CompTIA A+ 220-801 : Tutorial 3-Working with your Computer’s BIOS

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CompTIA A+ Certification

Hello everybody, and welcome to Hacoder. This is, your friend, Webster, and this is the third tutorial in the series of CompTIA A+ Certification.

Here are the links to previous tutorials in this series:

So, without further ado, lets get started!

Tutorial 3 –Working with your Computer’s BIOS :

Held by over 1​ million IT professionals worldwide, CompTIA A+ is the most essential IT certification for establishing an IT career. If you’re new to the IT industry, this will help you put your best foot forward. And if you’re already an IT professional, the CompTIA A+ certification validates your skills and can boost your career.

The BIOS is an important part of your computer’s configuration. In this video, you’ll learn about the PC BIOS and it’s importance to the startup process of your computer.

Here is the tutorial:-

When you start your computer, there’s a lot of hardware that’s very diverse, and yet it all needs to be able to communicate with each other. You’ve got keyboards and mouse. You’ve got hard drives that need to operate. You need to have some way to see this information on the screen. You’ve probably got a CD-ROM or a DVD-ROM that needs to load information. There needs to be central place that stores the configuration and allows all of these different very diverse components to communicate with each other.

Your computer’s BIOS provides this functionality. This is the basic input/output system for your computer. This is the firmware that starts up whenever you power on your PC, or your laptop, or the device you happen to be using. You can think of the BIOS as the conductor. It’s the thing that starts everybody up. It gets the whole system running and makes sure that your operating system can then load and perform what it needs to do on its own. This is really just software that runs, and every machine has to have this BIOS software inside of it so that it knows what to do whenever you hit that power button.

This BIOS software that runs from your computer is something that loads every time from a read-only memory or some type of non-volatile memory inside of your computer. But there’s a lot of configuration settings that also have to be stored somewhere. And they are stored in a section of your computer called the CMOS.

This stands for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor. It’s a type of memory, and, although your computer may not necessarily be using this exact type of memory to store this information, we do generally still call it the CMOS. It’s just something that we use as a term these days, regardless of where this data happens to be stored.

The configuration of the BIOS is not very large. Your CMOS is usually a storage area of about 128 to 512 bytes of information. So 512 characters, effectively, of space. So that’s not very large. Sometimes this is built into a section of the motherboard as a separate piece of memory. These days we’re finding that this BIOS configuration that we used to call the CMOS information is now simply being stored as part of the Southbridge.

If you look somewhere on your motherboard, you’ll probably find the battery that’s being used to power up your CMOS information. Make sure that it’s always there and available for you. If that battery ever goes bad, you’ll start getting messages when you start up your computer that tells you that the configuration settings are incomplete, or the configuration settings are missing. And every time you start your computer, you have to confirm the configuration before you can then continue on and boot up your system.

Sometimes, you can remove this battery, and it will wipe clean the configuration of your CMOS. These configuration settings might have passwords inside of them, so some people can find, by removing that battery, they can clear out any of the BIOS configurations that may have been set for password protecting your computer.

When you start up your computer, you will see a screen that tells you to press a certain key to start the set up process. That’s referring to configuring the BIOS settings and being able to store that information in CMOS. And usually, it’s a key like the delete key or the F2 key. You have to look at the boot up process and see if you can catch whatever it’s trying to tell you about going into the configuration mode.

If you’d like to try this yourself without damaging or changing any of your computer configurations, you can load up something like Microsoft Virtual PC. When it starts up, it gives you an option to go into a BIOS setting. If you have VM player, which is an absolutely free virtual machine that you can load up, you can load that, and it also has a BIOS configuration.

There’s another popular virtual machine called Virtual Box. You’ll find that at virtualbox.org. Unfortunately, virtual box does not have a BIOS configuration. So if you’re using Virtual Box, you’re trying to find that BIOS set up– it’s not in there. You’ll need to load the Microsoft, or need to load the VM player to be able to look into and simulate the process of using that BIOS setup.

That’s it for now. Be sure to check other cool stuff at Hacoder.


Any questions, comments or suggestions are welcomed.
Until next time, Its Webster, signing off.

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