A computer's Basic Input/Output System, better known as BIOS, is the means by which it recognises hardware and initialises the operating system's start-up procedure. If the BIOS chip on the computer's motherboard is damaged or stops working correctly, the computer won't be able to boot up. Should this occur, replacing the BIOS chip on the motherboard isn't difficult; it must be done carefully, however, to prevent damaging other motherboard components. Replacing a BIOS chip should take less than 30 minutes to accomplish.
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Things you need
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Jeweller's screwdriver (for DIP-type BIOS chips)
- Flathead screwdriver (for DIP-type BIOS chips)
- Paper clip (for PLCC-type BIOS chips)
- Replacement BIOS chip
Shut down the computer, unplug it, and press the power button to remove any remaining power from the computer's components.
Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the two screws on the back of the computer case that hold the left side panel in place. Slide the panel back and remove it, then carefully lay the computer down on its right side to gain better access to the motherboard.
Locate the BIOS chip, generally near the bottom of the motherboard. The BIOS chip will have a sticker or printed text listing the BIOS manufacturer and version number, aiding you in your identification of the chip. Identify which type of BIOS chip your computer has based on the shape; DIP chips are rectangular, while PLCC chips are square and surrounded by a plastic cartridge.
Look at the BIOS chip and note the direction of the chip's sticker or text as well as which side of the chip has an indentation or dot on it; this will be important when orienting the new chip.
Begin carefully attempting to lift one corner of the BIOS chip. Use an unfolded paper clip to lift the corner of a PLCC chip (since the paper clip will be able to fit inside the grooves in the plastic cartridge) or use a jeweller's screwdriver to lift the corner of a DIP chip.
Lift the chip enough that a flathead screwdriver can be used to pry the chip loose. Make sure that the screwdriver doesn't come in contact with the motherboard or bend the pins of the BIOS chip socket while doing so.
Lift the BIOS chip out of the socket once it has been pulled far enough out that you can get a good grip on it. Set it aside.
Place the new BIOS chip onto the socket, making sure that it is lined up in the same direction as the chip that you removed. Begin pressing it into the socket, making sure that the pins are going in straight, then press it in the rest of the way.
Locate the small plastic jumper that is covering pins on your motherboard with the label "CLCMOS" or "CLRTC." Consult the documentation for your motherboard and move the jumper to the new pin configuration necessary to reset the BIOS.
Replace the left side panel of the computer and set it upright. Plug the computer back in, then press the power button to start it up and allow the new BIOS to initialise.
Tips and warnings
- Maintain contact with a metal portion of the computer case to prevent accidental static discharge that could damage the BIOS chip or the motherboard.
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