What is BIOS?
BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It is technically a firmware that a PC's microprocessor puts in use to kick life into your computer once it is turned on.
It is a pre-installed motherboard software that assists the system in controlling the built-in hardware of the system like hard drives, video cards, memory, USB ports, etc.
BIOS is not something that you go about updating now and then. It is possible that before reading into this, you might have been unaware of something called BIOS.
But, knowing BIOS and getting the latest version can significantly improve the performance of your system. This is especially important in cases of hardware troubleshooting or issues with RAM or a non-working CPU.
Now, to update your BIOS version you need to identify the current version of BIOS on your system. This can help you judge how far you are from the latest technology. There are many methods available to help you identify the current version of BIOS in your system and many ways to update it.
Methods to Check Your BIOS Version
There are multiple ways you can use to check the BIOS version of your system. Some are independent of the operating system. Thus, they are suitable when the system is not functioning correctly. Others require your computer to be working to take help from the operating system. These methods are:
Rebooting your system is a traditional yet successful way to know your BIOS version. For this, you need to follow some simple steps:
- 1Reboot your computer as you might do on any occasion or cut the power supply and switch it on again. The main aim is to start the system again.
- 2Next, you need an observant eye to catch the BIOS version as your computer restarts. Most computers show a brand logo on starting up. The POST results are contained behind this logo. So, you need to press “Esc” or “Tab” to reveal the hidden POST information.
At times, you might not get ample time to catch hold of the BIOS version, and the screen might disappear too soon. In such cases, try pausing the boot process using the pause key on the keyboard. This will halt the process letting you check the BIOS version quickly.
Otherwise, you can just take a video of the screen while the boot process is happening. You can view it later!
Now, there might be too many cryptic letters and numbers, making it difficult to know what the version exactly is. If this happens, take a picture of the screen or note down all the digits and alphabets available. Luckily, amongst these digits and letters, you will find your BIOS version number.
However, as easy the method is, it is quite tedious and may take a few trials to get to the version!
Microsoft System Information (MSINFO32)
This program is a simpler way to find the BIOS version. There is no need to restart your computer. Plus, it is pretty easy as there is no need of installing newer programs of software. To use this method:
- 1Go to Start and choose “Run.” If your system uses Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, then right-click and hold “Start” to choose “Run.” If you use Windows 8, find “Run” on the Apps screen. For Windows 7 and prior versions, just click on “Run” from the Start menu.
- 2Enter msinfo32 in the search box in the same manner. You will see the System Information window on the screen.
- 3Choose the “Systems Summary” option.
- 4Under the Items column, try and locate the title BIOS Version/Date.
The value against this title is the version number you are searching for. You can jot this down or export the data as a text file in the System Information menu. This is an effective method to check your BIOS version. However, it might not be available in all systems.
Command prompt can be another easy way to get your BIOS version without having to restart the system. Use a straightforward command to identify the BIOS version in the command prompt. For this, follow the steps below:
- 1Open the command prompt. If using Windows OS, enter “cmd” in the search bar of the start menu. Or else, you can execute a simple command 'WIN+R' in the Run dialogue box.
- 2In the command prompt, input the following command and click enter: 'wmic BIOS get smBIOSBIOSversion'
- 3You will see the BIOS version underneath the command.
You can also enter 'systeminfo | findstr "BIOS Version' into Command Prompt to discover the BIOS version.
Third-Party System Information Software
In case the Microsoft System Information Software didn't get you the BIOS version information, then you may use some third party utility to find the BIOS version. There are several such tools, such as Speccy, much more efficient than MSINFO32. To use Speccy:
- 1Third-Party System Information Software: In case the Microsoft System Information Software didn't get you the BIOS version information, then you may use some third party utility to find the BIOS version. There are several such tools, such as Speccy, much more efficient than MSINFO32. To use Speccy:
- 2Install and run the software. However, if you are using the portable version, then extract and run Speccy.exe or Speccy64.exe.
- 3Next, Speccy will take a few minutes to scan your computer. Wait a while as it happens.
- 4Open Speccy and choose Motherboard from the menu on the left.
- 5A lot of information appears on the screen. Locate and note the version listed against the BIOS subcategory. This is the answer you seek.
This method is effective and reliable but requires additional software to be downloaded.
This is another excellent option to know the BIOS version of your system. The Windows Registry contains useful information including the BIOS version, motherboard maker, and motherboard model number. To access this information, follow these steps:
- 1Search and open the Registry Editor.
