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Can we edit bios properties from desktop? without going to bios

like to set first boot device etc.

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What motherboard do you have? –  Michael Todd Feb 23 '10 at 14:02
    
@Michael Todd - MSI - K8MMV –  metal gear solid Feb 23 '10 at 14:06
    
Why not just reboot and set it in the BIOS as normal? You will have to reboot anyway for the boot order setting to have any effect... –  sblair Feb 23 '10 at 15:14
    
Suppose I want to do it remotely? Suppose I want to do it programatically? Suppose I want to look at a document of instructions? –  Jay Bazuzi Feb 23 '10 at 16:13
    
You cannot imagine how I hated it when I found out that the only way to change the BIOS settings of one very old Toshiba laptop was through a custom Windows-only control panel... (I did discover the "normal" setup screen later, by mashing on the keyboard during POST.) –  grawity Feb 23 '10 at 19:52
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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Windows (your operating system) and your motherboard are entirely different things. The BIOS is integrated directly into the motherboard to act like a springboard (throwing master CPU control to the OS once it's prepared the system) for when it boots up. Windows, on the other hand, is on your harddrive and doesn't know anything about the motherboard except what the motherboard wants to tell it.

In short, no, you can't. The operating system doesn't have such low-level control over the system. If it did, you'd see a lot more viruses popping up and trashing your BIOS, right?

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+1 for the more detailed explanation –  ChrisF Feb 23 '10 at 15:08
    
ok but then how any virus can damage bios even if we don't go in bios –  metal gear solid Feb 23 '10 at 15:17
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can you give the name of a virus that damages the BIOS? –  Snark Feb 23 '10 at 15:18
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"Once an attacker has admin rights, the rootkit could be flashed onto the BIOS [...]" -- When this article says acquiring 'admin rights', it's not talking about Windows administrator. It's talking about master control of the CPU. No application has master control - that is reserved for the OS only, and for certain uses following strict security protocol. The only way to get around that is to exploit a security fault in Windows to bypass the OS. If you write a program that manipulates the BIOS, it's a virus, hands down. And I believe it can only flash (reinstall) the BIOS, not edit settings. –  JMTyler Feb 23 '10 at 15:49
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The virus can flash a new BIOS, but settings cannot be modified without a restart. I would guess this is because the CMOS holds the BIOS software, but I think that the BIOS settings are stored elsewhere on the motherboard because the BIOS battery holds those settings, and if the battery goes dead, your settings are lost but the CMOS remains. –  Chris Feb 23 '10 at 16:10
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No ( the shortest answer ever :)

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Well by making the comment that is the shortest answer ever you actually made the answer longer which makes it not the shortest answer ever. –  Brian T Hannan Feb 23 '10 at 20:29
    
@Brian T Hannan - Do you think I should've just written "0" (meaning no/false) ? :-) –  ldigas Feb 23 '10 at 22:31
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1 (comment has to be atleast 15 characters long, so here is me explaining that while my comment is actually just "1") –  Brian T Hannan Feb 24 '10 at 21:34
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There was some efforts in that direction years ago, like the Award BIOS Editor.

Awdbedit is a BIOS editor for Award BIOSes. It supports unpacking, replacing, and repacking of components within a BIOS image, and allows settings to be changed and tweaks to be applied to the actual BIOS itself.

Such programs are usually made for a specific brand of BIOS chip. Furthermore, as pointed out in other answers, it's more and more difficult, or even impossible to access the BIOS from the OS. It can also be a cause of instability.

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