Windows 2000
BIOS Compatibility

Finding out if your BIOS (basic input/output system) is compatible with Windows® 2000 is important for several reasons:

  • You might not be able to use the advanced power management and device configuration features in Windows 2000 if you do not have the most current BIOS version for your system.

  • If your computer manufacturer has indicated that you need a new BIOS and you do not update it, or you install the wrong BIOS version, your computer may stop working properly. Please be aware that installing an incorrect BIOS update may cause serious damage to your computer system. Review the Q&A below to find out more about BIOS compatibility and Windows 2000.

    To our customers: During the months of November and December 1999 you received either an e-mail or letter from us that identified whether or not the Bios for your computer was Windows 2000 compliant. If we found that your Bios was not compliant, you also received instructions on how to either perform the upgrade, if necessary, or request that a technician arrange for an appointment to do this for you. If you still require this service, please contact our Customer Service Department at your earliest convenience.

What is a BIOS?

The BIOS is the software interface that allows the operating system, such as Windows 95, 98 and Windows 2000 to communicate with your computer's underlying hardware. It is used to boot the computer when it is turned on. The BIOS is the lowest level code that lives directly on the computer's main board (motherboard). To learn more about a BIOS, follow this link: BIOS Help

Why do I need to update my BIOS?

Windows 2000 includes the most recent advanced power management and Plug and Play features available. If you acquired your system before your system was prepared for some of these new features, it may have a BIOS version that is not compatible with Windows 2000. In order to work properly with Windows 2000, your computer must have a compliant Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) BIOS, otherwise you won't be able to use the ACPI-based power management support in Windows 2000. Updating your BIOS is especially important if you have a notebook or laptop computer and you want to take advantage of the latest power management features built in to Windows 2000.

What is ACPI?

ACPI stands for Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface. ACPI defines the working interfaces between Windows 98 and Windows 2000, the BIOS, and your system's hardware. These interfaces include the mechanisms that allow ACPI compliant operating systems, such as Windows 98 and Windows 2000 to control power management and device configuration.

What is Power Management?

Windows 98 and Windows 2000 have power management capabilities that allow them to control how much power a computer uses by putting it into a lower power "sleep state", such as Standby and Hibernate. Windows then "wakes" the system up when you press the power button, and your system is fully operational almost immediately.

How do I know if my Windows 98 or Windows 2000 system requires a BIOS update?

  1. Determine if you computer uses ACPI.

    You can tell whether your Windows 98-based system uses ACPI by checking the list found in the Device Manager.

    NOTE: Windows 95 and Windows NT® systems do not support ACPI features.

    1. From the Start menu, point to Settings, then Control Panel, and click System.

    2. Select the Hardware tab and then click Device Manager. If your computer uses ACPI, Advanced Configuration and Power Interface appears in the list.

NOTE: After you upgrade to Windows 2000, you can tell if you have ACPI support if Standby appears in the Shutdown menu. If you get a BIOS update from your computer manufacturer, you can enable ACPI-based power management support after installing Windows 2000.

How do I get the correct BIOS update for my computer?
  • You must know the make and complete model number of your computer. Check your system documentation or contact the hardware manufacturer for complete information.

  • In some cases, you can determine the manufacturer and model from the BIOS identification string that is shown on the first screen when you turn your computer on (during the memory count-up). When this screen comes up, push the PAUSE or BREAK button to freeze the screen and note the long string of numbers and letters at the bottom of the screen, excluding the date.

  • CAUTION! It is very important that you obtain the correct version of the BIOS for your computer's motherboard model from the manufacturer. Computer manufacturers offer several different BIOS versions. Do not download a version of any BIOS that is not specified for your specific computer's motherboard model. Be aware that installing an incorrect BIOS update can and does cause serious damage to your computer system. You are solely responsible for the accuracy of your selection. Contact your computer manufacturer to ensure you have the most current BIOS version.


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