All those who use their PC, sooner or later, must face the need to access the BIOS. Now you will not have a problem remembering the key to press to enter this configuration. Now we’ll talk about how to enter the BIOS, as well as consider the basic settings available to the user.
Most PC users are aware of the existence of the BIOS; some even have an idea of its functions and purposes.
At the same time, the average user does not need to access the BIOS directly. Working with a computer every day for many years, many users don’t even know what this abbreviation means and what it means.
What is BIOS?
The BIOS is decoded as “Basic Input Output System,” or “Basic Input-Output System.” The BIOS is a set of programs for data input and output for system management. All these programs are found on the PC motherboard.
The main task of the BIOS menu is to check the loading process of the operating system and to specify the device start queue.
Using the system menu functions, you can increase processor efficiency, change the CPU frequency, view the PC factory specifications, adjust the time, change the language, and so on.
Modern computers have switched to a more advanced form of the basic system, which is called UEFI. However, the essence of its use has not changed.
In which situations it is necessary to access the BIOS:
- Computer overclocking. Using the BIOS, you can specify non-standard frequencies and voltages for the processor, memory, and other components. Therefore, the performance of the processor and the entire computer can be improved.
- Select a disk to boot the operating system. In the BIOS, the user can specify the drives from which the operating system should boot. In this case, you can specify different units from which you can download. In this case, the computer will try to load the operating system from the first unit and, in case of error, it will go to the next one.
- Enable or disable integrated components. Some integrated components (such as a sound card) can be deactivated and activated via BIOS.
- Setting the system date and time. Through the BIOS, you can specify the system date and time. When the settings are restored, the date and time information is also reset, after which the system clock must be set again.
- Monitor computer status . Through the BIOS, some computer status data can be accessed. For example, you can see the processor temperature .
- Enable or disable some specific computer features .
To access the BIOS, you need to press a special key on the keyboard during computer startup, almost immediately after pressing the power button.
All the most commonly used access keys to enter the PC BIOS
To access the motherboard BIOS immediately after turning on the computer, you need to press a certain key (or a combination of them) specified by the motherboard manufacturer. The button to turn on the settings window is usually indicated in the startup window of the personal computer.
Sometimes the moment in which it is possible to enter the BIOS, passes so quickly and in silence, that by pressing the settings button you get nothing.
Therefore, it is best to press this button immediately after turning on the computer, and several times until the coveted blue BIOS screen appears.
This method is the most common and is suitable for most personal computers and laptops with Windows operating system.
To do this, turn off the computer and restart it . In the first 3-5 seconds after pressing the power button, click the F2 button . After a few seconds, the BIOS menu appears on the monitor screen.
However, depending on the computer manufacturer and the brand of the motherboard, the key to press may be different. Below is a list of keys to press to access the BIOS or UEFI depending on the manufacturer’s brand.
- Acer (Aspire, Power, Veriton, Extended, Ferrari, TravelMate, Altos): press [F2] or [Del] after loading the BIOS.
- Acer (High 600 Server): press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Esc] or [F1] during startup (for advanced options).
- Acer (old PC): press [F1] or [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Esc] to enter the BIOS.
- AMI (American Megatrends AMIBIOS, AMI BIOS): press [Del] during startup.
- AMI (American Megatrends AMIBIOS, AMI BIOS) – old versions: press [F1] or [F2] during startup.
- BIOS Award (AwardBIOS): press [Cancel] after turning on the computer.
- BIOS Award (AwardBIOS) – previous versions: press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Esc] during startup.
- ALR: press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Esc] or [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del] during startup.
- ARI: Press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Esc] or [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del] during startup.
- AST advantage: press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Esc] during startup.
- Compaq (Presario, Prolinea, Deskpro, Systempro, Portable): press [F10] when the cursor appears in the upper corner of the screen.
- Compaq (Presario, Prolinea, Deskpro, Systempro, Portable): press [F10] when the screen with the logo appears.
- Compaq (old computers): press the [F1], [F2], [F10] or [Del] key.
- Cybermax: press the [Esc] key.
- Dell (XPS, Dimension, Inspiron, Latitude, OptiPlex, Precision, Vostro): press F2 when the Dell logo appears until “Entering Setup” appears.
- Dell (old 486 models): press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Enter] during startup.
- Dell (some models): press the Reset button 2 times.
- Dell Dimension L566cx system: press [Delete].
- Dell (old laptop models – notebook): press [Fn] + [Esc] or [Fn] + [F1].
- DTK (Datatech Enterprises): press [Esc] immediately after turning on the PC.
- EISA computer: press the Reset button, then press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Esc] when the memory count starts or press [Crtl] + [Alt] + [S].
- eMachines (eMonster, eTower, eOne, S-Series, T-Series): Press [Tab] or [Del] during startup.
- eMachine (some old models): press [F2].
- Fujitsu (LifeBook, Esprimo, Amilo, Tablet, DeskPower): Press [F2] when the Fujitsu logo is displayed.
