BIOS is known as Basic Input/Output System (BIOS).
The BIOS software is built into the computer through a ROM (Read Only Memory), and is the first code run by a computer when powered ON. When the computer starts up, the first job for the BIOS is the power-on self-test, which initializes and identifies system devices such as the CPU, RAM, video display card, keyboard and mouse, hard disk drive, optical disc drive and other hardware.
The BIOS then locates Operating System(OS) installed on a hard disk or a CD/DVD, and loads and executes that software, giving it control of the computer. This process is known as booting, or booting up, which is short for bootstrapping.
What does this BIOS contain?
When you turn on your computer and your computer tries to execute its first instruction, it has to get that instruction from somewhere. It cannot get it from the operating system because the operating system is located on a hard disk, and the microprocessor cannot get to it without some instructions that tell it how.
It is where your BIOS comes to your rescue. BIOS provides those instructions to your computer, so that your computer can locate your hard disk and load operating system from it.
What can you do with BIOS?
A BIOS has its own user interface (not a very user friendly), from which you can:
- Configure hardware
- Set the system clock
- Enable or disable system components
- Select which devices are eligible to be a potential boot device
- Set various password prompts, such as a password for securing access to the BIOS user interface functions itself and preventing malicious users from booting the system from unauthorized peripheral devices.
This list is not it. You can do much more from BIOS apart from this.
How to Enter BIOS
You need to enter BIOS setup for numerous reasons. You can much more from BIOS, apart from the list given above.
Entering BIOS is simple, if you know the key combinations for your computer. Check How to Enter BIOS for more help in entering BIOS.