In this short How to Guide I am going to walk you through configuring your bios. This is one of the most integral parts of configuring your computer, as it regulates and controls all the hardware attached.
(**Warning** – Mis-configuration of the bios can cause damage to your computer components and/or lockup your computer. For this reason I strongly recommend keeping to the guide as we wont be tampering with anything that can cause damage.)
Step 1 – Entering the bios
Upon pushing the power button on your desktop you have a roughly 3 – 10 second window to enter the bios. For most bios you simply push the delete key, but this is conditionally based on the motherboard and bios variety, for some it will be the F Keys you can check your manual or simply look at the screen on startup.
(Note – Some bios have a splash screen or picture during startup this is your window to enter the bios.)
Step 2 – Bios menu options
Now that we have entered the Bios its time to take a look at the menu, and select “Standard cmos features”. The standard cmos features menu allows you to configure the date and time of your bios. This is important as the date and time coincides with many functions of windows software as well as validating security certificates online so it must correct. This option also allows you to check and see what disk drives, floppy drive, and video card are currently installed, as well as see what position the hard disk’s are installed. (Master and Slave) For our purposes we are simply going to change the date and time.
(Note – Some BIOS’s include the option to check for the primary video display adapter here)
Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select the date and time and use the + / – key to adjust the date.
(Note – Some bios’s keys may differ their is a legend on the bottom of the page to help you.)
After correctly configuring your date and time, press the Esc Key to go back to the bios menu.
Step 2 – Advanced BIOS Features
Next use the arrow keys to go down to the “Advanced BIOS Features” and press the enter key. In this menu we want to set the Boot Sequence so that we can begin our Windows instillation, so use the arrow keys to select CDROM and press the + key until it reaches First boot device. Now press the Esc key and head back to the main bios menu.
(Note – In some motherboard’s Advanced Bios Features there exists a menu option to set the Primary Video Display Adapter; this should be changed to your video adapter. AGP/PCI/PCI-E)
Step 3 – Advanced Chipset Features
Navigate down the menu and press the enter key on “Advanced Chipset Features”, then head to the AGP & Bridge Control and press enter. Here we are going to change the aperture size of the video card to coincide with the available memory of the video card.
(Note – Check the video card manual or online for the amount of memory(RAM) this will be your aperture size.) Once selected press the Esc key back to the main menu.
Step 4 – Integrated Peripherals
Use your arrow keys and select Integrated Peripherals and press enter. For some, these options will be different as all manufactures BIOS information differs, but for our purposes this is where we set the Initial display, which is simply the Primary Display Adapter / Video Card we are using. As we are using an AGP Video card this will be our primary adapter select it and press enter.
(**WARNING** – Changing the Initial Display Adapter / Primary Display Adapter to any Adapter that is not currently connected will cause your monitor not to load on startup, after exiting the bios. An example is switching this setting to PCI, after reboot the monitor will go black until connected to the PCI Video Adapter on the rear panel. If there is NO PCI Video Adapter to switch to then your screen will NEVER be able to load. Until you reset or clear the CMOS manually on the motherboard.)
Step 5 – Saving and Exiting
Now that we have completed our configuration changes head back to the main menu and select Save & Exit Setup, when it asks if you would like to save press the Y key and hit enter. The computer will reboot and save your configuration settings. This completes our guide on BIOS configuration.