BIOS and Driver Updates It is very important to keep your drivers and BIOS up to date. the Basic Input Output System (BIOS), also known as the System BIOS or ROM BIOS is a de facto standard defining a firmware interface. The first thing your computer does on power up is go through the BIOS. On x86-based computers, the set of essential software routines that test hardware at startup, start the operating system, and support the transfer of data among hardware devices. The Bios is stored in read-only memory (ROM) so that it can be executed when you turn on the computer. Although critical to performance, the BIOS is usually invisible to computer users. Because of the job it does it is important to keep it up to date with the latest version. Thanks to Tim Fisher in about.com here is a simple method to get your BIOS details:
1. Click on Start and then Run.
2. In the text box in the Run window, type msinfo32 and click OK. This will open the System Information program.
3. When System Information first opens, it defaults to the System Summary, a short list with some of the most important information about your computer system listed.
4. On the right side of the program, locate the BIOS Version/Date entry.
5. This field contains the BIOS version that is currently running on your motherboard. This field may also contain additional information such as the BIOS date, BIOS manufacturer, motherboard manufacturer and the motherboard model number. Note: If the BIOS date is shown, it can be useful in determining the current BIOS version from a motherboard manufacturer’s website if the version is not clear here.
6. Close System Information.
Armed with this information you can go to the manufacturer’s website and check for the latest revision. There will also be details of how to download and apply it to your own BIOS. The reason the BIOS gets updated is because of system errors reported to the BIOS manufacturer so they update the Bios to hopefully minimise problems in the system. One of the reasons I stress this point is because I have a HP CQ57 laptop which has been closing down intermittently. After spending a lot of time on the phone with HP with no improvement I decided to check my BIOS. I found that my laptop had an F.16 rev. BIOS when the latest is F.31! So I updated the BIOS and Lo and Behold it has not shut down for 48 hours so far. Previously it would not run more than four hours without shutting down. I also believe in not to touch anything if your system runs without any problems. Only do an upgrade if you are having problems. While you are about it why not check on your other drivers to make sure they are up to date. Important ones to check are your printer or printers, video board, sound system, Hard Drives, CD/DVD drive, etc. There are a number of driver scanners available and a quick Google for driver scanners will bring many to your notice. I should mention here that the FREE trial version will usually just tell you what drivers you need. You need to purchase to have the program actually download and apply all the required drivers. This can be a great time saver and the cost is usually around just $29.