Your PC’s BIOS (additionally referred to as its UEFI or its firmware) is the low-level software program that the motherboard makes use of to work together together with your CPU, cooling methods, enlargement playing cards and ports. Over time, each motherboard makers and PC OEMs (together with those that make laptops) subject BIOS updates that repair bugs, add help for brand spanking new CPUs or options and typically enhance efficiency or thermal administration.
Normally, there is no pressing have to replace your BIOS, so that you need not rush out and seize the newest model for those who’re not having an issue. Nevertheless, typically you actually do want a brand new model. For instance, older Intel 600 collection motherboards require BIOS updates earlier than they’ll work with thirteenth Gen “Raptor Lake” CPUs, and AMD 300, 400 and 500 collection motherboards may have BIOS updates to acknowledge processors that got here later, like Ryzen 5000 collection. The fixes for the notorious Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities additionally require BIOS updates.
Needless to say a foul or mistaken BIOS file can brick your motherboard, as might reducing off energy in the course of a BIOS replace. So watch out and double-check that you’ve got the suitable file earlier than trying a BIOS set up. Additionally be aware that updating the BIOS could wipe out any customized settings you’ve got equivalent to overclocking voltages, reminiscence timings and even drive boot order so that you’d should set these once more after the replace.
If you should replace your BIOS, there are three foremost strategies:
- Replace by way of the BIOS / UEFI setting: Boot into the PC’s BIOS (aka UEFI) setting and use the menus there to load the BIOS replace that you have put onto a USB Flash drive.
- BIOS Flashback: Accessible on some higher-end motherboards, this lets you replace with out booting the PC and even having a CPU put in. You simply put the BIOS replace recordsdata on a Flash drive (you positively do not want one of many finest flash drives for this), plug it into a particular port on the motherboard, press a button and wait a few minutes whereas some lights flash. You will want BIOS Flashback in case your motherboard will not help your new CPU till it will get a BIOS replace.
- Replace by way of Home windows software program: Some corporations have software program that permits you to provoke an replace from throughout the OS. Nevertheless, these are riskier to make use of as a result of if Home windows crashes throughout the course of, you possibly can have issues.
One of the best technique for many circumstances is updating by way of the BIOS, as a result of the Home windows technique, whereas handy, introduces higher potentialities for error that might lead to non-functioning motherboard.
Checking Your Present BIOS Model
Earlier than you determine to replace to a brand new BIOS, you may have to know which model quantity you’ve got so you possibly can examine it towards the checklist of obtainable updates to see if they’re really newer. You might also determine when wanting on the change logs, that you just need not replace in any respect.
Probably the most dependable approach to examine your present BIOS model is to enter the BIOS setup (aka UEFI) program earlier than your laptop boots and have a look at the quantity there. It is often on the Principal tab or first tab you see.
It’s also possible to get the model info within the OS (in all probability). To see your present model in Home windows:
1. Launch the System Info app. You may get there by seek for System Info.
2. Search for BIOS Model / Date in the suitable column.
Notice that some motherboards could not precisely report their model quantity to Home windows. If the code appears mistaken and does not match the BIOS model numbers on the producer’s web site, you may get a extra dependable end result by going immediately into the BIOS and searching on the interface.
Earlier than You Replace: Write Down or Screenshot Your Settings
Updates typically wipe out any settings you are modified within the BIOS and return them to their default values. If you happen to’ve modified any of the BIOS’s default settings, whether or not it is for customized overclocking, enabling XMP, setting RAM timings or simply altering the boot order of your drives, ensure to put in writing your decisions down or take screenshots of the BIOS menus earlier than you replace.
You possibly can take screenshots of most BIOS setup menus by inserting a USB Flash drive and hitting the F12 key. You’ll then have to examine and re-enter these values after the BIOS replace.
Learn how to Discover a BIOS Replace File
Earlier than you possibly can replace your BIOS, you clearly have to get the newest model, which is often obtainable as a single file to obtain out of your motherboard producer or PC OEM. If you happen to’re utilizing Home windows software program to replace your BIOS (not beneficial), it would do the downloading for you.
In any other case:
1. Discover the file on the producer’s help / downloads web page in your product. Within the case of my Asus ROG Strix X570-E motherboard, I looked for the product web page on Google, clicked the help tab on the web page after which discovered the BIOS beneath the “Driver & Instruments” tab. The online navigation expertise shall be totally different on every producers’ web site.
2. Obtain the newest secure model. If you happen to see a BIOS that is labeled as “beta,” I would advocate going with the newest file earlier than that one.
3. Unzip the file if it is in a zipper archive.
Learn how to Replace Your BIOS by way of UEFI Setup
1. Copy the BIOS file to a USB Flash drive that has a FAT32 partition.
2. Droop Bitlocker Encryption in case you have it enabled in Home windows. If you happen to replace the BIOS with out doing this, it’s possible you’ll lose knowledge if the encryption is searching for the previous BIOS. Bitlocker solely works in Home windows 10 or 11 Professional but it surely mechanically activates the primary time you signal right into a Microsoft account. To droop it, seek for “Handle Bitlocker” within the search menu and it’s best to discover the menu for it. You possibly can re-enable Bitlocker after you replace. It is also a good suggestion to make a copy of your Bitlocker restoration key on a Flash drive.
