BIOS is a pre-installed software on a computer’s motherboard. It initializes and tests the system hardware components and loads a bootloader or an operating system from a mass memory device. It provides an abstraction layer for the hardware, i.e., a consistent way for application programs and operating systems to interact with the keyboard, display, and other input/output devices. But why would you want to update BIOS?
Updating your BIOS can bring several benefits, including improved system stability, added features, and even potential speed boosts. However, it’s important to note that BIOS updates should only be performed if necessary, such as when you’re experiencing system instability or the new version includes an update you need.
You can read more about BIOS in general here.
Table of Contents
Checking and Updating Your BIOS Version in Windows
Here are the steps to check your current BIOS version and how to update it:
Checking Your BIOS Version
There are several ways to see your BIOS version from within Windows, and they work the same on PCs with a traditional BIOS or a newer UEFI firmware. Here’s how to check your BIOS version using the Command Prompt:
- Open Command Prompt by typing
cmdin the Windows search bar and hitting Enter.
- In the Command Prompt window, type
wmic bios get smbiosbiosversionand hit Enter. Your BIOS version will be displayed.
Alternatively, you can check your BIOS version using the System Information Panel:
- Press Windows+R, type
msinfo32into the Run box and then hit Enter.
- The BIOS version number is displayed on the System Summary pane. Look at the
Updating Your BIOS
Different motherboards use different utilities and procedures, so there are no one-size-fits-all instructions here. However, you’ll perform the same basic process on all motherboards:
- Visit the manufacturer’s website and find the downloads page for your specific PC or motherboard model. You should see a list of available BIOS versions, any changes/bug fixes, and the release dates.
- Download the version to which you want to update. You’ll probably want to grab the newest BIOS version unless you need an older one.
- Your BIOS download probably comes in an archive, usually a ZIP file. Inside, you’ll find some sort of BIOS file. Extract the contents of that file.
- The BIOS update’s included README file should recommend the ideal option for your hardware. Some manufacturers offer a BIOS-flashing option directly in their BIOS or as a special key-press option when you boot the computer.
- Copy the BIOS file to a USB drive, reboot your computer, and enter the BIOS or UEFI screen. From there, you choose the BIOS-updating option, select the BIOS file you placed on the USB drive and the BIOS updates to the new version.
Remember, updating your BIOS can be risky and potentially render your computer unbootable if not done correctly. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and never interrupt the update process.