If UEFI BIOS Were a Part of Your Body, Which Part Would It Be?
Every so often we receive emails from people who have computers that suddenly display the American Megatrends logo. They think that they caught some sort of ransomware or computer virus. They visit our website and send us an email:
- "Get off my computer!"
- "I'm going to call the FBI on you."
- "I'm with the
police in the UK and take this very seriously..."
Typically, we see these messages from owners of older computer systems. When I mean older, I mean computers that are over five years old. Their computer's onboard battery gets low and the system may display an error message, such as, "...battery low, press F1 to continue..."
When the battery dies completely, the BIOS can no longer hold its settings and reverts to its default settings. Settings like Quiet Boot (logo splash screen), System Time and Boot Order get reset. When this happens, the system may no longer boot in the operating system and may prompt the user for some action.
How to fix this?
Every system is different. We suggest going back to the system manufacturer and look for the instructions on how to replace the system battery.
If you have a desktop or tower unit, most likely the system battery is a coin cell lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery. It may be located inside the chassis on the motherboard. However, if your system is from the 1990s, then you may have a Dallas DS1287 Real Time Clock (RTC) chip or NiCad battery soldered on. Both are difficult to replace as they are not easy to find manufacturers for. Solutions do exist, such as coin cell replacement kits for the Dallas RTC and four pin CMOS battery packs for the NiCad batteries.
After you sort out the battery, you can fix or repair the BIOS settings. Check with the motherboard or system manual for the proper settings. As always, if you are not familiar with this process, we suggest that you find someone who is and have them perform this operation. You can also have the manufacturer logo show up again. Just ENABLE the QUIET BOOT option.
Basically, the BIOS allows your system to power on and boot to the operating system. It does this by having the basic hardware firmware and settings, knowing the location of the operating system and passing control to the operating system. It also keeps other system settings, passwords, date and time in BIOS memory.
In the past, to maintain BIOS settings, a battery was necessary while the system was powered off. Now-a-days, the settings are stored in NVRAM or memory that can maintain its settings, even when there is no power. Note: Some people will say that it is stored in Flash RAM, but Flash basically means compressed, while image stored in NVRAM is uncompressed.
So, getting back to the main topic. What part of the body would the BIOS be if the body were a computer system?
We surveyed various groups inside of American Megatrends. Here are the answers:
- Core BIOS team said spine
- Server BIOS team said bone marrow or blood
- BIOS testers said spine nervous system
- BIOS sales said nervous system
- BIOS customer porting said brain stem
- Marketing said cerebellum
Just a note. When asked, almost all gave preamble saying that they do not remember their biology classes.
Have a different opinion? What part of the body do you think most relates to the BIOS? Let us know via our social media post or by contacting us!