How to Enter BIOS on the IBM ThinkPad

Written by rex molder
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A computer's basic input/output system (BIOS) is a small set of instructions that tells the computer what it needs to do to configure essential hardware items at start-up as well as how to boot the operating system. There are a few ways to access the BIOS utility of an IBM ThinkPad computer. The exact technique will depend on the specific ThinkPad model you have.

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  1. 1

    Power up the computer or restart it if it is already running.

  2. 2

    Wait for the message "To interrupt normal start-up, press the blue Access IBM button" to appear on the screen. When you see the message, press the "Access IBM" button in the upper-left corner of the keyboard.

  3. 3

    Select "Start Setup Utility" from the Thinkvantage Productivity Center menu. This will take you to the BIOS set-up utility where you can make changes to the computer's BIOS.

  1. 1

    Turn on or restart the ThinkPad.

  2. 2

    Wait until you see the message "To interrupt normal start-up, press the blue Thinkvantage button" and then press the "Thinkvantage" button at the top-left of the ThinkPad keyboard.

  3. 3

    Select "Start Setup Utility" from the Thinkvantage Productivity Center menu to enter the BIOS set-up utility. Make the desired BIOS changes.

  1. 1

    Boot up or restart the IBM ThinkPad computer.

  2. 2

    Wait for the ThinkPad logo to appear on the screen a few seconds after the boot process begins. Press the "F1" key on your keyboard.

  3. 3

    Wait for the BIOS set-up utility to open. This will take approximately five seconds. If the computer continues to boot without entering the utility, then you either waited too long to press the "F1" key or you have an older model of ThinkPad that uses another key to access the BIOS. If you believe you waited too long to press "F1," restart the computer and try again.

Tips and warnings

  • For older models of IBM ThinkPad computers, consult the "How to access the BIOS--ThinkPad" page (see Resources section) for the proper BIOS access method.
  • Making changes to the BIOS can leave your computer unable to boot properly. Only make changes if you are sure about what you are doing.

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