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      So what is CMOS?

Most people think CMOS / Bios, ooh, that's going to hurt my computer. Well, yes you could change something that will affect your system in the worst possible way, but it's not life or death.  Whatever you change you can always go back in and change it back.  Just keep track of what your doing.  Worst case you re-set everything to the DEFAULT state.  CMOS is the place for turning off those problem devices that you end up having trouble with, as soon as, you try to upgrade. 



So, you got that sound card, video card, or network card and you are told to turn off the on-board version.  Well some motherboards will let you do it in CMOS (also known as BIOS) but others don't have the option. If yours doesn't have that option refer to INTEGRATED DRIVERS section which may help you solve your situation.

Now what is CMOS and how do you get into it.

CMOS/BIOS tells your computer what all it has.  It's like a grocery list and it checks off each item as your computer loads.  Unfortunately, most new computers have integrated drivers and those drivers are booted from CMOS which causes a problem if you just purchased the latest greatest video or sound card.  This is where you need to tell the computer not to load that anymore. 

CMOS also stores a lot of information about your hard drive, mouse, monitor, keeps your computer time, CD or DVD Roms, etc.

Most of the time you won't have to mess with CMOS but if you do and you just can't figure out if you got something the best answer i can give you is "if you don't see your device then you can't change it"!

  • Some nice manufacturers show you how to enter CMOS (usually it will say "setup") while you are booting up your computer.

It might say hit "delete key" to enter setup (setup is CMOS/BIOS)


Most new computers use one of the following:

  • F1
  • F2
  • ESC
  • DEL
  • F10



IF nothing is working just hold down any old key until your computer stops some computers automatically take you into CMOS and others give you the option (key stroke).  Write it down for future reference.