CMOS setup is a little intimidating
the first couple of times you work at it. The important thing
here is patience. All BIOS screens seem to change all of the
time. Just don't mess with voltages or increase anything
called a multiplier. Other than that, have at it, the tip in
the yellow box below will show you how to bail yourself out if you get
The key items for CMOS setup are
- Boot order - This will let the computer know which device
to look for to find the boot record. (Where Windows is)
- Feature enabling - You may have to enable things like front
USB, or in the case below enabling RAID modes from the SATA drives.
The default was off.
- Confirm CPU settings - Almost all of the time this is
correct, when the computer boots up, as long as it gives you the
correct indication of CPU in the first screen show below,
your settings will be fine.
- RAM settings - More and more often it seems these are
wrong. The good news is it's really easy to change as all of
the information will be with your RAM sticks. If you match
the MHz, voltage and timings on the package you'll be good to go.
If you enter a wrong timing, most settings will reset on a
reboot, use the tip below if your computer stops booting.
- Time - You can change this in the BIOS, but lately since
Windows will correct it, I just do it there. Changing with
page up keys and arrows bites, I take the easy road.
That's really it, play with any settings you're curious about first,
that way you can easily default back. I've never seen 2
identical BIOS screens, and it rarely takes me more than 5 min to go
through everything. Just take your time, refer to your
motherboard documentation and you'll be successful.
CMOS Setup Step by Step
As long as you're not messing with voltage, you can pretty much do
whatever you like, if the computer then fails to boot, remove the CMOS battery
and pull the power cord to reset the CMOS and start over.
- Step 1
default to get in on most is by pressing
the delete key right at the start of boot up.
- Step 2
- Load setup defaults.
- Step 3 -
Enter the current Date and Time.
- Step 4 -
Change the boot sequence. This is simply the order the
computer will look for an operating system to boot. I usually
go CDRom, then floppy, if I have one installed, then the Hard Drive.
- Step 5
- Check your CPU settings. The default ones should be
correct, if they are not adjust the CPU to manufacturers specifications.
- Step 6
- Check the settings of your RAM. Often the settings are
actually on your RAM, if not check the manufacturers website.
Even some RAM voltages are different these days so this step
- Step 7
- Adjust your plug and play settings, just change plug and play O/S to
- Step 8
- Enable the controller if you plan on using any USB devices, enable
2.0 support and legacy support to make sure all your USB devices work
at their maximum.
- Step 9
- If you are planning on using a Raid, make sure you enable to option
for those drives.
- Step 10
- If your motherboard supports it, and you would like your computer to
be as silent as possible, enable quiet fans. This will slow
down your computer fans when the cooling is not needed.
- Step 11
- Save your changes and exit.
If you see other settings you would like to know more about, google the
exact name as you see it in CMOS setup.
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