- 2On the left is the registry hive list. From this expand the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” option.
- 3Under this option, select “Hardware” followed by “Description” and then “System.”
- 4Under system, select “BIOS.”
- 5Within the list of registry values, identify the BIOS version on the right. The value against this will be your BIOS version number. Jot it down at an easily accessible location.
BIOS Updating Tools
You may not want to update the BIOS version often. However, when you do, it is useful to know the current BIOS version. You will use a special BIOS update tool for updating the BIOS version. This tool will give you the current BIOS version in the process of updating. Steps to use this method are:
- 1Locate the online support of your computer or motherboard maker.
- 2Download and run the tool.
- 3The BIOS version will be available somewhere in the tool even before updating the version.
Reasons to Update Your BIOS Version
Motherboard manufacturers usually come up with creative updates and bugs fixes to improve the performance of your system. To take advantage of such feature updates, you need to know and understand your system's BIOS version. When you purchase your computer, the BIOS is the latest version of that time.
However, over time, motherboard manufacturers might release newer packages of the BIOS with support for new processors and memory. That is an important reason why you should update your BIOS version.
Moreover, over decades, it has been observed that BIOS updation can result in certain other benefits. With the advancement of technology, hackers have also advanced in their means to attack your system at the UEFI firmware level. Such an attack is so low level that no antivirus software cannot detect it.
It's in such situations where updating your BIOS version will prevent an attack from such viruses and save your system from being compromised.
Lastly, for any tech enthusiast, updating BIOS is like adding new blood to your system. It enhances it beyond expectations. Yet, updating the BIOS firmware is not an easy task. It is risky. Thus, it must be done with the utmost care to not completely ruin your system.
Steps To Update Your BIOS Version
Since you now know the various ways to find the current BIOS version of your system, you may want to update it to the latest one. As it is not an easy task, you must carefully go through the steps and follow them exactly to ensure the best results. The steps to update your BIOS version are as follows:
- 1Find Your Current BIOS Version: To update your BIOS version, you first need to make sure that you are going for an updated version. For this, it is necessary to know your current BIOS version. You can do so by the methods described above.
- 2Enter the UEFI BIOS Number: Once your system restarts, press the button shown for entering the UEFI BIOS version number. This button may differ based on the design of the motherboard.
- 3Compare the Current Version to the Latest One: Once you are aware of your current BIOS version, you need to check for the latest version available on your motherboard's support page. On the downloads or supports page, you will find a list of all the latest BIOS versions. You will also see the bug fixes and feature upgrades available and the dates of their release. This will help you choose the newest version of BIOS. Download the version you want.
- 4Download and Extract the BIOS File: The BIOS download will be saved to your system in an archive form in a zip file. Extract the contents of the file. Along with this file, another Read-Only file will contain the instructions to update your BIOS specific to your system hardware. Go through it for more details.
- 5Copy and Reboot the Update File: Copy the BIOS update file to a USB flash drive and reboot your system into the UEFI control panel.
- 6Choose the Appropriate BIOS Flashing Tool: The next step is to choose the most appropriate BIOS flashing tool from several different options available. It will depend on your motherboard. The read-only file might be of some help here. Some manufacturers offer a BIOS-flashing tool directly in their BIOS. Others offer it as a special key-press option when you boot the computer.
- 7Launch the Update Tool: Launch the UEFI firmware's update tool or the flashing tool you just selected.
- 8Backup Your Existing Firmware: In case something goes wrong, you need to take precautions. So, before updating, you should back up your PC's existing firmware to your flash drive.
- 9Using UEFI Utility to Select New Firmware: Use the same UEFI utility to choose a new firmware image that was saved onto your flash drive. Running the update utility of the firmware would take more than a few minutes. Keep your patience during this step to avoid any complications. Do not shut off the system while this is happening.
- 10Restart Your PC: Lastly, as the process of flashing tool running gets completed, restart your system. The new version of BIOS will be updated to your system, and you are ready to feel the change!
Updating your BIOS version comes with its challenges and risks.
As exciting as it seems, it may lead to trouble if you miss out on any step or carry out something that you do not understand. Thus, it is necessary to be thorough with these steps and be sure that you understand them clearly and execute them precisely.
If you can do so, nothing can come between you and your BIOS updates. In case, you do not enjoy your newer BIOS version, repeat the same process by selecting the older version from the manufacturer's server. Updating your BIOS is a great way to boost your system.