How to Flash a Corrupted BIOS

By Larry Simmons

Few things can shut down a computer as completely as a corrupted BIOS. The BIOS serves as the control mechanism for the computer, connecting all of the system's various components together to ensure that data flows smoothly between them. When the BIOS corrupts, these components no longer communicate correctly, leading to problems such as bad math calculations or system components disappearing from available use. Flashing a corrupted BIOS is the only way to correct the issue. By loading a new BIOS into the system, you overwrite the corrupted one, creating a clean BIOS that returns the machine to working order.

Things You'll Need

  • CD burner
  • USB flash drive or blank CD

Step 1

Connect to the Internet using an uncorrupted computer and download a clean BIOS from the motherboard manufacturer's website. Many manufacturers offer you a choice of BIOS installation types. Choose either the Flash Drive utility or the CD-ROM utility, depending on whether you have access to a USB flash drive or a CD-ROM burner. See Tips if you don't know the manufacturer or model of the motherboard.

Step 2

Create a boot device for the new BIOS by formatting a blank CD-ROM or USB flash drive using Windows "Format." Plug a USB flash drive into an open USB port or place a blank CD into the CD burner. Right-click on the drive and select "Format." Place a check in the box marked "Create an MS-DOS startup disk." Press the "Start" button to format.

Step 3

Copy the BIOS file contents to the boot directory of the USB flash drive or CD. Write down the name of the .exe file included in the file contents along with the BIOS file name.

Step 4

Place the boot device into the computer containing the corrupted BIOS. Turn on the corrupted system and wait for the system to prompt you to access the boot selection screen.

Step 5

Press the indicated key to access the screen and then select the BIOS boot device from the "Boot Device Menu." Press the "F8" key when asked to select a boot to open the boot selection menu. Boot to the command prompt.

Step 6

Type the .exe file name from the BIOS contents, press the space bar and then type the BIOS file name. Press "Enter" to flash the uncorrupted BIOS file onto the system.

Step 7

Remove the boot device and reboot the system to activate the new BIOS.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can identify the motherboard manufacturer as well as the motherboard model by checking the motherboard itself. Open the PC using a Phillips screwdriver to remove the case screws, then pull off the case cover. Examine the motherboard for the model and manufacturer information stamped onto the board. Close the case once you've gathered the information.