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How To Find That Your BIOS Needs Updating

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Check How To Find That Your BIOS Needs Updating

Although you shouldn’t update your BIOS on a regular basis, it is occasionally necessary. Here’s how to find out what version of BIOS your computer is running, and how to quickly and safely update a new BIOS on your motherboard. Be very careful when updating your BIOS! If your computer freezes, crashes, or loses power during the process, the BIOS or UEFI firmware may be corrupted. This will make your computer unable to boot, it will be “locked”.

How to check your current BIOS version in Windows

Check your BIOS version at the command prompt

To check your BIOS version from the command prompt, press Start, type “cmd” in the search box, and then click the “Command Prompt” result; it is not necessary to run it as administrator.

When prompted, type (or copy and paste) the following command and then hit Enter. You will see the version number of the BIOS or UEFI firmware on your current PC.

Check your BIOS version using the System Information Panel

You can also find your BIOS version number in the System Information window. In Windows 7, 8, or 10, press Windows + R, type “msinfo32” in the Run box, and then press Enter.

The BIOS version number is displayed in the System Summary panel. Look at the “BIOS Version / Date” field.

How to update your BIOS

First, head over to the motherboard manufacturer’s website and find the Downloads or Support page for your specific motherboard model. You should see a list of the available BIOS versions, along with the changes / bug fixes for each and the dates they were released. Download the version you want to upgrade to. You probably want to get the latest version of BIOS, unless you have a specific need for an older one.

If you bought a pre-built computer instead of building your own, visit the computer manufacturer’s website, find your computer model, and check their download page. There you will find all available BIOS updates.

Your BIOS download probably comes in one file, usually a ZIP file. Extract the contents of that file. Inside, you will find a kind of BIOS file; In the screenshot below, it is the file E7887IMS.140.

The file should also contain a README file that will guide you through updating to the new BIOS. You should refer to this file for instructions that apply specifically to your hardware, but we’ll try to cover the basics that work on all hardware here.

You will need to choose one of several different types of BIOS update tools, depending on your motherboard and what it supports. The README file included in the BIOS update should recommend the ideal option for your hardware.

Some manufacturers offer a BIOS update option directly in your BIOS, or as a special option for pressing a key when starting the computer. Copy the BIOS file to a USB drive, restart your computer, and then enter the BIOS or UEFI screen. From there, choose the BIOS update option, select the BIOS file you placed on the USB drive, and the BIOS updates to the new version.

Typically, you access the BIOS screen by pressing the appropriate key while the computer is starting; it is often displayed on the screen during the boot process and will be indicated in the motherboard or PC manual. Common BIOS keys include Delete and F2. The process for entering a UEFI configuration screen may be a little different.

There are also more traditional DOS-based BIOS update tools. When using those tools, create a live DOS USB drive and then copy the BIOS update utility and BIOS file to that USB drive. Then restart your computer and boot from the USB drive. In the minimal DOS environment that appears after reboot, run the appropriate command, often something like flash.bat BIOS3245.bin—And the tool shows the new BIOS version in the firmware.

The DOS-based update tool is often provided in the BIOS file that you download from the manufacturer’s website, although you may need to download it separately. Look for a file with the file extension .bat or .exe.

In the past, this process was done with bootable CDs and floppies. We recommend a USB drive because it is probably the easiest method on modern hardware.

Some manufacturers provide Windows-based update tools, which run on the Windows desktop to update your BIOS and then reboot. We do not recommend their use, and even many manufacturers who provide these tools advise against their use. For example, MSI “highly recommends” using its BIOS-based menu option instead of its Windows-based utility in the README file of the sample BIOS update that we downloaded.

Updating your BIOS from Windows can result in more problems. All that software running in the background, including security programs that can interfere with writing to the computer’s BIOS, can cause the process to crash and corrupt your BIOS. Any system crash or freeze can also result in a corrupted BIOS. Prevention is better than cure, so we recommend using a BIOS-based update tool or booting into a minimal DOS environment to update your BIOS.

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James Hogan
James Hogan
James Hogan is a notable content writer recognized for his contributions to Bollyinside, where he excels in crafting informative comparison-based articles on topics like laptops, phones, and software. When he's not writing, James enjoys immersing himself in football matches and exploring the digital realm. His curiosity about the ever-evolving tech landscape drives his continuous quest for knowledge, ensuring his content remains fresh and relevant.
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