The basic input/output system (BIOS) determines which hardware components on your computer run at start-up. Users can reconfigure the BIOS to enable or disable certain components, including USB controllers, mouse ports, parallel ports and serial ports. If a port is disabled in the BIOS, the operating system will fail to detect a device connected to that port. To re-enable disabled ports, access the BIOS menu at start-up and change the settings for each component.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Turn on or restart the computer. Press the "Pause/Break" key when the boot logo appears to freeze the screen.
Read the on-screen message to ascertain which key should be pressed to enter system set-up. Press "Pause/Break" to unfreeze the screen.
Press the set-up key identified in the preceding step to load the BIOS menu. Use the directional pad to select the "Integrated Peripherals" or "Onboard Devices" menu.
Use the arrow keys to highlight "USB" or "USB Controllers." Press the "+" and "-" keys to change the USB port settings to "Enabled."
Scroll to "Parallel Port" or "LPT Port Mode." Use the "+" and "-" keys to enable the parallel port and set the mode as "SPP," "EPP," "ECP" or "EPP+ECP."
Highlight "Serial Port." Use the "+" and "-" keys to change the setting to "Auto," "COM1" or "COM3."
Select "Mouse Port." Use the "+" and "-" keys to change the option to "Enabled."
Press "Esc" and use the directional pad to select "Save and Exit" from the menu. Press "Enter" to save your changes and quit system set-up.
Tips and warnings
- New laptops don't come with a serial or parallel port and therefore won't offer these options in the BIOS.
- The set-up of the BIOS varies from one computer to another. Review the owner's manual for your motherboard or browse the computer manufacturer's website for more assistance, if necessary.
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