Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk by Leo Laporte

By Leo Laporte

Nice to your laptop it could possibly support ya in loads of things you have no idea.

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The BIOS chip on most systems can be reprogrammed with software downloaded from the system or motherboard vendor. A downloadable BIOS upgrade might be necessary before you upgrade to faster memory, a faster processor, or to solve stability or other problems with your system. Before you install any motherboard upgrade, you should check the system or motherboard vendor's website to see if the upgrade you want to install will require a BIOS upgrade. 20 shows a typical socketed BIOS chip and CMOS battery.

If the configuration information displayed some day at startup differs from the normal information you see, it might mean one of the following has occurred: • Someone has changed your BIOS configuration. 47 48 • The computer has reverted to default settings for troubleshooting or other reasons. • The computer's battery is failing, causing stored setup information to be lost or corrupted. • The hardware inside your computer has failed or has been removed/replaced. To determine which of these has taken place, you need to press the key used by your computer to start the BIOS setup program.

Discovering Which IRQs Your PCI Cards Can Use Even if you aren't having any problems with the PCI (and AGP) cards already installed in your system, you might want to examine the Slot x or PCI x IRQ options in your system BIOS to determine which IRQs your PCI cards can use. Originally, PCI cards could be configured to use only IRQs 9, 10, 11, and 12 (and 12 was often unavailable because it was used by the PS/2 mouse port). 33) might also offer IRQs traditionally used by ISA devices such as serial ports (IRQs 3 and 4) and parallel ports (IRQ 7).

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