3. Reboot your laptop and enter the BIOS. Normally you may get there by hitting the F2 or Del throughout the POST (energy on self-test) course of. See our story on the way to enter the BIOS for a whole checklist of entry keys and others methods to entry it.
4. Change from simple to superior menu mode if the system is in simple or primary mode and provides you a alternative. You’ll often see a be aware on the underside of the display screen exhibiting the important thing to press / button to click on to alter into superior mode. On Asus motherboards, often you hit F7 to alter from “EZ mode.”
5. Navigate to the replace menu throughout the BIOS. The replace function can have a distinct identify relying on the motherboard vendor, although they often include the phrase “Flash.” Among the many main motherboard distributors, present names embrace:
- ASRock: Prompt Flash
- Asus: EZ Flash / EZ Flash 3
- Gigabyte: Q-Flash
- MSI: M-Flash
It doesn’t matter what it is referred to as, it really works mainly the identical manner.
6. Choose the BIOS file out of your Flash drive.
7. Click on Sure (or OK) to substantiate.
You will seemingly see a standing menu, exhibiting you the progress of your replace, which usually takes not more than a few minutes. Then the PC will both return you to the BIOS or reboot.
Learn how to Replace Your BIOS by way of BIOS Flashback
In some circumstances, it’s possible you’ll not be capable of boot your laptop to get to the BIOS / UEFI menu. For instance, many motherboards require a BIOS replace earlier than they’ll help newer-generation CPUs. Many AMD motherboards with AM4 sockets will not boot with a chip that’s newer than these from when the board got here out, so you possibly can purchase a motherboard with a B350 or B450 chipset, for instance, and it could want a BIOS replace earlier than it would work together with your Ryzen 5000 processor. The identical downside can occur when utilizing an Intel 600 collection motherboard with a thirteenth Gen CPU. This is not all the time the case, although, as some boards that had been shipped later can have an up to date BIOS from the manufacturing facility.
Luckily, some (however not most) motherboards have BIOS Flashback, which lets you replace the BIOS from a USB Flash drive, while not having in addition or also have a CPU put in. Notice that some motherboard producers use a distinct identify than “BIOS Flashback” – Gigabyte calls its Q-Flash Plus – however the course of is identical. This is how:
1. Obtain the BIOS replace file from the producer. If you happen to want BIOS Flashback on one laptop, you’ll in all probability want to do that on one other one that’s working.
2. Rename the BIOS file as essential. Most producers would require a regular identify that does not have the model quantity in it and can inform you which identify, both on the positioning or in a readme file. There could also be a utility file within the obtain that renames the BIOS file for you.
3. Copy the BIOS file to a USB Flash drive that is formatted as FAT32.
4. Be sure the pc / motherboard that wants an replace is powered off however plugged in to energy.
5. Insert the Flash drive into the devoted BIOS USB port on the again of the motherboard. It’s often labeled as BIOS, however if you cannot discover it, examine the motherboard guide. There’s additionally often a BIOS Flashback button you’ll need to press.
6. Press the BIOS Flashback button and maintain it down for 3 seconds or till you see the sunshine begin flashing.
The BIOS Flashback LED gentle will flash because it reads the file off of the drive. Wait till it’s finished flashing (when it would in all probability be off). This could take two or three minutes to finish, at which level, you have to be good to go.
On some boards – ASRock boards, for instance – a strong inexperienced gentle signifies that there’s a downside with the BIOS. If the sunshine does not flash in any respect, then one thing is not working. You must ensure the motherboard is plugged into an influence provide that is on and that the USB Flash drive has a sound BIOS file on it that has the right filename.
Learn how to Replace Your BIOS by way of Home windows Software program
That is the final and least beneficial technique of updating your PC’s BIOS. Updating by way of Home windows software program is handy but when one thing goes mistaken, inflicting the software program to crash or the BIOS file to turn out to be corrupted, you possibly can have critical issues. However typically, it would work simply high quality.
On many pre-built desktops and laptops, a BIOS replace function is constructed into the utility software program that comes preloaded. For motherboards, you’ll need to examine the producers’ directions and web sites as a result of the BIOS replace function shall be constructed into totally different apps for every model. For instance, my Asus X570 motherboard required the corporate’s AI Suite 3 software program to replace its BIOS from inside home windows. On ASRock motherboards, it is constructed into the ASRock App store.
I examined updating the BIOS on my Asus X570 motherboard utilizing AI Suite 3 and its EZ Replace function. Despite the fact that there have been newer variations of the BIOS obtainable than the one I had put in, the software program knowledgeable me that “there isn’t any have to replace the setting.” Maybe that is as a result of a BIOS replace wasn’t completely essential for me or maybe the software program itself wants an replace.
Nevertheless, I additionally had an possibility in AI Suite 3 to pick an already-downloaded BIOS file for replace.
So I picked a BIOS replace file that I had downloaded and chosen it. I used to be then proven the BIOS model and given the prospect to hit Replace.
I used to be given a warning giving me a final probability to again out or hit the Flash button.
After clicking OK yet another time, the method began.
The software program then prompted me to restart, at which level it simply booted into the BIOS firmware replace utility and began operating the replace proper there.
After a few minutes, it was finished and restarted. it might not boot into Home windows till I went again into the BIOS, saved the settings there and restarted. A few of my settings had been additionally disabled and I needed to re-enable them.
Contemplating that these Home windows apps simply land you within the BIOS setup utility anyway, we advocate skipping them and going straight into the BIOS.