- Gateway using Phoenix BIOS (DX, FX, Uno, GM, GT, GX, Profile, Astro): Press [F1].
- Gateway (some older models): press [F2].
- Hewlett-Parkard (HP Pavilion, TouchSmart, Vectra, OmniBook, Tablet): press [F1] at startup.
- Hewlett-Parkard (HP alternative): press [F2] or [Esc].
- Hewlett-Parkard (HP) Tablet PC: press [F10] or [F12].
- IBM ThinkPad using IBM BIOS (previous models): Press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Insert] when the cursor appears at the top of the screen.
- IBM ThinkPad using BIOS BIOS (later models): press and hold [F1] while turning on the notebook.
- IBM ThinkPad with Phoenix BIOS: press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F11] of the DOS prompt.
- IBM (PC, XT, AT): press [F1] when turning on the computer.
- IBM (old computers or notebooks): press [F2].
- Lenovo (ThinkPad, IdeaPad, 3000 series, ThinkCentre, ThinkStation): press [F1] or [F2] at startup.
- Lenovo (old models): press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F3], [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Ins] or [Fn] + [F1].
- MR BIOS for Microid search: press [F1].
- Micron (MPC ClientPro, TransPort): press [F1], [F2] or [Del] at startup.
- NEC (PowerMate, Versa, W-Series): press [F2] during startup.
- NEC Versa notebook: press and hold [F1] during startup.
- Olivetti PC Pro: Press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Shift] + [Del] (on the numeric keypad) during startup.
- Packard Bell (series 8900, series 9000, Pulsar, Platinum, EasyNote, imedia, iextreme): press [F1], [F2] or [Del].
- Packard Bell (models 386 and 486): press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [S].
- Phoenix BIOS (Phoenix-Award BIOS): press [Del] during the startup diagnostic test.
- Phoenix BIOS (Phoenix-Award BIOS) – previous version: press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [S], [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Esc], [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Ins] or [ Ctrl] + [S] during the diagnostic test after startup.
- Sharp (Notebook Notebook, Actius UltraLite): press [F2] at startup.
- Sharp (old PC): needs the diagnostic disk to access the BIOS.
- Shuttle (Glamor G-Series, D’vo, Prima P2-Series, Workstation, X Mini XPC, Surveillance): press [F2] or [Del] at startup.
- Sony (VAIO, PCG series, VGN series): press [F1], [F2] or [F3] after turning on the computer.
- Sony Vaio series 320: press [F2] during startup.
- Tandon 386: press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc].
- Tandon: press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc].
- Toshiba (Portégé, Satellite, Tecra): press [Esc] during startup.
- Toshiba (Portégé, Satellite, Tecra with Phoenix BIOS): press [F1] during startup.
- Zenith, Phoenix: press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Insert] during startup.
Access the BIOS via “Restore” without pressing the key at startup (Windows 8 and 10)
The new Windows PCs do not use the classic BIOS, but have a new technology called UEFI that offers greater capacity and security in terms of system startup and every day more equipment is supplied with this technology.
To access this type of UEFI in Windows 8 and Windows 10 we can do the following. First, click on the start menu, then select Settings.
Within the Windows configuration, it is necessary to access the last section called Update and security . This is where similar recovery and troubleshooting configurations are included.
Then you need to click on the Restore tab (in the left panel) and then click on the Restart Now button in the Advanced Startup section. As explained in the text, this is a special type of reboot.
You will then see the menu with a blue background that is mainly used to solve problems with Windows, even if one of the options is to access the BIOS. Click on Fix problems.
Then select Advanced Options. Finally, click on the UEFI firmware configuration . The name itself is not too intuitive, but in practice, it means that it will restart the PC and allow you to access the firmware configuration, which is the same as the BIOS.
Once you enter the BIOS, you can browse through all its elements using the keyboard. These are the main keys to change BIOS options:
- Arrows – move up, down and sideways;
- F1 – open the partition with;
- F6 or F9: set standard settings;
- F10 – saves all changes in the settings and exits;
- Enter: access the selected menu;
- Esc – back or out. With this button, you can return to the previous screen. If you are on the first screen, then using the Esc key, you can exit and restart the computer;
- The plus and minus keys: change the value. Use the +/- keys to change the selected value;
- Tab: select a value;
Thanks to the BIOS we have the possibility to modify many values associated with our system. As you can see, the information contained in your BIOS is essential for the proper functioning of your computer and that is why you must protect it from incorrect changes. To protect the BIOS or UEFI, use a password in Windows 10.8 and 7.
What to do if a password is required to access the BIOS
The password at the BIOS entry is usually not set, but some manufacturers or repair companies protect the entry in this way. The easiest way is to enter the desired combination, but it is often lost or completely unknown.
In these cases, it is necessary to turn off the computer, remove the system unit cover and remove the battery that powers the CMOS memory. After removing the battery, power is needed for 15 seconds. This will reset the CMOS and reset the password. Then reinsert the battery, assemble the computer, turn it on and the bios can be accessed without the password.