The Aspire 3100 is a laptop manufactured by Acer and released in 2006. Driver and BIOS updates for the laptop are available on the official Acer website, and are straightforward to install. The most recent BIOS update for the Aspire 3100 as of March, 2011, is version 3.13, which was released in March 2009 and is 2.4MB in size. If the laptop's BIOS has not been updated since purchase, it's likely that this is a newer version--check this by looking for the version number as the laptop boots up or by pressing F2 to enter the BIOS during the boot up routine and finding the version number there. It's important to note that BIOS updates come without any warranty, and users update them at their own risk. However, it's unlikely that you will encounter problems if you choose the correct installation package for your laptop.
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Finding The Update
Visit the official Acer website and follow the "Support" link and then click "Driver Download." Select "Notebook," "Aspire" and "Aspire 3100" from the menus that automatically appear on screen. A list of compatible driver downloads and support documents are shown on screen. To find the relevant flash update, click the "BIOS" tab. The most recent flash update is listed at the top, which is v3.13 released in March, 2009. Click on the orange arrow to the left to download the update to your hard drive (BIOS_Acer_v3.13_.zip).
Installing The Update
The BIOS flash update comes in the form of a compressed .zip file. Before updating the BIOS, ensure that all applications are closed down, and that all files are saved and backed up. Extract the files to a location of your choosing and then unpack the cw51313.zip archive as well. The readme.txt file in the first archive provides installation instructions for both DOS and Windows mode. Run the cw51313.bat file if you are working in DOS, or the flash32.exe file if you are working in Windows. Follow the instructions on-screen to complete the installation, after which your laptop will restart.
What the BIOS Does
The BIOS--or Basic Input Output System--controls a PC or laptop at its most fundamental level. It manages communication between the motherboard, CPU, RAM and other components such as the hard drive and connected peripherals. It establishes a simple framework that Windows (or another operating system) can then run on. The BIOS comes pre-loaded on a computer motherboard, but updates are occasionally released to fix bugs, add extra functionality or to add support for new hardware or software.
You should have no problems in installing the BIOS update provided you download the correct installation package and follow the instructions carefully. If you do run into difficulties, the best resource is the support section of the Acer website. Depending on where you purchased the Aspire 3100, you may find that it comes with a basic driver CD that can be used to restore functionality if the laptop refuses to boot.
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