One of the less exciting tasks of personal computer maintenance is updating the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). The BIOS is firmware, much like software except that it is permanently attached to your computer's motherboard. Computers use BIOS to load basic computer settings and to boot up the main operating system. Despite the system's being permanent, no programmer can ever predict every bug or new development, so BIOS sometimes gets updates just like any other program. Updating BIOS used to be a tricky process, but on the HP DC7800, it is as simple as downloading and following a few prompts.
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Before looking for a BIOS update, reboot your computer and press the set-up key before booting into Windows. The set-up key is either F1 or F10, depending on your model's motherboard; do not be afraid to hit both multiple times until "BIOS" appears on your screen. Look for the BIOS version and revision number, shown on the screen that first appears. Write this information down. Reboot and allow the computer to load normally into Windows.
Go to the HP website and visit the "Support & Drivers" page. Choose "Download drivers and software" and input "dc7800" as your model number in the text field below. Click on "Go" and click on your specific computer model's link. Click on your operating system's link in the list and scroll down on the resulting page until you see "BIOS."
Check the list of BIOS updates to see if any are for a version or revision number higher than the one BIOS showed you. If an update later than your current version exists, click the "Download" button next to the update.
Run the downloaded BIOS update and follow its prompts for a correct installation. Do not interrupt the installation while it is in progress, because doing so will harm your motherboard and possibly render it useless.
Tips and warnings
- To correct a "CMOS checksum" or "251" error, restart the computer and boot into BIOS. Reset your BIOS to its default settings by pressing the F5 key. Select "Yes," press "Enter" and press F10 to save and restart.
- Never attempt to upgrade your computer's BIOS with another HP model's BIOS update. Different models use various motherboard types and revisions. Improper BIOS updating could lead to a dead motherboard.
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