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PC bios boot sequence settings and priority

Updated on February 25, 2010
Bios main menu
Bios main menu

Your PC Bios Is stored in a small chip on board your PC motherboard. The function of your BIOS is to startup the communication between the hardware devices connected to your PC, and all importantly the boot order of those devices.

The Bios is a small program located in the chip that runs when your PC starts up. You can access the Bios by watching for the message that pops up on the black part of your monitor screen when your pc first loads up. It will normally show a message like f2 to access bios

F2 to access the PC bios is the most common button, but sometime it can be f1 or delete or even f10. When your computer boots up to begin with you only have a few seconds to press the key to gain access to the bios, once the computer beeps, it looks at the boot order, and moves on to the next screen where your windows, or operating system loads up. This means your too late to access the bios.

Just press <CTRL><ALT><DELETE> buttons to reset the pc, and have another go.

When you get logged into the bios the screen will look something like the picture below.

Example of PC Bios screen
Example of PC Bios screen

There is no mouse access, you have to use the keyboard, and there will be a guide to navigating the PC Bios shown at the bottom of the screen.

In this example which is the most popular Bios option is just to use the left and right arrows on the keyboard to move between the options at the top of the boot menu.

Bios Boot

To change the order of your device boot ups, you will have to select the boot option from the top of the bios menu.

Once you are in here.

Bios boot menu
Bios boot menu

There will be an option called boot sequence.

This is the important part that controls the bootup sequence (boot order) of the devices connected to your PC. It only deals with your Floppy Drive, Your Hard Drives, Your CD/DVD drives, and any USB Drives connected.

In the example above the order of the boot up of this PC is first try to load the D drive, if there is no boot up information there, then try the Floppy A Drive, if there is nothing there, then try the connected scsi hard drive.

If you are looking to install a new operating system from a disk, or your using a startup disk again, then you want the first option to show CDROM or the drive that is your CD/DVD drive.

Once you have changed the order that your devices boot up in, then just save the information in the bios, and reset your PC. This time when the PC boots up, the boot order that you set in the bios will be applied.

Is this page easy to understand for non-geeks?

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