How do I update your motherboard BIOS? What is a BIOS update?
BIOS updates are usually small updates that are sent to a motherboard’s firmware. This update can fix common problems or add new features to the motherboard. The motherboard BIOS is one of the most important parts of the PC boot process, and it’s responsible for many things. Without a BIOS, your computer would have a harder time coordinating all of its resources and supporting the synergy within your system. Like most things related to a PC, your motherboard’s BIOS is subject to upgrade, and while this is a quick and easy process, it can seem a bit daunting for beginners in the PC building space.
What is a BIOS?
The BIOS is an acronym for Basic Input Output System, and a motherboard BIOS is the firmware that resides inside a small chip on the motherboard. The software running on your computer operates at a lower level than the operating system. This allows it to manage things like boot order, RAM amount, CPU frequency, and more. This chip is responsible for managing the more basic instructions that allow your PC to start up and enter into an operating system. The BIOS is responsible for running a POST or Power On Self Test. The BIOS checks for hardware and USB devices to make sure they are working correctly, and then proceeds to startup. Updating your BIOS is important to keep your computer running smoothly, and upgrading is a simple process.
Why should you upgrade your BIOS?
Updating your BIOS is important, especially if you haven’t done so in a while, or at all. Updating your motherboard BIOS brings critical security patches that help protect your hardware from low-level malware interference, and improve your hardware’s performance, which helps your system run smoothly and efficiently. It can also fixe bugs that might be causing POST or upload issues.
There are a lot of benefits to upgrading your BIOS. Updating your motherboard’s BIOS can help make your computer more compatible with newer CPUs. CPUs designed and manufactured after your motherboard’s release may not have native support for them. With the release of the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, it was easy to see the difference between them and other CPUs. Since consumer’s motherboards supported 3000 series CPUs at the time, a BIOS update was needed to enable use of 5000 series CPUs.
Installing the wrong BIOS on your motherboard can cause problems with your motherboard. Some motherboards have a dual BIOS feature and a flashback feature to prevent this but not all do, so check if your motherboard has one or both of these if you need peace of mind. Most modern motherboards are more intelligent and self-aware, and will not allow you to install the wrong BIOS onto them.
Downloading the right BIOS
To determine what BIOS you need, simply navigate to your motherboard manufacturer website and find your product. There is usually a support option for your motherboard, click it and click on BIOS. Then, download the latest version. Some motherboards are released more than once, and are available in multiple revisions, so you’ll need to find the right revision of your motherboard on the BIOS download page.
Installing the BIOS
To install and update your motherboard’s BIOS, follow these steps. Please note that this guide applies to Gigabyte’s motherboards, and may look slightly different if you have a motherboard from another manufacturer.
1. Format USB drive to NTFS
Get an empty USB flash drive and format it using Windows’ built-in tools. To do this, simply right-click on the drive in File Explorer, and select format. In the drop down menu under “File System” select NTFS option.
2. Transfer downloaded BIOS to formatted USB drive
Drag and drop the BIOS file you downloaded earlier to the root directory of the USB drive.
3. Boot into your motherboard’s BIOS
Load into your motherboard’s BIOS by spamming the “DEL” key during the system boot procedure.
4. Load into the Q-Flash utility
Navigate to the Q-Flash utility from your motherboard’s main dashboard page, and select “Update BIOS” option.
5. Select your BIOS file from the USB flash drive
Select the BIOS file from the USB drive you loaded it onto earlier and click the arrow to the right of the file explorer. When prompted about whether you are sure you want to update your BIOS, hit “Yes”.
6. Press “Start” to update your BIOS
After short check, your motherboard will prompt you to start the process of updating your BIOS. Click “Yes” to proceed.
7. Reboot to finish the procedure
Once the BIOS is updated, you will be asked to reboot your PC, or wait for it to automatically restart. If everything went accordingly, your motherboard should now have a new BIOS, with lots of new security fixes and features.
The Motherboard BIOS performs a variety of important functions, the most notable of which is the firmware that enables the system to perform self-diagnostics, and the ability to boot into an operating system. Keeping the BIOS up to date is something that many people neglect and it’s important as with new BIOS iterations come the latest hardware support, security patches and bug fixes. As you can see, updating BIOS is fairly easy, and now you know to to do it.