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What Are BIOS Drivers?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

The basic input/output system (BIOS) on a computer is a simple yet important program on a personal computer (PC) that helps the computer properly boot and run an operating system (OS) during startup. BIOS drivers are typically used in reference to the program itself, and how the program runs and interacts with other devices on the computer. These drivers on a computer are saved in the motherboard's memory and allow for the proper initialization and startup of a computer when powered on.

When a computer is first turned on, the BIOS on the motherboard is run to properly begin starting up the computer. This system has basic access to hardware on the computer, especially the mouse and keyboard, to allow a user to view and alter the BIOS settings for a variety of reasons. Ultimately the BIOS is responsible for running the OS during startup, at which time most modern OS will take over control of the computer’s functions and the BIOS is not used afterward. Older types of OS would use the BIOS to access hardware on the computer, but most new versions now access hardware directly through drivers built into the OS.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Much like how an OS uses device drivers to access the various types of devices and hardware installed on a computer, BIOS drivers are used to allow the BIOS to use the hardware installed on a computer. BIOS and the drivers are typically specific to motherboard manufacturers and though the interface may be somewhat different on different systems, the overall functionality is usually similar. BIOS settings on a computer can typically be accessed during startup by pressing “Delete” or an “F” key, depending on the specific system.

In the BIOS settings, the internal clock of a computer can be changed, passwords for booting up a computer can be set, and priority of boot drives or devices can be established. Without the proper BIOS drivers on a motherboard, the BIOS may not be able to run properly or access hardware correctly, which can keep a computer from starting up as it should. If the drivers are corrupted or erased, then the motherboard likely cannot access the hard drive that has the computer’s OS on it, and cannot therefore continue to boot up a computer.

If this occurs, then the BIOS drivers on the computer may need to be restored or updated. This can often be done either through a disk included with a motherboard, or by downloading a program from a motherboard manufacturer to update or flash the BIOS. Care should be taken whenever updating or altering BIOS drivers, as a loss of power during this process could erase the BIOS or damage the motherboard.

Discussion Comments


@Melonlity -- Why fix it? Because updating your BIOS may make your computer work better. Hardware manufacturers are always updating and debugging drivers and that includes the BIOS.

Besides, it is very rare for you to experience any programs from updating the BIOS. If you do have a problem, the you should be able to get some help from online support forums. A bit of advice should be just the thing to put you on the right path.

Now, there is one thing to keep in mind here. Online help forums are only useful if you happen to have a way to get online to access them. If your one and only computer won't boot because of a BIOS issue, then those online resources won't be worth a thing.


My computer has been nagging me to update the BIOS for weeks but I have been avoiding that. I had trouble with the BIOS once before and had to get some professional help to get my computer up and running again.

Ever since then, I have been reluctant to mess with the BIOS at all. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

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