Can't Detect a Hardware Device? - Try Resetting BIOS
By Stephen Bucaro
The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is special software that runs when the computer
first starts. It performs a POST (Power On Self Test) and then initializes many of
the computer's hardware devices. The BIOS settings are preserved when the computer
is turned off by a small battery on the motherboard.
Like any software, the BIOS can become corrupt. If the BIOS becomes corrupt, a
hardware device may not operate properly, or a hardware device may not be detected,
or the computer may fail to start. If you suspect the BIOS may be the problem, you can
reset it to the factory default settings.
The easiest way to reset the BIOS is to use the BIOS Setup utility. To enter the
BIOS Setup utility, press the [F2] key while the computer is starting. The specific
key to press may differ for different motherboards. The second most likely key
to enter BIOS Setup is [Delete]. Once in the BIOS Setup utility choose the option
to Reset BIOS Settings to their factory default settings. Then press the indicated
key to Save and Exit Setup.
Location of CMOS battery on
GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 Motherboard
Another way to reset the BIOS is to use the "Clear CMOS" jumper on the motherboard.
To do this you must open the computer case. Make sure that your computer is turned off
and unplugged from the AC outlet.
Caution: When working inside a computer be aware that ESD (Electro Static Discharge)
can potentially cause damage. You need to discharge yourself by touching a bare metal
part of the chassis or using an anti-static wristband.
Locate the CMOS battery on the motherboard. It looks like a large watch battery. The
"Clear CMOS" jumper is usually located near the battery. The jumper connects two pins
of a three pin header. Move the jumper to connect the center pin and the unconnected
pin on the header. After 10 seconds move the jumper back to its original position.
Yet another way to reset the BIOS is to remove CMOS battery for 10 seconds. Use the
clip on the battery holder to release the battery. After 10 seconds, snap the battery
back into its socket.
After resetting the BIOS, you may need to use the BIOS Setup utility to make the
specific settings required for your computer's hardware.
More Windows Troubleshooting Articles:
• Stop Hard Disk Thrashing
• How to Create a Windows XP Boot Disk
• Troubleshooting a Dead Computer
• What's With All Those Error Messages?
• Wireless Router Problems and Solutions
• Windows Don't Start Because of a Corrupted Registry
• How to Fix No Mouse Pointer Problem
• Get Remote Technical Assistance
• Undoing a Windows Update
• Examining Computer Hardware Components