How to locate a BIOS chip

Written by jeff grundy Google
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How to locate a BIOS chip
The BIOS chip in your computer looks similar to these. (motherboard image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)

The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is a crucial software component located in a flash memory chip on your computer. If the BIOS chip on your computer is damaged or has a virus, you may not be able to boot your PC. Sometimes, the repair of a computer motherboard requires the removal and replacement of the BIOS chip. However, before you can remove the chip, you need to know how to identify it and find it on your motherboard.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Motherboard user's manual
  • Anti-static wrist strap

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn off your computer and remove the power cord.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the keyboard, monitor, mouse and any other peripherals from your computer.

  3. 3

    Remove the screws on the back of the computer that hold the case panel cover in place. Remove the case cover and set it aside.

  4. 4

    Refer to the user's manual for your motherboard, and locate the diagram that shows the layout of the motherboard. Look for the chip on the drawing that is labelled "BIOS Chip" or something similar. Sometimes, the label may refer to an "Award," "Ami-BIOS" or "Phoenix Flash" chip.

  5. 5

    Place the open user's manual next to your computer. Orientate the manual so that the drawing or photograph faces the same direction as your computer motherboard.

  6. 6

    Locate the BIOS chip on your motherboard by referring to the drawing or picture. In most cases, the chip has the name of the BIOS software maker (for example, Award, Ami-BIOS, Winbond or Phoenix) printed on top of the chip.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear an anti-static wrist strap when working on the motherboard in your computer. This helps to prevent static electricity in your body from possibly damaging the motherboard.
  • Do not attempt to remove the BIOS chip with a screwdriver. You need a chip removal tool to remove the BIOS chip. If you use a screwdriver to remove the chip, you may damage the socket, which renders your motherboard useless.

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