BIOS BASICS


The following was designed to provide you with basic assistance only in handling motherboard Bios related issues. For more detailed instructions, see either our Award or AMI Bios pages.

You should only enter the BIOS during the boot process of the computer and never from within an operating system (i.e. Windows). On some computers you can still enter the BIOS from a DOS prompt.

There are several  ways can be used to enter the BIOS/CMOS, and the video monitor will usually indicate the method or key to use (but not always) at the bottom of the screen just as the computer is turned on.

To enter the BIOS during boot up hold down or tap one of the following keys:

  • Hold down the <Del> key (AMI and Award)
  • Hold down the <F1> key
  • Hold down the <F10> key

To enter the BIOS from a DOS prompt...( ...NOT from inside windows)

  • <Alt><Cntrl><Esc>
  • <Alt><Cntrl><Enter>
  • <Cntrl> <Alt> <A>
  • <Cntrl> <Alt> <S>

Some manufacturers have their own way for entering BIOS as shown below:

  • Acer - Ctrl+Alt+Esc
  • AST, Advantage, Award, Tandon - Ctrl + Alt + Esc
  • Compaq - F10 (When the square is in the top right hand corner of screen)
  • Dell - F1 or Del.
  • Dells - Some require pressing reset twice
  • Dells - Ctrl + Alt + Enter
  • Gateway 2000 - F1
  • Hewlett Packard - F1
  • IBM
    • Older Models - In order to get into the configuration of the IBM setup screen (CMOS) screen you need to hold down both mouse buttons during boot-up.
    • Aptiva - Press F1
  • IBM PS/2 with reference partition - Press Ins during boot
  • Some PS/2s, such as 75 and 90 - Ctrl Alt ?
  • Some PS/2s when pointer at top right of screen - Ctrl + Ins
  • Leading Edge
    • Fortiva 5000 - <Cntrl> <Alt> <A> or <Cntrl> <Alt> <S>
  • NEC - F2
  • Packard Bell - F1 or F2
  • Phoenix - Ctrl Alt S
  • Phoenix - Ctrl S
  • Phoenix - Ctrl Alt Ins
  • Sharp Laptop 9020 - F2
  • Sony - F3, then F2, or F1
  • Tandon computers - Hold down the <Esc> key after turning on power
  • Tandon - Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  • Toshiba Laptops - Toshiba Utility
  • Toshiba - Press Esc during boot
  • Toshiba, Phoenix, late model PS/1 Value Point and 330s - Press F1 during boot
  • Olivetti PC Pro - Shift Ctrl Alt + Num Pad del
  • Miscellaneous PC's - Ctrl + Esc or Ctrl and Alt and +
  • Zenith - Ctrl Alt Ins
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