How to Install BIOS Updates

By Candace Benson

Flashing or updating your BIOS can give your computer new features or correct consistent computer problems. While installing BIOS updates is a fairly simple task, installing the incorrect update or installing the update incorrectly will make your motherboard unusable. Many motherboard and computer manufacturers now include Windows-based flash BIOS programs. If your computer includes such a program, open it and follow the on-screen prompts. You should only flash your BIOS if you need to enable newly supported features on your motherboard or if you are experiencing BIOS-related problems with your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Blank floppy disk or USB flash drive
  • Floppy drive or available USB port

Step 1

Verify that you have the correct BIOS update for your specific motherboard by visiting your computer or motherboard manufacturer's website. Read all instructions provided by your manufacturer.

Step 2

Close all programs. Double-click the file you downloaded. Access the "readme.txt" if available.

Step 3

Follow the on-screen prompts. Extract the files if the BIOS update is included in a ZIP file. Allow the built-in Windows-based updater to process the BIOS update if available.

Step 4

Insert a blank floppy disk or USB flash drive. Copy the files to a floppy disk or a USB flash drive. Include boot disk files, if necessary. Restart the computer.

Step 5

Enter your BIOS by pressing the appropriate key as shown on-screen immediately after restarting your computer.

Step 6

Navigate to the "Advanced Boot Options," and choose to boot first from floppy drive or USB drive, depending on your configuration if you must use a boot disk. Navigate to the BIOS Tools or to the appropriate menu in the BIOS and begin the flash process otherwise. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process. Save and exit.

Step 7

Allow your computer to boot into DOS if you are using a boot disk. Type the commands as specified by your computer or motherboard manufacturer to begin updating your BIOS.

Step 8

Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the BIOS update.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always follow your motherboard or computer manufacturer's precise instructions for updating your BIOS. The method of updating a BIOS varies according to the age, brand and model of motherboard, and computer manufacturer (if applicable).
  • Connect your computer to a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) to prevent failed updates.
  • Update your BIOS at your own risk. Your computer may be unusable if you incorrectly update the BIOS.
  • Do not power down your computer while it is flashing the BIOS.