated many motherboard BIOS without issue.
How to check what BIOS version you are running
To update your BIOS, you must first know what version you are running. It really helps if you know what model of motherboard you are running in your machine. If you’ve built your own computer, you may already know. Don’t worry if not though, because there are ways to find out.
One way to do it is with a free software known as CPU-Z.
This nifty tool not only tells you what CPU you’re currently running, but gives you access to other data that includes the version of your BIOS and the date it was released.
Download and install the software, then click the “Mainboard” tab to view the BIOS information. This will give you information about the manufacturer, the model of the motherboard and the current version of the BIOS you have installed.
Once you know that, go to the motherboard manufacturer’s website, find the support page for your motherboard, and download the latest BIOS.
How to update your BIOS to the latest version
Here is an example of how to do it on Asus motherboards.
Many motherboard upgrades follow the same kind of logic, so the steps are usually like this:
- Back up anything important to an external drive before starting
- Download the latest BIOS files from the manufacturer’s website
- Open the files if they are compressed
- Copy the files to a USB hard drive (a blank drive is best)
- Keep the drive connected and restart your computer
- When the computer restarts, press F2 or DEL on your keyboard to access the BIOS
- Find the option to update BIOS in the BIOS settings
- Click to refresh and find the file(s) you copied to disk
- Wait for the update to complete
Do not turn off the computer while it is updating. It may take some time for the update to complete, so you’ll have to be patient. You may also need to check the instructions on the manufacturer’s website as the steps may be different. Sometimes it is possible to prompt the installation process using a motherboard program in Windows.
You may also find that there is a specific USB port on your motherboard that you should use for the USB drive. Asus has a port marked “USB Flashback” on some of its motherboards. Placing the drive here will allow you to press a button to start the process and install automatically from there.
Having trouble getting into the BIOS?
If you have trouble getting into the BIOS after restarting your computer, even when you hit DEL or F2, don’t worry there are other options.
You can access the BIOS through Windows using these steps:
- Press the start button or Windows key on your keyboard
- Type to search for “reset this computer”
- Click on “Advanced boot” and click to restart.
- You can then see various options on the screen
- Click on problems
- Click on advanced options
- Click on UEFI Firmware settings
You should then find the PC restarts in the BIOS and you can follow the update steps.
Writing by Adrian Willings.