The UEFI or firmware, also known as the BIOS, plays a crucial role in the functioning of a computer. It acts as the link between the motherboard and the various components of the computer, including the central processing unit, cooling systems, and any additional cards or ports that may be attached. As technology advances, manufacturers of motherboards and computer manufacturers, including laptop manufacturers, issue updates to the BIOS to address any technical issues and add compatibility for the latest CPU technologies. The BIOS is an essential element in ensuring that the computer operates smoothly. These updates can also lead to improvements in performance and thermal management.
Updating the BIOS is generally only a pressing matter if it is necessary. However, certain situations may require a newer version of the BIOS. For example, to be able to use the latest 13th Gen “Raptor Lake” CPUs from Intel, older motherboards in the 600 series need to have their BIOS updated to the newest version. On the other hand, motherboards from AMD’s 300, 400, and 500 series may require updates so they can properly recognize the newest processors, like the Ryzen 5000 series. Moreover, in order to tackle the widely recognized security threats of Spectre and Meltdown, updating the BIOS is a necessary step.
A small BIOS chip can be found on the motherboard of every computer and acts as the starting point when the computer is turned on. The BIOS provides the computer with the basic power it requires to operate and also offers a level of protection. This was highlighted in a study conducted by Duo Security, which focused on attacks targeted at Apple’s macOS operating system.
Manufacturers release updated firmware packages or BIOS updates throughout the motherboard’s lifespan to support new processors and memory or resolve common issues. The primary purpose of upgrading to a newer firmware version is to address any problems with the UEFI system, or to allow compatibility with a more advanced CPU that the motherboard was not originally equipped to handle.
There are people who prefer to maintain the most recent version of their UEFI firmware by frequently checking for updates. In the past, updating the firmware was perceived as a risky procedure, as it could potentially harm the motherboard in the same way that flashing a custom ROM on an Android device might.
When upgrading the BIOS on your laptop, it’s critical to ensure that the battery is fully powered up and has enough juice to last for at least 20 to 30 minutes. To avoid any compatibility issues, it’s imperative to check if the BIOS you intend to install on your motherboard is fully compatible with both the motherboard and processor.
Determine Your Existing BIOS Version: Prior to upgrading the BIOS, make sure that you are installing a newer version by verifying your current BIOS version. To do this, access the System Information tool by searching for “msinfo” in the Windows search bar. Once the window opens, locate the BIOS version on the right side, near the processor speed. Record this information, including the version number and date, and then compare it with the latest version available on the support page of the website of your motherboard’s manufacturer.
Updates to the BIOS: Manufacturers of computers often release updates to their computer’s BIOS. If you built your own computer, the update for the BIOS would come from the vendor of your motherboard. The updates can be installed by “flashing” them onto the BIOS chip, replacing the existing BIOS software with a new version.
It’s important to remember that each BIOS is unique to a specific computer (or motherboard). So, to update your computer’s BIOS, you must obtain the correct BIOS for your particular computer model (or motherboard).
Obtaining the Correct BIOS Version: Getting the correct BIOS version specifically designed for your hardware is crucial. If you attempt to use a BIOS intended for another piece of hardware, even a slight variation of the same motherboard, it could lead to complications. The BIOS flashing tool typically tries to verify if the BIOS is compatible with your hardware. Still, if the device proceeds with the flashing process despite the incompatibility, it could result in your computer becoming inoperable.