Colwich Computer Club. 

Replacing BIOS Start Up System

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BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System and has been the basis on which most computers have operated for several decades. The BIOS is built into the computers Motherboard and is the first thing to start running when a computer is switched on. It is the BIOS that sets the computer up to start its operations by identifying the components of the computer and starting up the operating system whether it is Windows XP, Vista or 7. The BIOS has altered over the years with minor developmental changes, but has never been completely redesigned, nor has it really kept pace with the changing face of computers. The major problem with BIOS is a slow start up time that has come from computers having bigger and bigger hard-drives (and more of them) as well as the addition of more, (and more complicated) components in the average computer.

Another problem with the old BIOS is the way that it is used to change settings as for the system date, hard-drives, etc. The user has to navigate the menus with the arrow and enter keys, whereas the new system is more “user friendly” with a graphical user interface enabling people to simply alter settings using a point and click mouse as they would in any other computer application.

The new “Unified Extensible Firmware Interface,” or UEFI, as it is called, should be installed on all new computers sold, in place of the older BIOS, by 2011. Although it will mean a quicker initial start up time, the total start up time will still be dependant on other factors affecting the computer, not least the speed of the processor and the number of programs running on the computer. The processor can be speeded up by “Clocking” it which is with some risks. This means the chip is tweaked to operate at maximum power/efficiency all the time, but it can lead to damage if the chip is not kept cool enough as it will overheat, so this is not something to be done lightly!