BIOS for Beginners

Integrated Peripherals, Continued

Onboard 1394 Device (Firewire) : This feature enables or disables the built-in IEEE 1394 (Firewire) port on the PC. If the system does not have any Firewire devices, or if the Firewire connector is not plugged into the motherboard, disable this device to free up valuable resources.

Floppy Disk Access Controller : Most PCs today do not have floppy drives. If that's the case for your PC, or if you never use your floppy drive and would rather have resources available for other uses, then disable this device. Note: If you have a floppy drive and decide to disable it here, the drive will not function unless you go back in to the BIOS and re-enable it.

Onboard Serial Port 1 : Most people no longer use serial ports for connecting external peripherals, as most have been replaced by USB equivalents. If you do not use the system's serial ports, disable the ports and free up the resources. On the other hand, if you do use the serial port, then this option should be set to 3F8/IRQ4 .

Onboard Serial Port 2 : Same as above, if you do not use this. If you do use it, then set this to 2F8/IRQ3 .

UART2 Use As : A UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) is a chip that receives and transmits data serially; each serial port you have will use one, though it is possible that several may be integrated onto one chip. Many motherboards offer an infrared device to use in place of Serial Port 2, and this is where you can make that decision. You will need the infrared adapter installed on your motherboard - usually sold separately - to utilize the Infrared feature.

Onboard Parallel Port : This setting lets you decide whether to select parallel port mode resources or disable the parallel port completely. If you have nothing plugged into the parallel port, disabling it will free up valuable system resources. But if you use the parallel port, then I recommend you set it to 378/IRQ7 .

Parallel Port Mode : If you have disabled the parallel port, then this setting is irrelevant. However, if the parallel port is enabled, you should configure it to run in EPP (enhanced parallel port) or ECP (enhanced capabilities port) mode. EPP mode is recommended if the system has just one device, such as a printer, plugged into its parallel port. Select ECP if you have daisy-chained more than one device - such as an external Zip drive, scanner, printer, or tape drive - to the system's parallel port. To take full advantage of these settings, make sure you're using IEEE-1284-compliant parallel cables.

ECP DMA Select : If you select ECP or EPP plus ECP as your parallel port mode above, then this option is made available to you. With it, you can select which DMA (Direct Memory Access) channel you want it to use. I recommend the default setting of 3.

Onboard Game Port : If you have added a sound card to your system, or if you do not use either MIDI-devices or obsolete joysticks, then this feature should be disabled to free up resources. If, however, you do use the onboard game port, then I recommend the default setting of 201.

Onboard MIDI I/O : The Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) defines the standard that lets musical instruments, computer hardware, and software communicate. If you do not use your computer for making or playing MIDI music, you can safely disable this device. Otherwise, I recommend the default setting of 330.

Onboard MIDI IRQ : Same as above. If enabled, I recommend the default setting of 10.

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  • wguru
    Not sure I'll find THG detailing how a user can change the boot drive to a plugnplay usb optical drive, so if needed, I can use my recovery disk to boot because I junked my laptop's onboard optical drive and am using a high end Windows compatable optical drive now and the Bios is still set to boot from it. But I'll keep drilling.
  • Anonymous
    Hello. I was wondering if you could help me. I loved your well described article. You are the first person I have seen online to acknowledge that the power management contained in the software does not mesh well with the hardware. So, I am trying to change my ACPI Settings in the the bios. I want to try switching it to S1 mode. I have Windows 7 and it will not wake up. Problem is I can't find the power settings in my bios. I have a dv9000 and not sure what button to push when I turn the laptop on. If anyone could help me out it would much appreciated. This problem is driving me crazy. Thank you in advance.
  • Anonymous
    exact same problem here.