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Award Flash BIOS Update Guide

What Do We Need It For?

Like every busy morning starts with a beep of your alarm clock, every startup begins with the BIOS. Let us remind you that BIOS (Basic Input-Output System) is actually a program, which the computer can address without turning to the hard disk. It contains the codes that are necessary to manage key devices of the system (i.e. the keyboard, graphics card, HDD, floppy disk drives, ports and others). It comes logical that as long as BIOS needs no disk drives, there is an absolutely different storage device used for it. It is always available, no matter what happens with the disk subsystem, and thus enables your PC start up independently. For quite a while ROM microchip (read-only memory) was used for these purposes. Consequently, it was almost impossible to introduce any changes to the BIOS. Then, as a result of a rapid development of computer technologies and an acute need of BIOS reflashing, ROM microchip was replaced by EEPROM (Electrically Erasable and Programmable Read-Only Memory), aka Flash ROM. The chips of this type allow reflashing the original data, which was stored in them, with the help of special programs, so nowadays there is nothing easier than to update your BIOS anew. This microchip is most commonly hosted on a special platform on the mainboard. So, in case the BIOS gets spoilt, you can easily remove and reflash the invalid chip with the help of a special device.

It is noteworthy that Flash ROM doesn't always stand for Flash BIOS. In most cases, these terms denote the same thing, but there are some mainboards that don't allow reflashing the BIOS via software, regardless of the Flash ROM microchip they are equipped with. It's a matter of the mainboard design, whether you can update the BIOS without removing it from the board or not. As a rule, when you buy a mainboard, this point is highlighted in the manual.