Part Seven: Building a PC -- configuring the BIOS

Setting up the BIOS is the last step before installing your OS and enjoying your PC

This article is the seventh and final in a series of how-to stories on building a computer. For a video version or part seven, click here.

Configuring the BIOS is going to be one of the final steps to setting up a new PC. The BIOS is software built on to the motherboard that manages the installed hardware.

On first boot, you'll likely receive an error message. That's because BIOS settings need to be configured.

Our EVGA motherboard uses Phoenix AwardBIOS, and we have categories called Standard CMOS Features and Advanced BIOS Features.

Selecting Standard CMOS allows the time and date to be set. It also presents us with a list of connected hard drives and optical drives. If one of your drives is missing you may want to check your connections. At the bottom it also displays how much RAM is installed. If the actual installed RAM and this number differ, then check and make sure the memory is seated properly on the motherboard.

Advanced BIOS Features will allow us to pick the order in which our drives are checked on startup. For the initial setup of Windows, we're going to set the CD-ROM drive to boot first because that's where our Windows 7 setup disc will be. After Windows is installed, change this setting back to your primary hard drive.

The other categories in the BIOS will vary by motherboard. The BIOS will let you adjust more advanced settings ilke your RAM timings or the voltage to your processor for overclocking. We won't be discussing that, though because every configuration is different.

When done with the BIOS settings, insert the operating system setup disc into the CD-ROM drive. Save your settings and exit the BIOS. Your computer will then restart and the Windows installer should load. After installing the OS, enjoy your new PC!

(Justin Meisinger in Boston contributed to this report.)

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags officehardware systemsdesktop pcspc componentsHome

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?