Which is short for Basic Input/Output System, the BIOS is the software code located on PC computer motherboards that contains instructions and setup on how your system should boot (start) and how it functions. The primary function of the BIOS is to prepare the machine so other software programs stored on various media (such as hard drives, floppies, and CDs) can load, and assume control of the computer.

CMOS is short for Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor. CMOS is an on-board semiconductor chip powered by a CMOS battery (usually coin shaped, about the size of a nickel) inside IBM compatible computers that stores information such as the system time and system settings for your computer.

So why are these important? There is a wealth of information that can be obtained from the BIOS, when we experience problems with our computer systems. Is the BIOS seeing your hard disk correctly, is the date and time set correctly, how is your PC health for temperatures and fan speeds, plus a wealth of other information.

To examine your BIOS and see what it looks like, you have to press certain keys when the system Boots [starts]. Most newer computer systems will using either, ESC, Del, F1, F2 keys located on the keyboard to access the BIOS.

Not sure what keys your system uses? Check on your manufacturer’s Web site site or take a look at this site, which may help.

BIG Warning! Messing with the BIOS can cause problems. Not sure what you are doing? Consult a trained professional.

[tags]bios, cmos, commands, computer, system, information, boot, start[/tags]