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My new desktop did not come with any BIOS. When I boot it, the screen stays black for about a minute and suddenly shows the OS. Are there any free BIOS programs out there, and how does installing them work? I'm sure the process isn't like installing a typical program.

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You have a BIOS already, your monitor just doesn't show it fast enough... Try a reboot and you might see your BIOS right away. There is no need to install a BIOS as the chance is high to break it and not see your OS afterwards... Don't fix it if it ain't broke. ;-) –  Tom Wijsman Sep 5 '10 at 13:39
    
if you have received the information you need, please consider marking an answer as accepted. If your question has not been sufficiently answered, please update your question or post a comment to let us know how else we can help. –  nhinkle Dec 4 '10 at 6:58

3 Answers 3

Uuh, I'd advice you to return it to them.

Although you can flash BIOS, you still need a BIOS (Basic Input Output System) to execute any such actions. Or a kind of an EPROM ...

But, in any case, it is not an operation which you'll want to do (or probably know how) without knowing the delicate intrinsics ... trust me on this one.

I'd just return it, and explain the problem (but I'm pretty sure it did come with a BIOS and the problem is somewhere else).

Additional edit: Just re-read the question once again. "suddenly shows OS" - you have a BIOS therefore. So, what you're interested in is "flashing" if your motherboard supports it, but the question remains, why would you want to risk bricking your computer, if it seems to be working.

Btw, why do you want to flash it, in the first place?

In some BIOS-es you can set the option to skip some parts of the booting process (skip showing them at least) - so you might want to go through it and see if that's what's interesting you.

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Did you just wake up or have you been up all night? Because the #1 rule of troubleshooting is, don't do it if you're too tired to think. You're more likely to end up breaking things that way. Trust me, I know :/ –  nhinkle Sep 5 '10 at 4:13

Your computer definitely did come with a BIOS. It's impossible for a computer to boot up without one. Most likely your BIOS just doesn't have a splash screen, or has it turned off. What is the brand of your computer? You can probably find information with a quick google search on what the BIOS configuration key is for your computer; pressing that on start-up will open the BIOS options for you, where there may be an option to turn on the splash screen.

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A BIOS is specific to the motherboard. You can get BIOS updates from the motherboard manufacturer. It is very unlikely that your computer did not come with a BIOS unless it is a Mac; Intel-based Macs use EFI, and PowerPC-based Macs used Open Firmware. It is more likely that the BIOS is simply set to hide all BIOS messages during boot time. You can try to google your motherboard model number to see if you can get a manual for it. It should have the keyboard shortcut listed to get into the BIOS.

The keyboard shortcut is usually the delete key, the escape key, or one of the F-keys on the top of the keyboard like F1 or F10. You would have to press the key while the computer is starting up before it gets to the operating system.

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Actually, the chance isn't so low as it seems that computer came with UEFI. Most Intel chipsets today use it. It's just that most motherboard manufacturers disable access to UEFI and just leave access to BIOS compatibility mode. Still, +1 for common ways to access BIOS. Since the computer is new, it should clearly say in motherboard's manual how to access BIOS. –  AndrejaKo Sep 5 '10 at 9:06
    
@AndrejaKo Thanks for the clarification. I did not know that Intel-based Macs use EFI. –  James T Sep 5 '10 at 10:44
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As Spiff added, they do. But what I wanted to say is that most of the new non-Mac Intel chipsets use UEFI too. They instead redirect users to Compatibility Support Module and disable access to UEFI itself. From user's point of view, it looks like the computer uses BIOS and not UEFI, but UEFI does the work on the inside. Here's a nice article explaining that: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFI –  AndrejaKo Sep 5 '10 at 11:05

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