How to View a BIOS System Log

By Jeremy Cato

The Basic Input/Output System, or BIOS, of every computer or server is a vital component in the operation of that computer's system. It stores essential information such as the system's internal clock, hardware configuration, passwords and enabled/disabled devices. Computer users are allowed to access the BIOS system log to examine operations and make necessary changes, but there is a protocol for doing so. This protocol varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Accessing BIOS for Windows

Step 1

Turn on the computer. As the computer is booting up, look toward the bottom of the screen. You will notice directions that read "BIOS = F2, Boot System = F12" or something similar to those commands. Again, this will vary according to the manufacturer. Press the button indicated for BIOS.

Step 2

Press the button for "System Log" or "Event Log" on the menu that appears. The menu will offer you a variety of options that are accessed by pressing the indicated buttons.

Step 3

View the system log. If you do not see any of the prompts instructed in the previous steps, you may have to contact the BIOS manufacturer. To find the BIOS manufacturer for your system, go to the Search area on the desktop and type in "System Information." Click "System Information" in the result, then view "System summary." The BIOS manufacturer will be listed.

Accessing BIOS for Mac

Step 1

Turn on the computer and wait for the desktop screen to load.

Step 2

Go to "Applications," "Utilities," then "Console" or type "Console" in the Spotlight area.

Step 3

Go to "system.log" to view the BIOS system log.

Accessing BIOS for Gateway Servers

Step 1

Open the Gateway System Manager console and log in using your adminstrator ID and password

Step 2

Click on the "+" sign that is next to the icon labeled "GSM."

Step 3

Click the "+" sign next to the server that you wish to view, then click "Events."

Step 4

Click the "IPMI SEL" (short for Intelligent Platform Management Interface System Events Log) icon to show the system events log.

Tips & Warnings

  • The directions for "Accessing BIOS for Servers" in the third section is specifically for the Gateway 995 server, but directions for other servers may be similar.