Motherboard BIOS Updates
BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It represents the software, which every electronics product needs to commence operation when powering on. In the case of motherboards, the BIOS provides a self-check sequence (POST - Power-On Self Test) and initialization of motherboard components. In addition, it will update a processor's micro core using the latest updates from the processor manufacturers.
BIOS updates are not only required to properly support new processor models, but they are frequently provided to fix known bugs, to alter the feature set or to introduce more options within the BIOS configuration menu. You can enter the BIOS setup by pressing F2 or DEL, depending on the BIOS versions. If your system shows a customized screen (e.g. the manufacturer's logo), try pressing TAB to see more technical information.
The traditional way of updating the BIOS requires you to download the BIOS update file. This is usually an image of the firmware content. Then you'll have to create a bootable floppy disc and copy the BIOS file together with the update executable (typically awdflash.exe or amiflash.exe for Award and AMI BIOSes). Once you set the boot sequence to consider floppy disks first (drive A), the system will boot into a basic DOS environment, where you have to execute the update program, providing the image file as a parameter. Motherboard manufacturers usually provide documentation for this process. The BIOS flash process may not be interrupted, as an incomplete flash process may render your motherboard dysfunctional.
Modern motherboard products support more convenient BIOS update options. The most comfortable one is a so-called online update. This requires you to download and install a BIOS update software, which will work directly under Windows. The software will then look at your system configuration and search for the latest BIOS version on the manufacturer's servers automatically. Once the BIOS image has been downloaded, the flash utility will update it automatically. All you have to do is restart your system and check the BIOS for new settings or for settings that may be overwritten.
The third way to upgrade the motherboard firmware is to provide the update file directly to the BIOS, provided that it does support an integrated update feature. In this scenario you have to copy the BIOS image file onto a USB Flash memory device or a similar storage device, from which the BIOS will grab it and update the Flash ROM.