BIOS

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The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) was the firmware of choice for each IBM-compatible PC until a few years ago.

Configuration

In order to configure the system users need to enter the BIOS setup by pressing a specific key, like:

  • Del
  • F1
  • F2


Users can find the right key in their motherboard or computer manual, but it may also be shown during boot time, right after after power on. To enter the BIOS setup users need to press the key about two seconds after power on, even if there is no screen displayed.

In the setup users can configure several features:

  • Enable or disable built-in hardware devices.
  • Configure hardware features.
  • Set date and time.
  • Select a boot drive and order.
  • Specify a boot password.

To operate the setup with an USB keyboard, users have to enable a function called USB Legacy or similar.

Set boot drive and order

Users can change in the BIOS setup the boot drive and order. They should set the first drive where they installed the bootloader to speed up boot time. The BIOS take some time to check optical and floppy disk drives for a valid boot loader.

For USB boot drives users have to enable the function called USB Legacy or similar.

Newer BIOS versions let users press a key during boot to open a menu, where they can select the boot drive. This is handy, if they want to boot from a LiveCD. Possible keys are:

  • F11
  • F12

Users can find the right key in their motherboard or computer manual, but it may also be shown during boot time, right after after poweron. To show to boot menu users need to press the key about two seconds after power on, even if there is no screen displayed.

See also

  • BIOS Update — describes how to apply a BIOS update on a Gentoo system

External resources