How to Access BIOS on an HP Pavilion Laptop

motherboard image by Valentin Mosichev from

The BIOS (basic input/output system) is a separately-stored program that starts the Windows operating system on the hard drive in HP Pavillion laptop computers. The program concerns the hardware on your computer and it is very basic in function, but still integral to the overall functioning of the laptop.

The Pavillion family of HP laptops spans several Windows versions including Windows XP, Vista and 7. However, HP has kept the method of accessing the BIOS roughly the same across the versions.

Click on "Start" or the Windows orb logo on the taskbar at the bottom of the desktop to show the Start menu. Click the "Shutdown" option from the menu to turn your laptop off.

Press the power button to turn the laptop on.

Press the "F10" (Windows Vista or 7) or "F1" (Windows XP or earlier) key on your keyboard while the display screen is blank. It is OK to press the key every few seconds to ensure the key command is accepted.

Wait for the BIOS Setup screen to show. Press the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate the Setup utility. Press the "Enter" key to execute commands or select submenus. Press "F10" to save your changes and exit the set-up. Press the "Esc" (Escape) key to exit the set-up without saving your changes.