The Basic Input Output System or as it is commonly referred to as “BIOS” is considered to be a major command set which is mandatory for any computer in order to function properly. It rests second in the line of authority with the computer operating system itself being in first place. The BIOS is a firmware installation which consists of a customized standard designed to define a specific programmed interface. Actually, it is basically a booted firmware which is intended to be the initial code necessary to run a computer upon activation and initial turn on.
Basically, the BIOS’s primary functions are designed to test, initialized and identify the various system devices that reside inside the computer. These devices can range from the hard drives, the floppy drives, the video card and any other installed hardware that could be found inside your machine. These tasks are absolutely necessary in order to prepare your computer for your intended purpose. The BIOS sets your machine to a stable state where the installed software can effectively be loaded, properly controlled and executed in its intended purpose. The initial running and operation of the BIOS with your computer is officially termed bootstrapping but for simplicity is has been referred often to merely booting or booting up the operating system.
The needed commands and programs found in the computer’s BIOS system are safely stored in a small microchip on the mother board. These programs are designed by the manufacturer to work effectively with many of the devices which are found on the modern machines. You may find several complimentary chipset within your computer system. In short, these BIOS programs are similar to mini-libraries composed of fundamental input and output functions which the operating system can instantly invoke anytime the need arises for a particular hardware capability. As an example, suppose you have a need to control the computer keyboard, the hard drives and any other device in the machine then the BIOS would send the necessary signals and commands to the microprocessor and active the hardware. In some types of PC’s such as the IBM or the older AT versions a few of the devices such as the hard drives and some video adapters could perhaps have their own BIOS.
In our modern day computer systems most BIOS have the capability to be upgraded which is a very vital aspect of computer design. You can readily appreciate this idea when you consider all the updated hardware that arrives at the market place daily. Your computer would need to have some immediate way of knowing the critical details concerning this new equipment. This process is known as flashing the BIOS. It is a procedure that must be accomplished carefully and it is vital that you understand exactly what you are doing.
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